Santa, I Promise I’ve Been Good This Year | Top 10 Tuesday

top ten tuesday hosted by the broke and the bookish


Welcome back for Top 10 Tuesday, where this week participants are discussing which books they hope to find under their Christmas trees this year. Santa, are you listening? In addition to these books, I’ll happily take a few solid days off work and will soak up any given opportunity to read them. Promise.

Lights Large


Four • Just One Night • Rebel • The Lonely Hearts Club • Ask Again Later

(Truth: My favorite Elf, Estelle, just surprised me with Ask Again Later. Eeep!)


Me Since You • The One • One Plus One • Don’t Call Me Baby • Twelve Days to Christmas


Thanks to the Broke and the Bookish for hosting Top 10 Tuesday!
Be sure to check out which books they hope to unwrap in a few days + tell us what you’re most hoping for…

Shelve It: New Books / New Friends / Giveaway

weekly feature to share the books magan and estelle are adding to their bookshelves each week

I wonder if I’ll ever NOT be amazed by how fast time is flying. It’s practically been a month since I’ve done one of these, and when I was getting my books together — I was pleasantly surprised how few i’ve bought in the last few weeks. Go me? Don’t get me wrong; so many great books are coming out but i’m so behind on reading what I own i’ve been making a conscious effort to do that. So this is what’s been happening…

What I bought:

Rather Be Reading Shelve It

Like No Other by Una LaMarche
Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Fun goodies in the mail:

Rather Be Reading Blog Shelve iT

From Harlequin: The Oleander Sisters by Elaine Hussey
From Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook: Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
From Melissa @ Rolling with the Magic: Beer and Food by Mark Dredge



Speaking of BEER, this week debuted my contribution to PUB DATE — a new feature I’ll be working on with a few fantastic bloggers and beer lovers. My sister made the banner and i am feeling way proud of her! So if you are curious about beer or just want another way to find a book recommendation, be sure to stop in!

In other blog news, Magan and I are so excited to share in the launch of THE PAGE GIRLS — a new online magazine dedicated to books, friendship, and cocktails. Seriously, could this new venture be any more perfect for us? I think not. So to spread the love, the gals of The Page Girls have donated some lovely blog-themed coasters and an eBook of a winner’s choice. If you’re a fan of finding super fun mail in your box, I recommend you enter this giveaway!

Page Girl Coasters 2

Here’s a little bit more info:

About The Page Girls | The Page Girls ( is a new online mag with an emphasis on books, cocktails, and female friendships. Each week, they publish a themed issue containing short stories, book reviews, personal and funny essays, videos, cocktail recipes, and more. Some sample issues include The Craziest Thing I Did For Love and LYLAS (Love You Like a Sister).

Sign up for The Page Girls’ weekly newsletter to get notified about new issues, and be sure to follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Ebook giveaway (Winner chooses 1 title):

An Imaginary House by the Sea by Cecily Gates (Contemporary Romance)
HDU by India Lee (New Adult)
Normal is the Watchword by Jasmine Tru (YA Thriller)
Here for the Cake by Emily Poule (Rom-Com)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


In case you missed it:

  • I want you to consider buying AFTER I DO (contemporary fiction) + BLAZED (dark contemporary YA).
  • Magan wants you to borrow EXILE (a YA book for music fans).


How’s your summer been? Let us know + don’t forget to enter The Page Girls giveaway!

We hope you have a great week full of sunshine, books, and maybe a donut? Yum!

Top 10 Tuesday: Best Reads of 2014 (So Far)

top ten tuesday hosted by the broke and the bookish

I had to participate this week because it’s like an experiment. Will these 10 books still be on my list in 6 months? Will they be bumped by something else amazing? It’s hard to say and I love the mystery. (Even if I am an impatient person.) I know I am so pumped to see what everyone else is listing today too so, as always, thanks so much to The Broke and Bookish for hosting. 🙂

the five stars

I have a post coming up about this subject (the PERFECT books) but for now, I’m sharing with you the three I read this year so far. I can’t imagine any books really topping them. SO I CHALLENGE YOU BOOKS. Can you possibly be better than these?

