It’s a Wrap • See Ya Next Year, March!

Well, another month bites the dust. Who’s prepared for April and taxes? (UGH.) Ahem, sorry – that’s what I’ve been focused on a lot the last two weeks. April is going to be full of sunshine and reading outside and lots and lots of vitamin D. (We hope.) Here are a few highlights of our March:

We had an awesome time participating in Cassie’s #15beautifuldays in March! Thanks so much for hosting this, Cassie, and we hope you guys enjoyed seeing a bit more of our lives outside of books on our Instagram.

A photo posted by Estelle (@thatsostelle) on

A photo posted by Magan (@magan) on

SHOPPING LIST MUSTS

March-Must-Read-Recommendations-from-Rather-Be-Reading

Estelle’s Picks: The Wrong Side of Right • A Mad, Wicked Folly

Magan’s Picks: Things We Know by Heart • The Start of Me and You

 WHAT TO CLICK

SUMMING IT ALL UP

Buy It:

Small Damages by Beth Kephart
Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark
Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson
The Winner’s Trilogy
In Some Other World, Maybe by Shari Goldhagen
Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

Worth It:

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes
Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz
One Wish by Robyn Carr

Borrow It:

Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor
When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill
Dove Arising by Karen Bao

Free Writing:

Top Ten Books We Want to Re-Read
#YARunsA5K
The Beginning of Our Attachment (our Twitter/G-Chat beginnings)
Top Ten Books on Our Spring TBR List
Estelle and James’ Early Beginnings (inspired by The Start of Me and You)

Monthly Features:

Little Kids: Books About Feelings
Dive Into Diversity: They Work Hard for the Money
Pub Date: Can I Be So Blunt

DON’T FORGET!


What were some of your favorites in March? Let us know in the comments.

Here’s to amazing books, beautiful weather, and no terrible April Fool’s jokes being pulled on you today! 😉

It’s a Wrap • Sayanara February

I have NO idea how tomorrow is the beginning of March. HOW HOW HOW? February was full of lots of new adventures, several great books, really cold weather just about everywhere, and way too much time spent looking up YouTube videos.

Here’s a little recap of this February with our most popular Instagram posts. (Are you on Instagram? Find us @ReadingGals, @thatsostelle, and @magan; we’d love to get to know you better, too!)

A photo posted by Estelle (@thatsostelle) on

A photo posted by Magan (@magan) on

SHOPPING LIST MUSTS

 

February-Wrap-Up-Must-Have-Books

Magan’s Pick: Liar’s Inc.

Estelle’s Pick: Girl Before a Mirror

We both HIGHLY recommend: I’ll Meet You There

WHAT TO CLICK

SUMMING IT ALL UP

Buy It:

Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
We Can Work It Out by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
The Curvy Girls Club by Michele Gorman

Worth It:

Promposal by Rhonda Helms
Cut Me Free by J.R. Johannson
Perfect Girl by Michele Gorman

Borrow It:

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
I’m Glad I Did by Cynthia Weil

Skip It:

Since You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne

Free Writing:

A cover reveal for Tara Jenkins Reid’s Maybe In Another Life due July 7, 2015
An author chat with Stephen Metcalfe of The Tragic Age
A peek at Jennifer Snow’s Brookhollow series from Harlequin
Kieran Scott shared her love story in the spirit of Valentine’s Day
Estelle’s fictional birthday party (to celebrate her 30th!)
Beyond High School YA Books (for those who seek older characters)

Monthly Features:

#SoRatherBeYoung: Harriet the Spy and Number the Stars (and Hannah’s post too!)
Little Kids: books to show/tell your children how much you love them
Dive Into Diversity Discussion: Religion in YA
Pub Date: Sorta Like a Love Story

DON’T FORGET!


What were some of your favorites in February? Let us know in the comments.

Cheers to (hopefully) more sunshine and being one month closer to summer!

We’re Celebrating Our Friendiversary!

It’s true that you never know where you are going to meet the love of your life. Or in this case, one of your best friends. Three years ago, this week Magan was on her way to “work” at a wedding in Austin and Estelle was putting on a mint green dress to watch one of her best friends walk down the aisle. It sounds like the beginning of a strange love story, doesn’t it? So unsuspected that a comment about books would lead to many Twitter chats, Facebook friendship, and the nugget of an idea to start what would become Rather Be Reading.

Magan and Estelle in Austin 2013

Having too much fun at Urban Outfitters in 2013.

Over the course of these three years, we’ve helped/coached/cheered each other through some pretty major life moments. We thought it would only be fitting to celebrate our friendiversary by acknowledging and celebrating some of our favorite bookish friendships. (Note to authors: we want more of these!)

Estelle:

Female Friendship in YA

Past Perfect, in general, is full of some of the most honest characters I’ve ever met and this is probably my number one quality in a friend. Because, you know what, it is not easy to say how you feel all the time. So to see it in Fiona and Chelsea, especially when Chelsea is having such trouble getting over a breakup — I think it said a lot about how confident they were in their friendship and how much they trusted each other. They weren’t afraid to hurt each other’s feelings, and knew it wasn’t helpful just to say what the other wanted to hear. These are the pivotal moments where friendships grow stronger. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate being able to be myself around Magan, and knowing that she always has my best interest at heart.

