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Category Archives: The Big Kids’ Table

Big Kids’ Table: YA/NA Authors Chat “Grown Up” Books

Happy Halloween, book lovers! Nothing too spooky going on around these parts, but I am so enthused to share this month’s Big Kids’ Table with you! (I’m down to the wire… on the last day of the month, but the wait is worth it, I swear!) Thanks to some brainstorming sessions with Cassie I decided to reach […]

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December 5, 2014 - 9:00 am

December Author Potluck | Big Kids' Table, Estelle - […] been awhile since we’ve had a get-together like this one on Big Kids’ Table and who knows? It might be a sign of what’s to come in the new year. […]

December 12, 2013 - 9:01 am

Big Kids' Table: 2013 Overview - […] hacked by Daphne at Gone Pecan, and probably one of my favorite posts of the year: some of my top YA authors recommending their own big kid […]

November 4, 2013 - 5:49 pm

Alexa Y. - These reading suggestions are extremely eclectic, and I love that. You came up with such a brilliant spin on this feature, and I’m a HUGE fan of that. Great post, as always E!

November 3, 2013 - 12:41 pm

Shelve It: Double the V-Logs - […] review of The Vow by Jessica Martinez A Big Kids’ Table Featuring YA Authors Suggesting Adult Reads A Beginner’s Guidebook to Austin via Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker A review of Reality […]

November 1, 2013 - 4:03 pm

katy - I love this! I actually haven’t read any of these books except for Golden. I’ve been wanting to read Openly Straight for a while, and I need to check out some of the others and the adult picks! Wonder When You’ll Miss Me and Tales from the City sound really intriguing!

October 31, 2013 - 11:16 pm

Bookworm1858 - Ooh excited about Kirby’s pick. I am intrigued about Caletti’s adult outing and then I’ve had Treacherous on repeat for a while now too so I really want to know how that will be reflected in her novel.

October 31, 2013 - 7:43 pm

Jamie - What a fun way to switch it up this month! I love it! Definitely want to check out Wonder When You’ll Miss Me. I’ve had Ernest Hemingway on my shelf for years and have still not gotten to that book. EMBARRASSING. Totally didn’t know Deb Caletti wrote adult fiction also!

October 31, 2013 - 1:54 pm

Lena @ Addicted 2 Novels - Love this! I love it when authors let us know what they’re up to next as well as books they recommend.

October 31, 2013 - 9:09 am

Cassie - I seriously love this post, and the authors involved [that I’ve read!] I hope you do another like this eventually, such a great twist on Big Kids Table!

Happy Halloween!

Big Kids’ Table: Switching It Up with Non-Fiction

Greetings, friends! You made it to Friday and (believe it or not) the final Friday of September. Hasn’t this year just sped by? I can’t even keep track of the days lately. It’s all a blur. I hope that you are out there reading some fantastic books right now, and maybe, quite maybe, picking up […]

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September 28, 2013 - 6:55 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - Just realized The Girls of Murder City was written by Douglas Perry – not Donald. Whoops!

September 28, 2013 - 6:54 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - This Big Kids’ Table post made me so happy, E! Partly because I love non-fiction and partly because I love when you talk about branching out and challenging yourself with what you read. I like the comparison you draw between Henson/puppets and adult readers/YA books. I definitely find it frustrating when it feels like I need to defend the fact that I like all kinds of books, including ones geared towards teenagers. Shouldn’t people just be excited that people are reading?!

So, anyway, back to talking about non-fiction. I’m actually pretty open to lots of different topics in non-fiction, although I do tend to gravitate towards certain ones. I love biographies, especially of actors and actresses from the Golden Age of Hollywood OR of authors I love and adore. I’l basically read any non-fiction that has anything to do with Jane Austen. That’s like almost an auto-buy for me! I’m also drawn to certain historical figures or time periods, so will sometimes pick up more “history-focused” non-fiction. I also love travel memoirs, too!

