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Category Archives: Monthly Memes

Book Report: Nowhere but Home by Liza Palmer

As promised, friends, we’re trying to continue reading books together so we can chat about them for more Book Reports! As you’ll read below, we were highly, highly encouraged to read Nowhere But Home by some of our very favorite people. See if we agree with them about this adult fiction book! Nowhere but Home by Liza […]

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February 23, 2015 - 8:01 am

Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer | Estelle Reviews - […] Read our joint review of Liza Palmer’s NOWHERE BUT HOME […]

June 5, 2014 - 9:01 am

Big Kids Table: I MAY Be Late... But Book Bloggers Rock - […] but it just so happens I bought a copy of it on the bargain table at B&N. I adored Liza’s Nowhere But Home and I have two of Liza’s older books waiting for me at home. But I think this post reminds […]

November 4, 2013 - 5:37 pm

Alexa Y. - Another ringing endorsement for Nowhere But Home! I’m thinking I really have to get on the boat and read this one too. I loved seeing what you both thought of this story, and it pleases me that you enjoyed it too! That’s FIVE ringing endorsements for me now — and all from people I most definitely trust.

October 28, 2013 - 1:40 pm

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - OH MY GOSH I LOVE THIS TO PIECES, 100000%.
Because I just loved the book so much. And I had hoped that Magan would love the book although I was a bit nervous because she’s so close to the area! YAY for reading it and loving it and this fun review style!!! I don’t think there’s anything I’d change either! I loved Cal and everything that is revealed about his character! Well, I just loved everything.

October 27, 2013 - 12:37 am

Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads - I, too listened to Cassie and picked up a copy :). I love reading your bookish conversations, and this one is no exception! Super excited to read this one, especially after SO many of my trusted blogger buddies love it so much!

October 25, 2013 - 2:10 pm

Lucy - Such a fun book report! I’ve been meaning to read this book for so long. I can tell I’m going to love it. Yay for book pushers 🙂

October 25, 2013 - 8:57 am

Meg - What a fun way to review — I love it! And I really enjoyed this one, too. It was a big, unexpected surprise for me from beginning to end, and it was hard not to like and feel for Queenie. I also found the romance with Everett very believable, and I was sorry to see it end! Even months later, I can vividly remember scenes and passages… the mark of a great story. 🙂

October 25, 2013 - 8:42 am

Cassie - LADIES, LADIES! I am so so so over the moon happy that you both loved this one!!

Everything, like E mentioned was so perfect, and well researched, and it really brought the book to life for me. From the characters to the setting to the trials each person had to face, to finding a jackass [I’m looking at you, Hudson!] It was just so perfect.

THANK YOU for listening to me <3

xoxo

Estelle: Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery

Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery ( web | tweet ) Part of the Fool’s Gold romance series. Publication Date: September 24, 2013 Publisher: Harlequin HQN Pages: 336 Target audience: Adult Keywords: romance, holidays, small town, family Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley! (Thanks!) Summary: Noelle is in the prime season of her […]

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December 4, 2013 - 12:03 am

Christmas On 4th Street | Susan Mallery | Book Review - […] Be Reading – “a real treat whether you are looking for a little holiday pick-me-up” The Book Pushers – “It was sweet and sexy.” Good Bad And Unread – […]

October 6, 2013 - 9:01 am

Shelve It: Paperbacks + Amazon Stories (10/5/13), Estelle - […] Getting into the Christmas spirit early with Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery. […]

October 2, 2013 - 7:45 pm

Ellice - I love a good Christmas-themed book! Last year I let the holidays go by without reading any, but I’m DETERMINED to read a few this year! I haven’t read any Susan Mallery books yet. Would this one make sense as a standalone?

September 30, 2013 - 2:33 pm

Leela @ My world in English - Oooooo I want this book now 🙁 I’m glad that you enjoyed it very much 😀

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.

Book Report: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Last week, we revived our Book Reports with Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller. We got some great feedback from you guys, and really, really enjoy diving into these discussions. Estelle was trying to decide what she should read next and we discussed how great it would be to do a Fangirl Book […]

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May 6, 2015 - 10:58 pm

Young Adult Books & After High School - […] by Tara Kelly | Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty | Fangirl by Rainbow […]

September 22, 2013 - 1:06 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - I loved reading this joint review/chat! And there is something you each said that makes me even more excited to read this book.

E mentioned “finding this balance between your passions and also LIVING,” and then later M said “there needs to be a balance between living in the real world and not allowing this to take over our lives.” Right there? SOLD. Good thing I already bought this one! Time to finally start reading it!

September 18, 2013 - 3:16 am

Alexa Y. - I’m loving this book report too ladies! I agree with a lot of the things you had to say about Fangirl, but I think the aspect that really spoke to me was Cath’s college experience. It certainly reminded me a lot of my own experience as a college freshman, writing classes, awkward moments, holing up in my dorm room and all. That’s what really made the book so relatable to me.

September 14, 2013 - 1:38 pm

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - I love this discussion so much! Not only everything you guys said, which I’m totally on board with for this amazing book, but it just seems like you guys have so much fun. I want a co-blogger!

Magan, I agree with you that the fanfiction was jarring, at the beginning I kind of glossed over it, but by the end I was so invested in what was going to happen to Simon and Baz. I still wish I knew what happened!

September 12, 2013 - 12:42 pm

Lena @ Addicted 2 Novels - You guys are insanely creative. I absolutely love this discussion. FANGIRL is amazeballs, and you guys definitely pointed out every nonspoilery reason why people should pick this book up ASAP.

