The Big Kids’ Table: Five Fiction Picks (October)

The Big Kids' Table: Rather Be Reading monthly feature on fiction and non-fiction titles to check out.
The Big Kids’ Table is a monthly feature from Rather Be Reading Blog,
where we take a tiny break from the young adult genre to shed some light on
five adult titles you may want to add to your reading list.

 ↔

And we are embarking on the fall! I can’t believe it.

So I picked up a few grown up books in the past few weeks, but I am really really excited about the titles we are featuring this month: one by a YA author you may know, a historical fic, folks dealing with big issues, and a book about a blogger!

The works!

As always I’d love to hear what you are reading and loving at the moment! Thanks for stopping in!

↔

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova (Goodreads)
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Description from GR: Two women, each cast adrift by unforseen events in their lives, meet by accident on a Nantucket beach and are drawn into a friendship. Olivia is a young mother whose eight-year-old severely autistic son has recently died. Her marriage badly frayed by years of stress, she comes to the island in a trial separation to try and make sense of the tragedy of her Anthony’s short life. Beth, a stay-at-home mother of three, is also recently separated after discovering her husband’s long-term infidelity. In an attempt to recapture a sense of her pre-married life, she rekindles her passion for writing, determined to find her own voice again. But surprisingly, as she does so, Beth also find herself channeling the voice of an unknown boy, exuberant in his perceptions of the world around him if autistic in his expression—a voice she can share with Olivia—(is it Anthony?)—that brings comfort and meaning to them both.

The Confidant by Helene Gremillon (Goodreads)
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Description from GR: Paris, 1975. Camille sifts through letters of condolence after her mother’s death when a strange, handwritten missive stops her short. At first she believes she received it by mistake. But then, a new letter arrives each week from a mysterious stranger, Louis, who seems intent on recounting the story of his first love, Annie. They were separated in the years before World War II when Annie befriended a wealthy, barren couple and fell victim to a merciless plot just as German troops arrive in Paris. But also awaiting Camille’s discovery is the other side of the story, which will call into question Annie’s innocence and reveal the devastating consequences of jealousy and revenge. As Camille reads on, she begins to realize that her own life may be the next chapter in this tragic story.

The Air We Breathe By Christa Parrish (Goodreads)
Release Date: November 1, 2012
Description from GR: Seventeen-year-old Molly Fisk does not go outside. She’s ruled by anxiety and only feels safe in the tiny tourist-town museum she and her mother run and call home. Yearning to live free but unable to overcome deep wounds from her past, she stays hidden away. Then the chance arrival of a woman Molly knew six years ago changes everything. Six years ago, newly single Claire Rodriguez was an empty shell. Only in the unique friendship she strikes up with a young girl–a silent girl who’ll only talk to Claire–does she see the possibility of healing. But one day the girl and her mother vanish, their house abandoned. What happened that drove them away? And how can Claire now offer Molly the same chance at finding a life anew?

Collateral by Ellen Hopkins (Goodreads)
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Description from GR: Written in Hopkins’s stunning poetic verse style, Collateral centers on Ashley, an MFA student at San Diego State University. She grew up reading books and never dreamed she would become a military wife. One night she meets a handsome soldier named Cole. He doesn’t match the stereotype of the aggressive military man. He’s passionate and romantic. He even writes poetry. Their relationship evolves into a sexually charged love affair that goes on for five years and survives four deployments. Cole wants Ashley to marry him, but when she meets another man, a professor with similar pursuits and values, she begins to see what life might be like outside the shadow of war.

Something New by Janis Thomas (Goodreads)
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Description from GR: Ellen Ivers has it all: a nice house, great kids, and a husband who loves her no matter how much she’s let herself go. There’s just one problem: Ellen is completely, utterly bored. Maybe it’s a mid-life crisis, or maybe it’s just time to make a change. Ellen starts taking care of herself and decides to start trying new things. As the pounds melt away and she begins to feel more comfortable in her own skin, Ellen’s cousin prompts the former writer to enter a blog competition.

At first Ellen is hesitant; after all, what exactly is she supposed to write about? But soon the words start flowing and Ellen gains confidence, in part because of the attention she’s getting from her cousin’s new neighbor, handsome detective Ben Campbell. Both Ellen and Ben are married with kids, and they know their friendship is heading down a dangerous path. As her attraction to Ben grows and her blog starts attracting a lot of interest, everything else in Ellen’s world begins to unravel. Now, she finds herself wondering if the life she has is what she really wants, or if something new is exactly what she needs…

The Big Kids’ Table: 5 Adult Reads from Rather Be Reading (September 2012)

The Big Kids' Table, Rather Be Reading Blog's monthly break from young adult genre and introduction to some adult titles

The Big Kids’ Table is a monthly feature from Rather Be Reading Blog,
where we
take a tiny break from the young adult genre to shed some light on
five adult titles you may want to add to your reading list.

