The Big Kids’ Table: Holiday Shopping Guide Edition

Friends, I can’t believe I am writing my 12th Big Kids’ Table post right now. When I started up this idea in January, I wanted to open up my reading world to new books, even though I had found a new and lovely home in the young adult genre. For me, it’s always best for me to switch up the books that I’m reading. That way my feelings for one don’t have much of a chance of meshing into the other. Here’s where some of my “big kid reads” have come in (and the occasional dystopian too).

For December, I decided not to focus on NEW adult fiction/non-fiction releases but maybe some of the books I think deserve another mention and might be suitable for your holiday shopping needs. I have read every single book on this list and I totally stand by them.

Enjoy! And definitely let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions for me or our readers! See you in 2013!Rather Be Reading Blog Shopping Guide - The Grown Up Books

titles you shouldn’t be afraid to give mom

My mom has always been a fan of romance novels and I keep thinking of books I may want to gift her… but I’m a little uncomfy giving her ones with super sexytimes. Is that mean? I mean, my mom, for example, loves The Vampire Diaries. She also watches Parenthood where sexytimes do exist. But you know, for my heart and my sanity… here are two titles I would not think twice about giving her. (In fact, I bought her Baby Proof for Mother’s Day this year and hoped she wouldn’t think I was “telling her something.” [I wasn’t. Sometimes a book is just a book.] P.S. She loved it.)

A Fool’s Gold Christmas by Susan Mallery [ my review ] dancing, cats, two Scrooges.

Baby Proof by Emily Giffin [ goodreads ] marriage, children, happiness.

my fave grown up books of 2012

Gosh, this was a toughie. Elena from Novel Sounds surprised me with a fabulous copy of Attachments a few months ago, and I finally finished it this week. Wow. It’s the kind of book you want to buy for 10 of your friends. I love the writing style, the male POV, the inserted emails, the throwback to 1999. It’s perfect. It made me feel warm inside. (Also this book is perfect for your mom and your best friend.)

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell [ goodreads | novel sounds review ] an office setting, love at first email, mystery!

Saving Ruth has a few heavy elements — eating disorders, sibling rivalry — but the author’s voice is really refreshing and the age group is great… a kid home on her first break from college. This was a pick on Big Kids’ Table in the beginning, and I’m so glad I got a copy at the the library. While I hate dislike the term “new adult”, this kind of falls into the category and could engage a wide range of age groups.

Saving Ruth by Zoe Fishman [ my review ] a girl home from college dealing with some heavy issues, befriending a sweet kid, a dash of romance

to be gifted with a cold shower (or 2)

Let’s go back to my sexytimes comments before as in not safe for work or while operating heavy machinery or maybe even gifting to your mother. These two titles made my toes curl, but they had nice stories too. (I liked Victoria Dahl’s approach to the romance novel a bit more than Susan Mallery’s… but both will sure satisfy your desire for a solid romance novel.)

Summer Nights by Susan Mallery [ my review ] a cowboy and a librarian meet in a bar (really, sort of)

Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl [ goodreads ] a cowboy and a makeup artist meet in a beautiful place

…okay seriously, I may have a thing for cowboys.

haunting + captivating

Despite slow starts with each of these picks, I got to a point where I could not put either down. So different but so well written, and so addicting.

City of Women by David Gillham [ my review ] Set during World War 2, a woman separated from her lover may be hiding his wife and children. (Warning: sexual themes.)

The Empty Glass by J.I. Baker [ my review ] A man is determined to figure out what really happened to Marilyn Monroe… and someone really doesn’t want him to find out.

bonus: YA picks for the wary grownup

You know the type I’m talking about… the kind of person who loves to read but looks down at your love for young adult literature? Just because it’s written for younger people does not mean that it is not LITERATURE. Because it really is. This list was probably the most difficult for me to make, because when I finalized it, I kept coming up with more. What do you think?

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson [ magan’s review] beautiful writing, a story about family

Endangered by Eliot Schrefer [ my review] lush setting, solid writing, mothers/daughters, bonds

The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas [ magan’s review] grief, a story about family and moving forward

The Pursuit of Happiness by Tara Altebrando [ my review ] dealing with change in a family, well-developed characters

I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloane [ my review ] the feel of a vintage YA, family, fate, etc.

For some more ideas, check out Jamie’s post on picks for a picky reader over at The Perpetual Page Turner!

And one more shout out to Anna Reads’ sister (even if she stole Anna’s Harry Potter books), who shared some grown up choices for the holidays as well.

Happy reading and shopping! (Two of my favorite things in the world!)