September 11, 2013 - 7:42 pm

Bookworm1858 - Of course, I liked this book a lot but the way the fanfiction was mixed in still made it my least favorite Rowell book. I found the other sections a bit choppy and got a bit confused at times whether I was reading the fanfic or the actual fic.

September 11, 2013 - 5:15 pm

Alisa Selene - I loved this book as well! Rainbow Rowell is easily becoming one of my all time favorite authors!

September 11, 2013 - 10:32 am

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - Another wonderful discussion! I am definitely loving these posts, and hope you continue them.

I loved Fangirl so much. It was kind of scary, how much I related to Cath, and it seems like most readers have identified with Cath, too.

Rainbow really knows how to create realistic characters, and tell their stories.

September 11, 2013 - 9:03 am

Stormy - I love this type of review/conversation format, and it’s definitely making me want to go and pick up Fangirl even more now! I’m really excited to meet Cath, Levi, and Reagan. I know a lot of people said the fanfiction excerpts were a bit jarring, so I’m interested to see if they effect me the same way. All in all, though, from reviews I’ve read it seems that a lot of Cath’s college experience might be similar to my freshman year experience, and I’m very eager to explore it.

Book Report: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Hello, friends! It’s been a long, long while (over a year!) since we’ve done a joint review (aka: book report around here) together. How this works is we each read the same book and have a nice, long chat about it. We really try not to be spoilery, and if we think something might be, […]

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September 30, 2014 - 11:52 am

Fifteen Must-Read Tough Subject Books - […] Where the Stars Still Shine — mental/emotional abuse MC suffered from mother’s instability […]

February 27, 2014 - 8:00 am

We're Celebrating Our Friendiversary! - […] this has caused me to withdraw a bit from life to focus on the chaos. What I loved most about Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller was how Kat, Callie’s cousin and self-imposed BFF, pursued Callie. Callie was a very distant […]

September 23, 2013 - 11:08 pm

Genevieve - The more I hear about this book, the more I want to run out and buy it, and I almost never buy books when they first come out. I love reading about family dynamics and this review has me really excited to read about this fascinating-sounding family!

And I hope you do more joint reviews in the future! I think it’s easier to come up with things you might not think about otherwise when you’re talking with someone else. Makes me kind of wish I had a coblogger to write joint reviews with. 😀

September 22, 2013 - 1:11 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - OH MY GOODNESS STOP RIGHT NOW. I’m so glad I’m reading this now and not like a month ago since it comes out on Tuesday. Whew! Thank goodness! Y’all have made me even more excited for this release! (PS Pleeeeeeasse keep doing more of these joint reviews. LOVE THEM SO MUCH.)

September 18, 2013 - 3:02 am

Alexa Y. - YAY FOR A BOOK REPORT! Loved what you gals had to say about Where the Stars Still Shine, particularly since it felt like I was sitting there listening to you chat. I agree with many things you’ve said about this book, particularly when it came to Callie and her dad. I think, overall, that’s probably my favorite part of this one!

September 11, 2013 - 8:01 am

Book Report: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - […] week, we revived our Book Reports with Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller. We got some great feedback from you guys, and really, really enjoy diving into these discussions. […]

September 5, 2013 - 3:18 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I loved your discussion of WtSSS! It was really entertaining, but I also feel like I got a great sense of the book. I haven’t read this one or Something Like Normal, although I picke dup SLN last year. It’s collecting dust on my shelf 🙂

I’m definitely going to check this one out. I’m very curious about Greg, Kat and Alex 🙂

September 5, 2013 - 5:56 am

molly @ wrapped up in books - I love the back and forth style of the joint reviews! WtSSS is one of my favorites from this year so far. I’m like you guys, I just wanted more! This book stayed with me for a long time after reading it, and that doesn’t always happen to me.

September 4, 2013 - 9:17 pm

Bookworm1858 - Love the format for this (your pictures make a nice touch!) I only skimmed since I haven’t read this yet and I’m trying to enter it fairly blind about the events but I’m really excited to see that the length helps develop the story better. I thought SLN was too short and could have used a few more pages to deepen everything.

September 4, 2013 - 1:58 pm

Candice @ The Grown-Up YA - This convo rocks! I kept feeling like I needed to jump in but… couldn’t because I was reading it. 🙂

This is my first Trish Dollar book – which isn’t hard since she only has 2! – but I absolutely LOVED it! I was a little nervous about the sex because I had just come off reading another YA book where the sex was wildly over the top but this… wow. It just made me feel like it was super romantic while at the same time being super hot. I was a little back and forth with Greg. On the one hand I felt for him OH SO MUCH but on the other I didn’t quite feel like I got him. However, the scene where he takes Callie to the house? Oh I got teary! Alex was such a strong character for me because there was more to him than met the eye. I loved his “secret” even though it broke my heart.

Great review/discussion ladies! Would love to see more like these!

September 4, 2013 - 8:47 am

Ginger @ GReads! - I LOVE what you guys did with this review. The convo back & forth was so much fun to read. I literally felt like I was sitting here with you guys, just listening, hehe. Oh this book. THIS BOOK. There’s a special place in my heart for it (& Trish too!). All of the elements you picked out, especially Greg, are some of my favorites, too. I agree that Trish pushed the limits with this one, but never made it uncomfortable. I think the best kinds of books are the ones that leave us thinking long after we’ve finished them. So happy to see that both of you enjoyed this one so much!

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.