Here are a few I’d definitely recommend to you if you haven’t already read them:

The Lost Girls by Jennifer Bagget, Holly Corbett and Amanda Pressner – Three friends quit their jobs and travel around the world for a year. So interesting!

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – Absolutely one of THE BEST books I’ve read EVER. Not just best non-fiction. Best books of all time, genre, etc. Such an engrossing read!

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling – I literally laughed out loud while reading this in public and now want to be Mindy’s best friend.

The Girls of Murder City by Donald Perry – Knowing you love musicals, I’d highly recommend this book to you! The musical Chicago was actually based on real things that happened in history. It was originally a play written by a journalist who had covered a series of trials of women murderers – SO fascinating! I didn’t realize this was something that had actually happened, so I loved seeing how the musical/real life compared!

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – A science-focused book that I wouldn’t normally pick up but am glad I read. This was about a topic I knew nothing about and had little interest in but I found myself so fascinated by this woman and what she contributed to science.

Okay, I think I’ve written enough! Either way – had so much fun reading this post 🙂 I’ve got a post about non-fiction coming up soon so I was really excited to read your thoughts on it!

September 28, 2013 - 11:12 am

Bookworm1858 - I’m not much of a NF reader but I do like what you’ve written about Henson. I’m tired of people criticizing my “childish” pastimes although I’ve gotten better about politely defending them because they are what I love and feel passionate about.

September 28, 2013 - 11:01 am

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - First, that’s so interesting about Jim Henson! I feel that way about children’s books, sometimes. I love kid’s books. Picture books, readers, chapter books, you name it. There are some amazing books out there, and just because they are aimed at children, that doesn’t mean adults can’t enjoy them as well. It also made me think of some Pixar movies: Up, Wall-E, where both adults and children adored those movies.

Second, I really do enjoy non-fiction, although I don’t read enough of it. I am going to recommend a few though, that are aimed at middle-grade kids and teens, but are amazing and well researched books.

Steve Sheinkin has written some AMAZING non-fiction titles, and since you like American History, I highly recommend them. There’s a biography called The Notorious Benedict Arnold which provides such an interesting look at Arnold, and his role in the American Revolution (also the cover is kick-ass!). The other book by Sheinkin that I’ve read is Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal-The World’s Most Dangerous Weapon. Another fascinating book, and both of these won a ton of awards.

The other book I want to recommend is Charles & Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman. This also won a few awards, and it’s a biography about Charles and Emma Darwin and how even though they had vastly different religious beliefs, they still loved and respected each other deeply. It’s a wonderful story, and it’s even better because it really happened.

September 27, 2013 - 9:55 pm

Devyn - If you are looking for a good biography, I absolutely loved Ava Gardner: Love is Nothing. But I might have to add some books from this list onto mine to enjoy, thanks for the suggestions!