Halfway Mark Top Reads of 2014 The Five Stars

(1) Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

LA setting, a main character with the coolest job ever, a unique love story, a great friendship — I could go on. From the minute I started this book, I was totally sucked in and once I finished, I was ready to give Nina’s other book, The Disenchantments, a second chance. I think that says it’s all right there. The writing of this book is SO seamless. It deserves all the readers.

(2) Pointe by Brandy Colbert

I haven’t had an emotional reaction to a book like I had to this one in a long time. Theo is dealing with her best friend returning from a kidnapping, auditioning for dance schools, and surviving the rest of high school. What struck me so much about this book was Theo’s journey to find herself worthy of anything really and also how brilliantly paced her growth was unveiled through the writing. Small details, small epiphanies piecing the story together. It’s truly a masterpiece.

(3) There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos

A book about grief from the POV of a male narrator who has lost his twin sister in a car accident. (Interested in the Diversity in YA campaign? The main character and his family are Filipino.) There’s a bucket list, a girl best friend, a supportive family feeling out this tragedy together and apart, and a school project that really kept the book moving. I cried on the subway, I laughed, and I even swooned. Such heartfelt honesty = blew me away.

the ones that didn’t come out this year

Halfway Mark Top Reads of 2014 Not Released this Year

(4) Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick

I bought this one last year, and it was originally released in 2010. The main character was a bit hard to connect to in the beginning so much that I got a little nervous I wouldn’t finish but I’m glad I hung on. A story of kindness, tragedy, and moving forward with some of the most vivid personalities I’ve ever met in my books.

(5) Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos

I don’t like to compare books to one another much but if you enjoyed WINGER, I think you should try this one out. The character has a unique voice, dealing with depressing, first love, and family. Underneath the sadness there is a layer of comedy and I enjoyed that balance. (I actually lent this one to my mom when I finished.)

(6) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I was petrified to read this because I heard about how much of a tearjerker it is. Don’t get me wrong; it’s definitely a sad story but the main character is more spunky and quirky than I ever could have imagined. There are amazing little details, wonderful friendship blooming, and even that complicated relationship between sisters (and also the one parents have with each of their kids). Everyone was right about this book but I want to make sure I say more than YES IT’S SAD. It’s so much more than that.

the final four: why haven’t you read these yet?

Halfway Mark Top Reads of 2014 Why Haven't You

(7) Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Everyone is going to have this one on their list, and I’m guessing it will have a lot to do with Reagan and Matt. I loved them together, I did but what really sold me was the honest relationship between Reagan and Lilah. Friendships like these don’t happen every day, especially after wading through all of this crap. But Emery has all the layers down and had me feeling so much. Hands down, one of the best gal friendship stories I’ve ever read.

(8) The One and Only by Emily Giffin

I’m just as surprised as you are. Really. This love story is so unconventional but if love football and complicated romances… Emily has a slam dunk with this one (after a few misses). She writes a lot of exposition in her books (just a reminder) and once I settled in, I read this (very large) book in less than 24 hours. The main character goes through quite a journey (friendship, family, career, love) and tries to deny her heart so many times in hopes of not hurting other people. This one is definitely worth your time. (I do suggest buying the eBook though because the hardcover is super heavy.)

(9) The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner

It’s important to remember the characters in this book are 15 years old. Because they act like 15-year-olds do. They don’t over-complicate what you might think but Frankie is still reeling from the drowning of her little brother and thinks she has found his soul in the new boy she is baby-sitting for the summer. His name is Frankie too, but you can call him Frankie Skye. This book is about the surprising people who come into our life and help us move forward.