↔

Can you believe it’s the second week in September already? I woke up this morning to 54-degree weather, had to blow dry my hair, and wear a jacket. This has not happened in forever! With fall close by, I’m so excited about curling up with a latte and a few billion books as the months get colder over here. As far as my adult fiction picks are concerned, I am mighty excited about these titles and I think that if you are a young adult reader who may be itching to try something new but remain unsure… one of these books might be a good place to start! (One of these authors is actually super well-known in the YA world too!)

Please be sure to let me know if you have any great adult recs in the comments! Until next time… e

Laura Lamont's Life in PicturesLaura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub (Goodreads)
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Description (from GR): In 1920, Elsa Emerson, the youngest and blondest of three sisters, is born in idyllic Door County, Wisconsin. Her family owns the Cherry County Playhouse, and more than anything, Elsa relishes appearing onstage, where she soaks up the approval of her father and the embrace of the audience. But when tragedy strikes her family, her acting becomes more than a child¹s game of pretend.

While still in her teens, Elsa marries and flees to Los Angeles. There she is discovered by Irving Green, one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood, who refashions her as a serious, exotic brunette and renames her Laura Lamont. Irving becomes Laura’s great love; she becomes an Academy Award­-winning actress—and a genuine movie star. Laura experiences all the glamour and extravagance of the heady pinnacle of stardom in the studio-system era, but ultimately her story is a timeless one of a woman trying to balance career, family, and personal happiness, all while remaining true to herself. 

Finding Bluefield by Elan BarnehamaFinding Bluefield by Elan Barnehama (Goodreads)
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Description (from GR): Everything changes when Barbara enters Nicky’s diner and begins a journey that will last a lifetime as she falls in love against her better judgment and best-laid plans. The free-spirited Nicky later attends the 1963 March on Washington and impulsively and anonymously sleeps with a man in hopes of getting pregnant and starting a family with Barbara. When Nicky gives birth to Paul, her sister steps in to adopt Paul for his own “protection.”

Nicky, Barbara, and Paul escape Bluefield and make a life in upstate New York, only returning to Bluefield years later upon hearing of the death of Nicky’s sister. As their journey comes full circle, Barbara, Paul, and Nicky find their return to Bluefield is the catalyst for facing family secrets and forging family ties.

How I Came to Sparkle Again by Kate McLarenHow I Came to Sparkle Again by Kaya McLaren (Goodreads)
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Description (from GR):  Jill Anthony spent her young adulthood in the ski town of Sparkle, Colorado.  But more than a decade has passed since she left when, only weeks after a very late miscarriage, she finds her husband in bed with another woman, she flees Austin, Texas for the town she knows:  Sparkle.

Lisa Carlucci wakes up one morning after another night of meaningless sex, looks in the mirror and realizes that she no longer wants to treat her body like a Holiday Inn. She’s going to hold out for love.  The only problem is, love might come in the form of her ski bum best friend, who lives next door with his ski bum friends in a trailer known as “the Kennel.”

Cassie Jones, at age ten, has lost her mother to cancer and no longer believes in anything anymore.  She knows her father is desperately worried about her, and she constantly looks for messages from her deceased mother through the heart-shaped rocks they once collected in the streams and hills of Sparkle. 

Three people at the crossroads of heartbreak and healing. Three lives that will be changed one winter in Sparkle.  One tender, funny, tear-jerking novel you won’t soon forget.

Sad Desk Salad by Jessica GroseSad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose (Goodreads)
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Description (from GR): Alex Lyons gets paid to be a bitch. As writer for Chick Habit, a website for women and one of the most popular blogs on the Internet, she’s fulfilling her dream of being a professional writer. Maybe she’s not quite championing the women’s rights issues she used to write about in college-but Alex churns out several posts a day, beginning with hard news at 8 am (a meth-addicted former beauty queen, perfect); morning and evening gossip roundups; and especially juicy posts for blog primetime , when women in their offices all over both coasts eat their sad desk salads.

