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Big Kids’ Table: 2014 Reflections

Another year almost done. Are they all going to go as fast as this one? I sure hope not because I think part of my brain is still hanging out in the spring. Ha! It’s been another interesting year of Big Kids’ Table feature. Unlike many other blog features I see, I still haven’t been […]

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December 18, 2014 - 12:36 am

Cee - I have the Rosie Project and Me Before You on my TBR list since like forever. I have Me Before You on my shelf rn, and I feel sooo guilty that I haven’t read it yet. I really need the desire to read them to hit me ASAP. I just want it—humor and emotions. Give it to me!

December 16, 2014 - 10:48 pm

Stephanie at The Insouciant Sophisticate - What did take you so long with The Rosie Project and Me Before You? Haha. Such great reads and two of my personal recent faves.

December 16, 2014 - 12:36 pm

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) - I think my favorite thing about Big Kids’ Table is that no two posts are ever the same! I’ve loved it hard every time I’ve seen it and I’m sure I’ll love it so much every time I see it in the future. I added a couple to my to-read on Goodreads and a few on my library list as well. Once again, thank you for bringing a few titles to my attention that I had never seen before (: Burial Rites was one of my two favorites this year, so glad you enjoyed it.

December 15, 2014 - 3:31 pm

Daphne - I can’t wait to get to goodreads & do some adding to the TBR.

December 15, 2014 - 2:06 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I’ve never read A Little Princess, but it’s been on my TBR for ages! And The Rosie Project was just so good right. I should read Her Holiday Man!

December 15, 2014 - 10:20 am

Brianna - A bunch of these are on my to read list. It took me a while to get into After I Do, but I ended up loving it.

December 15, 2014 - 9:39 am

Leah - I STILL haven’t read The Rosie Project! A sin of the worst kind, I know – especially since I have it on my shelf! It’s also killing me since I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about it (and even BILL GATES recently mentioned how much he loves the sequel). No excuses.
I fell HARD for Jojo in 2013 and this year was all about going through her backlist. So far I’ve read four (and own three others) and have absolutely loved every single one.
I SPY A HOLIDAY NOVEL. Someday I’ll give it and finally take the plunge. Your mini-reviews had me ready to dive in!
A coworker loved – LOVED! – The Good Girl and I’m super eager to get my hands on some Taylor Jenkins Reid!
Still delighted you loved STN so much (and thinking of the next book to push on you ♥!). Burial Rites is another book I bought because so many bloggers loved it…and never made time for it. It feels like the perfect novel for cold winter nights though.

Eclectic Picks from Publishers Weekly | Big Kids’ Table

Happy Halloween! Let’s talk boo-boo-books! 😉 It’s been awhile since I picked up an issue of Publishers Weekly and scouted out some good titles. Last week’s issue made it pretty easy for me to pick out some new-to-me titles (some of yet won’t be out until 2015). Like anything else, there’s no telling if a […]

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November 26, 2014 - 11:20 am

Alexa S. - This really is an eclectic bunch of books! I do love the variety of stories and characters that I “met” through this post a whole lot, though I think I’m likely to actually pick up and read The Precious One!

October 31, 2014 - 12:39 pm

Leah - Sydney Strauss is my new BFF. Obscure fruit hybrids, food journalism, farmers markets. yep, definitely keeping an eye out for this one!! This book actually reminds me a lot of Paige Shelton’s Farmer’s Market mystery series if, you know, you swap out the romance for some good ol’ murder.

I grabbed Vanessa and Her Sister from ng a while back but haven’t read it yet! Do you think you’ll read this one? If so, I’d love to hear what you think!

Country music and cowboys is a perfect combo indeed. While I love the idea of cowboy romance novels, I’m a little ashamed to admit I haven’t read one yet! Should this one be my intro?

Bonita Avenue‘s cover is s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g…but the professor of math part scares me, E. 🙁

Okay, so I haven’t read anything from de los Santos before, but I know her covers like the back of my hand. We see her stuff a LOT at work and she’s always a good seller. This new book sounds like something I could see myself reading!

October 31, 2014 - 10:51 am

Brianna - They all look good. I have an ARC of Vanessa and Her Sister. I may have to bump it to the top of the list.