(10) Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

Online communities, body image, broken friendships, parents/kids, secrets, loneliness — there’s a little bit of all of this in LBC. Imagine you think you’ve found your safe place and you realize it’s not quite that safe after all. That’s exactly what happens to Tab when she “gives” a secret and is given a task from the online community she has joined. It doesn’t feel like bravery anymore when you are affecting the lives of the people you love.

bonus (can’t help myself)

Halfway Mark Top Reads of 2014 Bonus

** When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds: loyalty, family, friendship, Brooklyn. Packed a punch for a short book (and had me crying).

** The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor: first love, culture clash, finding yourself. Great characters, gorgeous writing.

♥   ♥   ♥

Oh gosh. That was so hard. I’m already thinking of 2 titles I’m missing.

Hope you’re convinced to add a few of these to your “must-read” list! Can’t wait to read everyone else’s picks!

Happy Tuesday!


Pushing that Preorder Button

Today I’m talking about one of my favorite things in the whole world: shopping!

I love to shop for dresses, purses, makeup, home decor, stationary, arts and crafts supplies, gifts for other people. I mean, you name it and I love to buy it. Especially, books. Lots and lots of books. On Amazon, on B&N with same-day shipping to Manhattan, at the bookstore, at another bookstore, at Target. If there are books somewhere in the vicinity, I have probably looked at them, hemmed and hawed about buying them, and then, eventually pulled the trigger. (Much to the chagrin of my husband since there are stacks and stacks of unread books in our apartment. I love you, husband!)

But there’s one shopping experience that I exclusively use for books.


It wasn’t always this way. Before my rediscovery of reading,  meeting Magan, Rather Be Reading, I was happy enough to find books on the feature tables at the bookstore. The only book I can remember preordering was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I didn’t keep up with release dates and even if I just stumbled upon a future release by an author I loved, I waited until the book came out.

Blogging about books has changed my life in many ways. (Yay friendships! Yay inspiration!) But it’s also changed the way I shop for books. And even between the last year or so, my preordering process has altered too. Last year, I was focused on early releases. If I loved the book, I would preorder it. But when I realized I was getting these finished copies in the mail and not even reading them, I started to cancel my orders and take a break from that entirely.

This year, I’m taking a different approach. I want to read books that my friends are loving and I want to take some chances, and a lot of the books I’ve preordered so far this year follow those two guidelines. So today I’m sharing what goodies should be making their way to my mailbox in the next couple of months. And most importantly, WHY I chose these titles. (Can we talk about how convenient this process is too? No going to the bookstore and not finding it. No forgetting to go the bookstore. And the promise of mail on a Tuesday? The best!)

word of mouth.

Books I Preordered March 2014

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkowski ( Goodreads | Release Date: 3/4/2014 ): The 4-star and 5-star reviews that kept popping up on Goodreads convinced me to take the plunge. Fantasy is not really my go-to genre so I am really trusting these guys to be right. (I’m reading it right now, and will report back.)

Pointe by Brandy Colbert ( Goodreads | Release Date: 4/10/2014 ): Sex & Violence author, Carrie Mesrobian, has been very vocal about Brandy’s work on Twitter and I decided to press the preorder button after seeing some “must buy” tweets from her. Since then, Liz from Consumed by Books and Dahlia from Daily Dahlia have been singing Brandy’s praises so I think my choice was a solid one. (Did I mention it also got a starred review in Publishers Weekly?)

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord ( Goodreads | Release Date: 4/15/2014 ) Summer, romance, friendship! I’ve read so many great reviews for this title already but it wasn’t until the fangirling of Judith and Alexa that I finally took the plunge. I am so excited to get a head start on summer! I need warmth and I’m a sucker for a great summer romance.

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes ( Goodreads | Release Date: 7/1/2014 ) This release date is so so so far away, but after finally reading Me Before You, I think Moyes is an auto-buy for me. Ellice from Paper Riot (and Kelly from Belle of the Literati) have been talking it up SO much… and I caved. Something to look forward in the middle of the summer? Nice to have an adult read to look forward to. (That hasn’t happened in a long time for me.)

publishers weekly.