So what if it means burrowing into the couch while her boyfriend is at work, compulsively scouring the Web from 6 am until 6 pm to find the next big celebrity scandal, and only moving for five minutes to grab a sad couch salad of her own…but the last time she left her computer for more than 10 minutes, Farrah Fawcett died, and she missed the scoop. It’s a chick-eat-chick world; and since Chick Habit’s parent company has been cracking down about page views, Alex knows her job is at risk.

So when an anonymous tipster sends Alex the juiciest scoop of the year-a politico’s squeaky-clean Ivy League daughter caught in the act of some very R-rated activity-it’s a no-brainer. As she prepares to ignite the next Internet feeding frenzy, she hesitates: is she ready to ruin the girl’s life? What Alex doesn’t anticipate is how the big scoop will send her own life spiraling out of control.

The Elementals by Francesca Lia BlockThe Elementals by Francesca Lia Block (Goodreads)
Release Date: October 12, 2012
Description (from GR):  The Elementals  is on one level an intriguing coming-of-age novel about a young woman, Ariel Silverman, facing the challenges of her first years away at college in Berkeley, California, while her mother battles cancer at home in Los Angeles. But the book takes on deeper, stranger meanings when we realize that Ariel is haunted by the disappearance of her best friend, Jeni, who vanished without a trace a few years before, closing Ariel’s heart and changing her forever.  Ariel wonders if she will ever be fully alive, until she meets three mysterious, beautiful and seductive young people living in a strange old house in the Berkeley hills.  Through them Ariel will unravel the mystery of her best friend’s disappearance and face a chilling choice.

The Big Kids’ Table: Adult Fiction/Non-Fic Picks (8/12)

I can’t believe summer is more than halfway over already. Any minute New York is going to be decking the halls with holiday decor. (I’m not kidding.) Let’s focus on the book, shall we? Here are a handful of upcoming adult releases I discovered in the pages of Publishers Weekly. They sound like winners to me! What do you think?

Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl (Goodreads)
Genre: romance Publication Date: August 28th, 2012
hy I picked it: I believe Dahl is a friend of Jennifer Echols’ & there’s a cowboy. Enough said.
GR Description: Can a city girl make it in the wild, wild West? For makeup artist Grace Barrett, Hollywood is less the land of golden opportunity and more the land of difficult divas, cheating boyfriends and unemployment. So when her great-aunt offers her a free place to stay in Jackson Hole, Grace thinks she’ll spend a little time in the sticks to figure out her life, and then move somewhere exciting to live out her dreams. But it turns out that there are a few more thrills in this small town than Grace was expecting…. Cole Rawlins is a rugged Wyoming cowboy born and bred. Yet he can’t help but be drawn to the fascinating big-city girl who moves in across from him. As they discover a sizzling attraction, it’s Grace who finds herself surprised. Cole’s the only man who’s ever dared to get close enough to see through her tough facade. And his mysterious past only makes him sexier.

Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Rubick (Goodreads)
Genre: Historical Fiction Publication Date: September 4th, 2012
Why I picked it: Hemingway, literary genius, and setting: Key West. Perfection.
GR Description: In Depression-era Key West, Mariella Bennet, the daughter of an American fisherman and a Cuban woman, knows hunger. Her struggle to support her family following her father’s death leads her to a bar and bordello, where she bets on a risky boxing match…and attracts the interest of two men: world-famous writer, Ernest Hemingway, and Gavin Murray, one of the WWI veterans who are laboring to build the Overseas Highway.

Broadway Tails by Bill Beloni (Goodreads)
Genre: theater non-fiction Publication Date: September 4, 2012
What I picked it: This is such a cute premise & I love how animals found a better life as part of the theater.
GR Description: In this heartwarming book, he tells the true stories of “throw-away” animals who came back to work with some of entertainment’s biggest names, names like Bernadette Peters, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mike Nichols, the New York City Ballet, and many more. This updated edition includes an account of Berloni’s search for the newest Sandy to star with everyone’s favorite red-headed orphan.

Losing My Sister by Judy Goldman (Goodreads)
Genre: Memoir Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Why I picked it: Siblings and emotional overload. There’s nothing like a hard hitting memoir.
GR Description: Goldman’s was an idyllic childhood, charmed even, filled with parental love and sisterly confidences. Growing up in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Judy and her older sister, Brenda, did everything together. Though it was clear from an early age that their personalities were very different (Judy was the “sweet” one, Brenda, the “strong” one), they continued to be fairly inseparable into adulthood. But the love between sisters is complex. Though Judy and Brenda remained close, Goldman recalls struggling to break free of her prescribed role as the agreeable little sister and to assert herself even as she built her own life and started a family. The sisters’ relationship became further strained by the illnesses and deaths of their parents, and later, by the discovery that each had tumors in their breasts—Judy’s benign, Brenda’s malignant. The two sisters came back together shortly before the possibility of permanent loss became very real.