Big Kids’ Table: Leah + Her Pretty Good Book Jar

Hello, reading buddies! It’s been awhile — I skipped last month, eek — but don’t worry, I’m back and even better I’m back with a huge book enthusiast who reviews “big kid” books all the time on her blog: The Pretty Good Gatsby. Leah is better than “pretty good”. Magnificent? Enthusiastic? Smart, awesome, lovely, and […]

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December 15, 2014 - 10:31 am

Big Kids' Table | The Best and Most Surprising of 2014 - […] Leah shares her book jar; this idea is so much fun. […]

October 8, 2014 - 11:14 pm

Alexa S. - First, BOOK JAR! That sounds like an amazing idea – and one I miiiiight have to take inspiration from. Second, I can’t wait to read The Rosie Project! I’ve had it for a while, but have been holding off. Third, PIONEER GIRL! That book sounds FANTASTIC. Will definitely have to check it out as I was a HUGE Laura Ingalls Wilder fan.

October 3, 2014 - 8:37 am

Jamie - LOVED The Rosie Project!!! (which reminds me that The Rosie Effect came out or is coming out soon). I hope you love it, too! Also haven’t heard of the other ones but definitely checking them out. I’ve always read adult fiction but since blogging YA became my main thang but I’ve been reading a lot more adult fiction and craving it more lately so I’m glad to have some books to look at!

September 28, 2014 - 10:25 pm

Jess - I like the way you fold-up the papers in your book jar post. These are some great picks that I’ve seen around. The Rosie Project sounds like a fun read.

September 28, 2014 - 6:02 pm

Leah - YAAAAAAY! ♥♥ MWAH!

um just so no one freaks out, the cat is legit. I’m not a cat burglar (HA!). His name is Leo & he’s a sweetheart.

September 28, 2014 - 12:24 pm

Sue - Love the idea of a book jar! Happy reading 🙂

Big Kids’ Table: My Romance Novel “Guidelines”

Hiya! Welcome to the first Big Kids’ Table post of 2014. If you are new here, this is where I recommend some titles outside of the young adult genre. As much as I love YA, sometimes I just need to branch out and hope you’ll decide to as well! As the date of this post […]

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February 15, 2014 - 9:39 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - I read this back when you posted it, but I just realized I never got around to commenting on it. I love the direction you’ve taken with Big Kids Table – the personal background / discussion post format really works so well! I love getting to hear your history with romance, and I look forward to seeing what you write about in the future. I’ve loved discussion this feature with you – and reading it since you started it in the first place – so I definitely want you to continue to share the love for adult reads. XO

February 6, 2014 - 7:08 pm

Ellice - I love love LOVE this! Sorry it’s taken me so long to comment, but I read it as soon as you published it and did a little happy dance because, up until now, Nora Roberts was about all I knew about the romance genre. YAY for some new titles to add to my TBR. I love that you referred to romance novels as “palette cleansers.” Sometimes you just NEED something like this, especially after finishing a HEAVY book. We actually have some Susan Mallery books at the library. I saw them the other night when I was shelving books, so I think I’ll start there!

February 1, 2014 - 5:47 pm

Alexa S. - You already know that I LOVE a good historical romance! They can make me laugh, cry and feel ALL the feels. I’m starting to discover contemporary romances that have the same effect on me, which is truly a wonderful thing. Your guidelines are pretty spot on, I’d say! Happy romance reading 🙂

February 1, 2014 - 3:48 pm

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - Yay Ellice! (She was my Secret Santa!) I really found my love of historical romances in 2013, I was so judgy of them in the past, but now I’m always on the lookout for good ones (although I’m really picky). Contemporary romances I’m still somewhat skeptical of. I seem to be drawn to more character-driven ones (like Kristan Higgins) than romance-story-driven ones. I keep meaning to check out Bella Andre because I always see you loving her. Also, that Close Enough to Touch cover image is a weird angle, haha.

February 1, 2014 - 11:02 am

Leah - Don’t mind me while I sing Alexa’s praises for a moment. She emailed me a fantastic list of historical romance recs and I’ve been starry-eyed ever since! For a newbie (slightly ashamed of that!) historical romance can be SO overwhelming, so it was awesome of her to get me some starting points. MUCH LOVE TO YOU, A!

It was only in the past few years that I caved and began reading contemporary romance. One Kristan Higgins novel and I immediately saw why she’s such a powerhouse. I have yet to read anything by Dahl, but cowboys is all I need to know. SOLD. I’m also curious about Linda Lael Miller: the next time I need a cowboy fix I’m heading straight for her!

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.