September 27, 2013 - 10:09 am

Leah @ The Pretty Good Gatsby - YAY YOU WAVE THAT NON-FIC FLAG, E! Non-fiction can be so much fun + way interesting but I feel like it gets a bad rap from people claiming it’s too dry or boring. NOT SO! Oddly enough, I have a soft spot for bios on the Founding Fathers (‘MERICA!) & my studies dealt with the Civil War so the 1800s leaves me starry-eyed. That said James Swanson’s MANHUNT was so fascinating and was my very first audiobook! An ex & I were going on vacation and we brought this one with us and didn’t speak the entire car ride (10+ hours) because we were so engrossed in the story. It’s about the 12-day search for Booth after Lincoln’s assassination and it’s SO accessible and easy to listen to.
Douglas Preston’s THE MONSTER OF FLORENCE is also fab. I might be slightly morbid, but I love True Crime. This one is about Italy’s most infamous serial killer & at one point during the research Preston was actually targeted by the police!
THE HOT ZONE by Richard Preston (I don’t believe there’s any relation to Douglas other than being AWESOME non-fic authors!) is terrifying and intense and delves into another morbid soft spot of mine: DEADLY DECEASES. This one will forever and always hold a special place in my heart + always reminds me to wash my hands.
I love a good popsci & MY BELOVED BRONTOSAURUS by Brian Switek was perfect. Easy to understand without being weighed down by technical, unfamiliar terms. Plus, you know, DINOSAURS. Switek does such a fabulous job of separating fact from fiction and although I have always been a dino fan, I hadn’t realized just how much I DIDN’T know.
Kate Summerscale’s MRS. ROBINSON’S DISGRACE is definitely different than the non-fic I tend to pick up, but it completely drew me in. I took this one with me on vacation last year and for the majority of that time I stayed inside our cabin and read. Mrs. Robinson is a Victorian lady who writes some very UN-Victorian things in her diary. With her husband travelling all the time her thoughts wander and she develops a crush on a man. She writes about him and her husband eventually discovers the diary & wants to get a divorce. ONE YEAR before this, divorce had been illegal in England so this trial is A PRETTY BIG DEAL and it really changed the way society thought of woman and sexuality.
Other incredible non-fic authors are Jon Ronson, Erik Larson, Bill Bryson, & Mary Roach. Also, because I’m a bit strange, I LOVE microhistories (GR has an excellent list!) – the history of one particular thing. The history of salt, the history of lobsters, the dictionary, coffee, the number zero. SO FASCINATING!

September 27, 2013 - 9:57 am

Diane Tibert - Thank you for sharing. I love the Muppets and introduced them to the wonderful characters years ago.

The Big Kids’ Table: So Obsessed With Adult Books

Hi friends! How are you doing on this lovely August Friday? Truth be told, I’ve been struggling with how to make Big Kids’ Table exciting and refreshing for you. I have been really conquering the adult reads this year (much like I wanted to last year) and I’m still not sure what makes you tick, […]

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September 22, 2013 - 1:23 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - Hey hey! Do I win the award for worst guest blogger because I just realized I NEVER commented?! Gosh, major fail on my part, E. But thanks so much for having me! I love talking about adult reads – and I’m so glad you love them, too! This is definitely one of my most looked forward to features each month 🙂 I always enjoy seeing what people recommend or what you’ve found at the bookstore!

September 5, 2013 - 8:35 am

Adult Fiction Books | Books With Cass - […] Big Kid’s Table over at Rather Be Reading! I LOVEEE that feature so much! [& myself and Hannah have been featured!] I look forward to it each […]

August 28, 2013 - 11:58 am

Alexa Y. - It’s been quite a while since I’ve cracked open an adult book! But seriously, it was awesome of Hannah to share how she chooses the adult book she buys and to share her three latest suggestions. I’m definitely going to try and follow her tips to see what I can find the next time I’m in a bookstore and ready to buy adult books!

August 27, 2013 - 8:48 am

Jamie - Every since I saw the tweet for this post I’ve been excited to take a look over it when I decided to open that overflowing thing called Feedly! Prior to blogging I ALSO only read adult fic and classics and now I’m sitting here like trying to think about HOW I found out about books back then. I think mostly goodreads and just perusing the store/library. I feel so “in the loop” with YA but so out of the loop when it comes to Adult books unless I’m reading Big Kids Table or I see another YA blogger reading an adult book.

Love this post, Hannah!

August 26, 2013 - 11:46 am

Rachelia (Bookish Comforts) - I love this post! Before I started blogging I used to read a lot more adult book than YA. But mostly the way I decided was just random browsing or buying interesting looking ones at my library’s booksale. Hannah’s method is very useful! I’ve also found myself more interested in adult books since I’ve been browsing on Edelweiss!

August 25, 2013 - 1:46 pm

Sara (of The Page Sage) - I’ve been delving into Adult books more and more lately, so I really love your Big Kids’ Table feature. Because of the price tag, I usually get adult books from my library. I’m a volunteer there, so sometimes I’ll stumble upon something interesting. Other times, I find adult books that are written by YA authors I love, or I see online recs.