She Matters: A Life of Friendships by Susana Sonnenberg (Goodreads)
Genre: memoir
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Why I picked it: Her Last Death, by Sonnenberg, was one of the most engaging (and devastating) memoirs I ever read. Can’t wait to pick up another book by her.
GR Description: Childhood friendships, friendships with older women, friendships that play out with the passion and intensity of love affairs, the friendships between new mothers–each has its own subtleties, its own lessons that Sonnenberg examines and understands with astounding acuity. Sonnenberg’s style is investigative and ruminative; the result is candid and fearlessly observed portraits of the nuances and complexities of friendships that become universally recognizable.

The Big Kids’ Table: Adult Fiction Picks (7/12)

Why, good afternoon, friends! Hope you are doing well! Just a few more hours before the weekend can begin! I know I’m looking forward to it! It seems like forever since I did one of these, but here I am back to give you a few adult fiction suggestions for your reading lists. This one is going to be a little bit different because I’m kicking things off with a bonus v-log!

The treasures I mentioned:

Jack 1939 by Francine Mathews (Goodreads) — July 5th release
What the Nanny Saw by Fiona Neill (Goodreads) — August 2nd release
City of Women by David Gillham (Goodreads) — August 7th release

Thanks to Lydia at Penguin for providing me with the above titles!

All Summer Long by Susan Mallery (RatherBeReadingblog.com)

All Summer Long by Susan Mallery (Goodreads) — July 31st release
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green  (Goodreads) — August 21st release

Have you cross the realm into adult fiction lately? Anything worth noting?

The Big Kids’ Table: Sweet Summertime Reads Edition


Hope you all are doing well! I’m back with another helping of Big Kids’ Table… this month’s is part of Sweet Summertime Reads, a feature we are hosting along with Ginger (Ginger Reads Books) and Tara (Fiction Folio). I know a lot of our readers mostly stick to young adult but I’m hoping to get more of you to dabble in adult fiction at the same time! It’s good to switch it up, I promise!

So here are a few more books that are making their grand debut this summer:

Inside by Alix Ohlin ( Amazon | Goodreads)
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Amazon Summary:  When Grace, an exceedingly competent and devoted therapist in Montreal, stumbles across a man who has just failed to hang himself, her instinct to help kicks in immediately. Before long, however, she realizes that her feelings for this charismatic, extremely guarded stranger are far from straightforward. In the meantime, her troubled teenage patient, Annie, runs away from home and soon will reinvent herself in New York as an aspiring and ruthless actress, as unencumbered as humanly possible by any personal attachments. And Mitch, Grace’s ex-husband, who is a therapist as well, leaves the woman he’s desperately in love with to attend to a struggling native community in the bleak Arctic.
Why I want to read it: I like stories abou therapists… and all of these characters seem incredibly engaging. (Plus, how awesome is that cover?)

Sorority Sisters by Claudia Welch ( Amazon | Goodreads )
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Amazon Summary: In 1975, trying to find a place to belong, four young women found each other in the same sorority pledge class. Through parties and pranks; finals and skipped classes; boyfriends and break-ups, they forge a bond that takes them by surprise. No one expected it to last beyond college graduation. But some bonds are too strong to break.
Why I want to read it: I’m not a huge fan of soroities but I do like books about the friendships of women.


We Only Know So Much
by Elizabeth Crane ( Amazon | Goodreads )
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Amazon Summary: Jean Copeland, an emotionally withdrawn wife and mother of two, has taken a secret lover—only to lose him in a moment of tragedy that leaves her reeling. Her husband, Gordon, is oblivious, distracted by the fear that he’s losing his most prized asset: his memory. Daughter Priscilla (a pill since birth—don’t get us started) is talking about clothes, or TV, or whatever, and hatching a plan to extend her maddening reach to all of America. Nine-year-old Otis is torn between his two greatest loves: crossword puzzles and his new girlfriend.