And then there is Maggie and Roux. Their upbringing couldn’t be any more different but they also have so much in common. (Kind of loners at the beginning of this series.) But you know, they totally have each other’s backs. No matter what. Even when things get super hard and don’t make any sense. I especially love how Maggie’s family adopts Roux as one of their own — no questions asked. (I’ve hijacked some Blasig family vacas and they always make me feel so welcome.) I love how much fun they have together despite all the drama, and they just make me smile. (Minus the whole saving the world part, I feel this same way about M. We laugh so much when we are together, and I miss that as soon as our visits end.)

Magan:

magan and estelle of rather be reading

If you’ve read either of my two book selections, maybe you’re tilting your head to the side wondering why I chose these. Throughout the course of the last year, especially, I’ve really been overwhelmed with love and support by my friends. Estelle specifically. I’ve gone through some of the most emotional and trying times of my life and admittedly 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 girl who didn’t easily make connections because of how disruptive her lifestyle had been with her mother — never laying down roots. But Kat was adamant about getting to know Callie and wanting to be part of her life. Throughout this year, when I was having super tough days and didn’t particularly want to work through my emotions, Estelle has done the same thing for me — she’s been there. She’s been a rock and she’s allowed me to work through all my crazy and helped me sort through what’s going on so I’m not trudging through it alone.

As for my second choice, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell … how can you NOT love Cath and Reagan’s friendship? I loved their oddball pairing — they’re college roommates not by their own choosing, but the forcefulness of the situation provides the opportunity for these two girls to get to know one another. You could say that essentially this is a lot like Estelle and I. We didn’t know we were going to meet. The situation we were both in that day provided the opportunity and it’s led to a beautiful, lifelong friendship. I’m certain Cath and Reagan would keep in touch forever… don’t you think?

♥

We’d love to hear about home of your favorite friendships in YA. (Female or not.)
And be sure to check out Ellice’s amazing post over at Paper Riot on Top 10 Friendships in Fiction.

Now go hug your best friend! xo

Happy New Year from Rather Be Reading!

Image used for Graphic by *December Sun

From our book-filled homes to yours, we wish you the happiest New Year! We hope 2013 is filled with lots of love, tons of amazing books, and great new memories!

Last year we made bookish resolutions for 2012. We thought it would be fun to do the same for 2013. Here we go!

estelle.

  1. Read 100 books. I know I read 160 this year, but for most of the year, I was commuting almost 2 hours each day + that’s not the case anymore. Plus I want to concentrate on reading some classics and also conquering some larger books that have been sitting on my bookshelf for a long time. I’m not going to worry too much about numbers this year.
  2. Think long and hard before I buy a book. It’s not a shock that I’m sort of a shopaholic. Books have really taken the place of the clothes I used to buy + leave tags on in my closet for months and months. By the time I hit December I was just noticing way too many brand new books going unread and I didn’t even LOVE the titles. I want to have a nice collection of books but I also need to calm myself when it comes to opening my wallet. (It’s out of control!!)
  3. Go to my first book conference? As much as I would love to go to ALA, I’m not sure if it’s going to happen. Oh, if I was a millionaire. But I am hoping to be around for BEA this year + finally meeting some fantastic people? I do have to say going to book readings around town is certainly a wonderful alternative.
  4. Taller bookshelves! We just moved into an apartment a few months ago, and all our furniture is very short. And our ceilings are very high. At the moment I have one wide bookcase, and two little ones in the bedroom overflowing with books. With piles on our floor and window sills. I’m thinking something like this or this? Plus I could multi-use the shelves for dishes and things.
  5. Hope for lightbulbs. I need some new [blog] ideas to hit me! It’s been awhile since I’ve had a good one. But I would love to do more posts like our themed gifts packs + things like that…
  6. See Magan again! I’m hoping hanging out with Magan will become at least a yearly thing… but I’d feel better if we just KNEW when it was going to happen… Time to start planning a trip!

magan.

  1. Read 100 books. I don’t quite know what to expect of myself in 2013 since, ya know, we’re going to be fostering a child soon. That will definitely change things a lot for us, but for now, I’m going to set my goal at 100 and see what happens!
  2. Give myself a book budget. I need to set a spending limit and stick to it. I let my kindle fill up with titles I didn’t get to right away in 2012 and bought books that are sitting in neat little piles on my bookshelves that are still unread.
  3. Attend another book conference in 2013. I really, really want to go to ALA Annual. Chicago?! I’ve never been there. And guess who lives there? Some of my faves – Anna and Tara. Must. Make. This. Happen. More than anything, I want to continue meeting my blogger friends in person!
  4. See Estelle. As you know, E and I live in two different states, New York (her) and Texas (me). Though we talk and text every single day, I want need to see her. If I could, I’d book a plane ticket to NYC right this second. This should really be priority numero uno.
  5. Complete our author list. This was a fail for me in 2012 since it was one of my resolutions. We still have letters I, N, U, X, and Y remaining. Any book suggestions by authors whose last names begin with those initials? HELP!
  6. Continue sharing and passing along books. I’ve tried really hard to share books with friends and donate others to organizations to a) share the awesomeness and b) help de-clutter our house. I want to continue doing this to make sure that you don’t see me on a future episode of Hoarders.

♥

We are so excited to embark on a brand sparkley new year with all of you! Your support and enthusiasm when
it comes to Rather Be Reading has been so amazing, and we can’t thank you enough! Here’s to 2013!