August 24, 2013 - 8:46 am

VeganYANerds - I definitely agree with reading a sample due to the price of adult fic compared to YA, and finding a reviewer who you trust to like similar books to you. Good advice, Hannah!

August 23, 2013 - 4:22 pm

Jess, Books and Sensibility - I’ve started to get more and more into Adult fiction. I’m hoping to find more adult fiction blogs.

August 23, 2013 - 4:10 pm

Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit - My adult book recs are almost always from my husband and his family, who read constantly. I’ve found a few authors that I love, like Alice Munro, Audrey Niffenegger, and Nicole Krauss, and I’ll definitely give their new releases a look. Other than that, unless it’s been recommended a thousand times and shoved into my hands by my husband’s family (Haruki Murikami), it’s pretty hard for me to get out of the YA section. It’s just so much more fun there!

August 23, 2013 - 1:31 am

Bookworm1858 - Hope you love A Hundred Summers-I thought it was very enjoyable. Did not like The Ashford Affair as much as Willig’s Pink Carnation series. This post is reminding me that though I always think I read mostly YA, I still sneak in some adult books since I’ve read 2 of the 3 you mention and have at least heard of the third.

The Big Kids’ Table: HACKED by Gone Pecan

We have an emergency situation on our hands! I innocently clicked into this post like I do every single month and SOMEONE WROTE IT FOR ME ALREADY. What is going on here?! Honestly, DAPHNE wasn’t really too careful about disguising herself. She even included a description of herself. AND A PICTURE. So if you see […]

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July 21, 2013 - 9:37 pm

Alexa Y. - Where We Belong is probably the only Giffin book that I haven’t read yet! It does sound quite intriguing though, as I’m always interested in exploring parent-child relationships. Theirs does sound complicated, but that just makes it seem more real and interesting to me!

July 15, 2013 - 12:55 pm

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - So funny, just yesterday (Sunday) someone was recommending Emily Giffin to me. I’ve never read any of her books and since I’ve started reading the adult contemps lately, this friend of mine thought I’d like them. This is twice in two days that I’ve seen her recommended. Also I have Something Borrowed AND Something Blue on my shelves but have NEVER actually removed them from the shelves since I put them there. FOR SHAME. I’m ready for the next Blue Heron book too – I thought The Best Man was really cute. And I’ve heard the Macy Beckett books are really great and Southern so they’re ones that I’ve already got my eye on! This is a great, great Big Kids’ Table. I love it!

July 12, 2013 - 12:45 pm

Sharon @ The Book Barbies - How have I never heard of the Sultry Springs series before? It sounds like it’s right up my alley. ♥

I’m not sure how I feel about the plot of Love Overdue, but I’ll probably wind up reading it! Small towns and librarians? Yes, please!

And hooray for the Kristan Higgins love. ♥ I can’t wait to be back in Blue Heron!

July 12, 2013 - 12:31 pm

Lucy - Nice feature, ladies! You may have convinced me to give Emily Giffin’s books a try. And I agree that Love Overdue does look cute.

July 12, 2013 - 8:19 am

Carrie - I just finished Sultry with a Twist the other day. Definitely a fun book. Intrigued enough to read more. Thanks for the recs!

July 12, 2013 - 8:15 am

Amy @ bookgoonie - I love reading off the Big Kid’s, AKA Adult, table too. I guiltily enjoy reading kissy-swoony scenes.

July 12, 2013 - 8:09 am

Christina @ Allodoxophobia - AHH! I’m dying to read Love Overdue as well, it looks adorable!