At the back of the house, grandfather Theodore is in the early throes of Parkinson’s disease. (And he’s fine with it—as long as they continue to let him walk the damn dog alone.) And Vivian, the family’s ninety-eight-year-old matriarch, is a razor-sharp grande dame who suffers no fools…and still harbors secret dreams of her own.
Why I want to read it: I know, it’s a cheating book but… I happen to like those for some reason. I think I just like reading about a lot of different marriages.

America, You Sexy Bitch by Meghan McCain & Michael Ian Black ( Amazon | Goodreads)
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Amazon Summary: In America, You Sexy Bitch, Meghan and Michael embark on a balls-out, cross-country tour starting in California, the heart of liberal America, and ending in the state of Connecticut, the home of blue-blood Wall Street billionaires. Along the way, they visit such cultural touchstones as Graceland and Branson, party in Las Vegas and New Orleans, pretend to be Mormon in Salt Lake City (only for a second), and go to a mosque in Dearborn, Michigan. They tour the nation’s capital; they fire semiautomatic weapons. But mostly Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black talk to each other: about their differences, their similarities, and how American politics has gotten so divided.

Why I want to read it: Despite my politics, I really like Meghan McCain and very much enjoyed her first book: Dirty Sexy Politics. I’m very curious to see how this second book holds up.

When In Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison ( Amazon | Goodreads )
Release Date: July 17, 2012
Amazon Description: As far as Gemma is concerned, her days of dating are over. In fact, it’s her job to cater other peoples’ dates, and that’s just fine by her. At thirty-seven, she has her own business, working as a private chef, and her life feels full and secure. She’s got six steady clients that keep her hands full.

There’s Lex, the fussy but fabulous department store owner who loves Oysters Rockefeller and 1950s comfort food; Willa, who needs to lose weight under doctor’s orders but still believes butter makes everything better; a colorful family who may or may not be part of the Russian mob; an überwealthy Georgetown family; the picture-perfect Van Houghtens, whose matriarch is “allergic to everything”; and finally, a man she calls “Mr. Tuesday,” whom she has never met but who she is strangely drawn to.

For Gemma, cooking is predictable. Recipes are certain. Use good ingredients, follow the directions, and you are assured success. Life, on the other hand, is full of variables. So when Gemma’s takes an unexpected turn on a road she always thought was straight and narrow, she must face her past and move on in ways she never would have imagined. Because sometimes in life, all you need is a little hope, a lot of courage, and—oh yes—butter.
Why I want to read it: A love story, some baking… what could be better?

The Big Kids’ Table: Adult Fiction Picks (May)

Take it from me, sometimes you just need a little adult fiction to pep up your reading list. I just read Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins and it was refreshing! Here are a few of my picks for this month. I think it’s the best list yet. Perfect timing for vacations and summer break and all that fun stuff.

The House of Velvet & Glass by Katherine Howe (Goodreads | Amazon)
Publication Date: April 10, 2012
Amazon Description: An entrancing historical novel set in Boston in 1915, where a young woman stands on the cusp of a new century, torn between loss and love, driven to seek answers in the depths of a crystal ball. 

Still reeling from the deaths of her mother and sister on the Titanic, Sibyl Allston is living a life of quiet desperation with her taciturn father and scandal-plagued brother in an elegant town house in Boston’s Back Bay. Trapped in a world over which she has no control, Sibyl flees for solace to the parlor of a table-turning medium.

But when her brother is suddenly kicked out of Harvard under mysterious circumstances and falls under the sway of a strange young woman, Sibyl turns for help to psychology professor Benton Derby, despite the unspoken tensions of their shared past. As Benton and Sibyl work together to solve a harrowing mystery, their long-simmering spark flares to life, and they realize that there may be something even more magical between them than a medium’s scrying glass.

From the opium dens of Boston’s Chinatown to the opulent salons of high society, from the back alleys of colonial Shanghai to the decks of the Titanic, The House of Velvet and Glass weaves together meticulous period detail, intoxicating romance, and a final shocking twist that will leave readers breathless.

Why I want to read it: I’m not normally a fan of historical fiction but I couldn’t pass this one up because if its Titanic connection. So maybe it’ll make me a fan.

The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service by Beth Kendrick (Goodreads | Amazon)
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Description from author’s website:  Lara Madigan has a gift. She can help you find your soulmate—your canine soulmate, that is. As a dog trainer with a soft spot for strays, she’s found perfect homes for sulky Shih Tzus,  broken-down Border collies, and diabolical Dalmatians. But while she’ll always make room for one more rescue mutt, she’s not sure she’s ready to commit to another human being. Especially after her live-in boyfriend drops the bomb: He’s not a dog person.