We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt

We Are The Goldens by Dana Reinhardt ( Goodreads | Release Date: 5/24/2014 ) This is really unprecedented for me. I have two of Dana’s books on my Nook (unread), and I hadn’t heard of this title until I saw a really awesome starred review in Publishers Weekly so I decided to give it a shot.

And just for fun…

book i already read that i had to preorder.

Great by Sara Benincasa

Great by Sara Benincasa ( Goodreads | Release Date: 4/8/2014 ) I’m falling back into old habits by grabbing a copy of this but I loved it too much to pass by a chance to have my own copy. My review should be up next week or so, but this retelling of Gatsby had a fresh voice, addicting deception, and was super discussion worthy. It’s definitely worth reading and got me out of a tremendous slump.

books i already read that i want to preorder but i’m waiting.

why? because more than likely they will have events in nyc & i want to buy them in person. so really this category is about spreading the word to YOU because i really enjoyed these.

Books I Want to Cheer About March 2014

The Geography of You & Me by Jennifer E. Smith ( Goodreads | Release Date: 4/14/2014 ) Jennifer’s prose is gorgeous and the story of two people who bond over one evening and then are separated is so so so good. I loved the family side stories and the push and pull between the characters. Plus NEW YORK. BLACKOUTS. Did I mention amazing writing? I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish this one.

Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu ( Goodreads | Release Date: 5/13/2014 ) It’s no secret I was a fan of OCD Love Story, and I was so happy to see Corey create something so totally different with her second book. I was on the edge of my seat with this multi-dimensional main character who is navigating life with her unhappy parents who are expecting a baby, the boy of her dreams who has a girlfriend, and this secret online group that makes her feel brave until they don’t anymore. Definitely in my favorite list for this year so far.


Here’s hoping my book shopping inspires some of your own! Because early buzz is important! Preordering is good for a book and good of the book’s author! (Check out this great article that Ellice over at the Paper Riot shared last week; she was the final push I needed to write about my preordering practices!)

Now it’s your turn! What are your preordering practices & how have they changed?
Anything good coming up in the mail for you?

Estelle: Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes

Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes: a novella, prequel to The Girl You Left BehindHoneymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: August 16, 2013
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 75
Target audience: Adult
Keywords: Paris, marriage, honeymoon, past and present shift, art
Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley! (Thanks!)

Summary: Liv is on a honeymoon with her new husband in Paris, but he’s unable to breakaway from work and she spends a lot of time wondering if this marriage was a good idea. Newly married, a shopgirl and a painter go through intense up and downs as she questions his devotion to her.

Confession: Rachel from Hello Chelly bought me a beautiful copy of Me Before You for my birthday and I haven’t read it yet. It’s gorgeous red jacket is glaring at me from the bookcase as I type this. I will get to it, I swear. This is the truth after I read through this author’s novella, a prequel to her latest release, The Girl You Left Behind.

I wish novellas existed whenever you had apprehension about any book. In a few chapters, Moyes gives us a glimpse into the new marriages of two couples: one between a young 23-year old and her architect husband and the other between a young shopgirl and her artist husband in the 1900s.

Both girls are in the fabulous Paris (and I just finished reading a book set in London so now I am focused on having my own European adventure soon) and should be reveling in their new loves, but instead face some roadblocks. Liv’s husband seems adamant to work during their already short honeymoon to ensure a big deal doesn’t fall through. And in Sophie’s world, a little birdie plants the seed that her husband’s talent is dependent on him bedding his models.

It’s impressive to see so much emotion organically present in 78 short pages. Sophie’s despair about returning home if this doesn’t work out, Edouard’s surprising devotion, Liv’s fear that marriage will leave her lonely, and David’s apologetic ambition. “A Honeymoon in Paris” was a great introduction to Moyes’ work and I feel even more inclined to pluck Me Before You off my shelf and order her other latest from the library.

If you want to give some grown up reading a try, this is a great avenue to experience it before making a full commitment.

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