The Big Kids’ Table: Summer is the Word

Hiya! I can’t believe I’m doing another one of these so soon, and also halfway through the year with my adult suggestions. It’s funny. During BEA week, many people would ask what kind of blog we run and I realize that for me, adult fiction is my “palette cleanser” whether it’s picking up something more […]

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August 23, 2013 - 12:00 am

The Big Kids' Table: So Obsessed With Adult Books - […] Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams: I spotted this book for the first time in Estelle’s Big Kids’ Table post for June. Once it was on my watch list, I couldn’t stop spotting it everywhere! On display at the […]

June 10, 2013 - 5:12 pm

Alexa Y. - I already told you this, but I hate you and love you for all the awesome adult titles I encounter thanks to this feature on your blog! I don’t get to a lot of them right away, but I certainly think you offer up great selections each and every time. Love that this one is summer-themed!

June 8, 2013 - 8:19 pm

Molli - I love this feature a lot! I read Meg’s debut, How To Eat a Cupcake last year, and I really liked it, so I definitely want to read All The Summer Girls. 🙂

June 7, 2013 - 7:22 pm

SFA - A Constellation of Vital Phenomena which is full of gorgeous prose.

June 7, 2013 - 5:24 pm

Cassie - Ahhh. I LOVE THAT BOOK. It was so beautiful and a messed up yet wonderfully fantastic story. HIGHLYYYY recommend it! Good call by Elena on that. As for the summer titles, BRING EM ONNNNN!

June 7, 2013 - 1:05 pm

Lucy - Love it! I can relate to picking up adult fic as a palette cleanser too 🙂 I have the audio of A Hundred Summers and have heard good things about it. Can’t wait to read all the books Elena recommends too. I bought the hc of Tell the Wolves I’m Home for that awesome cover.
And The Wonder Bread Summer? 1980s LA? Sold!

June 7, 2013 - 11:09 am

elena - thanks for letting me a part of the feature!

those books just scream summer! love! x

June 7, 2013 - 9:26 am

Ginger @ GReads! - Eeeeee! Look at these summer beauties!! All 4 of these would definitely catch my eye at a bookstore. Great finds!

The Big Kids’ Table: Bookstore Table Picks

HELLO! It’s that time again… the moment when we drop our young adult books and pick up something GROWN UP. One of my most successful practices of finding new books is stalking the NEW FICTION table at the bookstore. Everything is paperback (cheaper or maybe enough to buy two?) and there is always so much […]

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July 31, 2014 - 9:02 am

Big Kids' Table: Cassie Takes Charge - […] Cassie, from Books with Cass to the Big Kids’ Table. Last year, she provided a Blogger Rec (if you remember) and today I gave her full reign of July’s feature. Hope you enjoy! […]

September 5, 2013 - 8:35 am

Adult Fiction Books | Books With Cass - […] like The Big Kid’s Table over at Rather Be Reading! I LOVEEE that feature so much! [& myself and Hannah have been featured!] I look forward to it each […]

May 29, 2013 - 11:32 am

Alexa Y. - I love this feature, as I’m always alerted to new books to check out. The books you’ve chosen and the one Cassie picked all sound fantastic, but the one that stands out the most to me is WHY CAN’T I BE YOU. It sounds like a blend of funny and thoughtful, and I certainly want to read it!

May 21, 2013 - 3:24 pm

Maggie, Young Adult Anonymous - Ooh, A Map of Tulsa and The Wisdom of Hair look good. Love this feature!

May 20, 2013 - 9:00 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - I loved Allie Larkin’s first book, Stay, and would definitely recommend it if you haven’t already read it! I laughed out loud numerous times while reading and just found it to be a really fun, quick read.

May 16, 2013 - 6:31 pm

Ginger @ GReads! - If I were to walk in a bookstore & saw any of these lying on the table, I would most definitely want to pick them up & find out what they’re about. Great picks this month!

May 16, 2013 - 11:22 am

Cassie - Pretty sure I’ve looked at all of these at B&N hahah 😉 And some sound PRETTY AWESOME!

May 16, 2013 - 10:45 am

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - I have Reconstructing Amelia on-hold at the library, I’m excited to finally get my hands on it.

And I would definitely recommend Why Can’t I Be You, it’s one of my favorite books of 2013, I absolutely loved it. And Allie Larkin’s first book, Stay, is also really good.