Horrified and temporarily homeless, Lara and her furry pack move in with her mother, a wealthy fashionista who forbids even a single drop of drool. As word gets around the exclusive gated community, Lara is overwhelmed with demands for her services. A model wants personal training for her overweight “flabrador”; an aging socialite preps her pedigreed puppy for dog show domination… If Lara can survive the breakup, the outrageous requests of her high-maintenance clientele, and her dogs’ systematically destruction of her mother’s McMansion, she might finally find the rescue dog who rescues her in return– leading her straight to the guy who could be her perfect match.

Why I want to read it: You can’t get cuter than puppies.

Saving Ruth by Zoe Fishman (Goodreads | Amazon)
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Amazon Description: When Ruth returns home to the South for the summer after her freshman year at college, a near tragedy pushes her to uncover family truths and take a good look at the woman she wants to become.

Growing up in Alabama, all Ruth Wasserman wanted was to be a blond Baptist cheerleader. But as a curly-haired Jew with a rampant sweet tooth and a smart mouth, this was an impossible dream. Not helping the situation was her older brother, David—a soccer star whose good looks, smarts, and popularity reigned at school and at home. College provided an escape route and Ruth took it.

Now home for the summer, she’s back lifeguarding and coaching alongside David, and although the job is the same, nothing else is. She’s a prisoner of her low self-esteem and unhealthy relationship with food, David is closed off and distant in a way he’s never been before, and their parents are struggling with the reality of an empty nest. When a near drowning happens on their watch, a storm of repercussions forces Ruth and David to confront long-ignored truths about their town, their family, and themselves.

Why I want to read it: Sounds intense. That could be a good thing.

Shelter by Francis Greenslave (Goodreads | Amazon)
Publication Date: May 15, 2012
Amazon Description: For sisters Maggie and Jenny growing up in the Pacific mountains in the early 1970s, life felt nearly perfect. Seasons in their tiny rustic home were peppered with wilderness hikes, building shelters from pine boughs and telling stories by the fire with their doting father and beautiful, adventurous mother. But at night, Maggie—a born worrier—would count the freckles on her father’s weathered arms, listening for the peal of her mother’s laughter in the kitchen, and never stop praying to keep them all safe from harm. Then her worst fears come true: Not long after Maggie’s tenth birthday, their father is killed in a logging accident, and a few months later, their mother abruptly drops the girls at a neighbor’s house, promising to return. She never does.

With deep compassion and sparkling prose, Frances Greenslade’s mesmerizing debut takes us inside the devastation and extraordinary strength of these two girls as they are propelled from the quiet, natural freedom in which they were raised to a world they can’t begin to fathom. Even as the sisters struggle to understand how their mother could abandon them, they keep alive the hope that she is fighting her way back to the daughters who adore her and who need her so desperately.

Why I want to read it: Sister story. Should I say more?

Gold by Chris Cleave (Goodreads | Amazon)
Publication Date: July 3, 2012
Amazon Description: KATE AND ZOE met at nineteen when they both made the cut for the national training program in track cycling—a sport that demands intense focus, blinding exertion, and unwavering commitment. They are built to exploit the barest physical and psychological edge over equally skilled rivals, all of whom are fighting for the last one tenth of a second that separates triumph from despair.

Now at thirty-two, the women are facing their last and biggest race: the 2012 Olympics. Each wants desperately to win gold, and each has more than a medal to lose.

Kate is the more naturally gifted, but the demands of her life have a tendency to slow her down. Her eight-year-old daughter Sophie dreams of the Death Star and of battling alongside the Rebels as evil white blood cells ravage her personal galaxy—she is fighting a recurrence of the leukemia that nearly killed her three years ago. Sophie doesn’t want to stand in the way of her mum’s Olympic dreams, but each day the dark forces of the universe seem to be massing against her.

Devoted and self-sacrificing Kate knows her daughter is fragile, but at the height of her last frenzied months of training, might she be blind to the most terrible prognosis?

Intense, aloof Zoe has always hovered on the periphery of real human companionship, and her compulsive need to win at any cost has more than once threatened her friendship with Kate—and her own sanity. Will she allow her obsession, and the advantage she has over a harried, anguished mother, to sever the bond they have shared for more than a decade?

Why I want to read it: Friendship, sports, and I have yet to read anything by Chris Cleave but I heard great things!

Does anyone have any suggestions for us? Would love to hear them!