The Big Kids’ Table: 5 Adult Reads from Rather Be Reading (September 2012)

The Big Kids' Table, Rather Be Reading Blog's monthly break from young adult genre and introduction to some adult titles

The Big Kids’ Table is a monthly feature from Rather Be Reading Blog,
where we
take a tiny break from the young adult genre to shed some light on
five adult titles you may want to add to your reading list.

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Can you believe it’s the second week in September already? I woke up this morning to 54-degree weather, had to blow dry my hair, and wear a jacket. This has not happened in forever! With fall close by, I’m so excited about curling up with a latte and a few billion books as the months get colder over here. As far as my adult fiction picks are concerned, I am mighty excited about these titles and I think that if you are a young adult reader who may be itching to try something new but remain unsure… one of these books might be a good place to start! (One of these authors is actually super well-known in the YA world too!)

Please be sure to let me know if you have any great adult recs in the comments! Until next time… e

Laura Lamont's Life in PicturesLaura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub (Goodreads)
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Description (from GR): In 1920, Elsa Emerson, the youngest and blondest of three sisters, is born in idyllic Door County, Wisconsin. Her family owns the Cherry County Playhouse, and more than anything, Elsa relishes appearing onstage, where she soaks up the approval of her father and the embrace of the audience. But when tragedy strikes her family, her acting becomes more than a child¹s game of pretend.

While still in her teens, Elsa marries and flees to Los Angeles. There she is discovered by Irving Green, one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood, who refashions her as a serious, exotic brunette and renames her Laura Lamont. Irving becomes Laura’s great love; she becomes an Academy Award­-winning actress—and a genuine movie star. Laura experiences all the glamour and extravagance of the heady pinnacle of stardom in the studio-system era, but ultimately her story is a timeless one of a woman trying to balance career, family, and personal happiness, all while remaining true to herself. 

Finding Bluefield by Elan BarnehamaFinding Bluefield by Elan Barnehama (Goodreads)
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Description (from GR): Everything changes when Barbara enters Nicky’s diner and begins a journey that will last a lifetime as she falls in love against her better judgment and best-laid plans. The free-spirited Nicky later attends the 1963 March on Washington and impulsively and anonymously sleeps with a man in hopes of getting pregnant and starting a family with Barbara. When Nicky gives birth to Paul, her sister steps in to adopt Paul for his own “protection.”

Nicky, Barbara, and Paul escape Bluefield and make a life in upstate New York, only returning to Bluefield years later upon hearing of the death of Nicky’s sister. As their journey comes full circle, Barbara, Paul, and Nicky find their return to Bluefield is the catalyst for facing family secrets and forging family ties.

How I Came to Sparkle Again by Kate McLarenHow I Came to Sparkle Again by Kaya McLaren (Goodreads)
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Description (from GR):  Jill Anthony spent her young adulthood in the ski town of Sparkle, Colorado.  But more than a decade has passed since she left when, only weeks after a very late miscarriage, she finds her husband in bed with another woman, she flees Austin, Texas for the town she knows:  Sparkle.

Lisa Carlucci wakes up one morning after another night of meaningless sex, looks in the mirror and realizes that she no longer wants to treat her body like a Holiday Inn. She’s going to hold out for love.  The only problem is, love might come in the form of her ski bum best friend, who lives next door with his ski bum friends in a trailer known as “the Kennel.”

Cassie Jones, at age ten, has lost her mother to cancer and no longer believes in anything anymore.  She knows her father is desperately worried about her, and she constantly looks for messages from her deceased mother through the heart-shaped rocks they once collected in the streams and hills of Sparkle. 

Three people at the crossroads of heartbreak and healing. Three lives that will be changed one winter in Sparkle.  One tender, funny, tear-jerking novel you won’t soon forget.

Sad Desk Salad by Jessica GroseSad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose (Goodreads)
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Description (from GR): Alex Lyons gets paid to be a bitch. As writer for Chick Habit, a website for women and one of the most popular blogs on the Internet, she’s fulfilling her dream of being a professional writer. Maybe she’s not quite championing the women’s rights issues she used to write about in college-but Alex churns out several posts a day, beginning with hard news at 8 am (a meth-addicted former beauty queen, perfect); morning and evening gossip roundups; and especially juicy posts for blog primetime , when women in their offices all over both coasts eat their sad desk salads.

So what if it means burrowing into the couch while her boyfriend is at work, compulsively scouring the Web from 6 am until 6 pm to find the next big celebrity scandal, and only moving for five minutes to grab a sad couch salad of her own…but the last time she left her computer for more than 10 minutes, Farrah Fawcett died, and she missed the scoop. It’s a chick-eat-chick world; and since Chick Habit’s parent company has been cracking down about page views, Alex knows her job is at risk.

So when an anonymous tipster sends Alex the juiciest scoop of the year-a politico’s squeaky-clean Ivy League daughter caught in the act of some very R-rated activity-it’s a no-brainer. As she prepares to ignite the next Internet feeding frenzy, she hesitates: is she ready to ruin the girl’s life? What Alex doesn’t anticipate is how the big scoop will send her own life spiraling out of control.

The Elementals by Francesca Lia BlockThe Elementals by Francesca Lia Block (Goodreads)
Release Date: October 12, 2012
Description (from GR):  The Elementals  is on one level an intriguing coming-of-age novel about a young woman, Ariel Silverman, facing the challenges of her first years away at college in Berkeley, California, while her mother battles cancer at home in Los Angeles. But the book takes on deeper, stranger meanings when we realize that Ariel is haunted by the disappearance of her best friend, Jeni, who vanished without a trace a few years before, closing Ariel’s heart and changing her forever.  Ariel wonders if she will ever be fully alive, until she meets three mysterious, beautiful and seductive young people living in a strange old house in the Berkeley hills.  Through them Ariel will unravel the mystery of her best friend’s disappearance and face a chilling choice.

The Big Kids’ Table: Adult Fiction/Non-Fic Picks (8/12)

I can’t believe summer is more than halfway over already. Any minute New York is going to be decking the halls with holiday decor. (I’m not kidding.) Let’s focus on the book, shall we? Here are a handful of upcoming adult releases I discovered in the pages of Publishers Weekly. They sound like winners to me! What do you think?

Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl (Goodreads)
Genre: romance Publication Date: August 28th, 2012
hy I picked it: I believe Dahl is a friend of Jennifer Echols’ & there’s a cowboy. Enough said.
GR Description: Can a city girl make it in the wild, wild West? For makeup artist Grace Barrett, Hollywood is less the land of golden opportunity and more the land of difficult divas, cheating boyfriends and unemployment. So when her great-aunt offers her a free place to stay in Jackson Hole, Grace thinks she’ll spend a little time in the sticks to figure out her life, and then move somewhere exciting to live out her dreams. But it turns out that there are a few more thrills in this small town than Grace was expecting…. Cole Rawlins is a rugged Wyoming cowboy born and bred. Yet he can’t help but be drawn to the fascinating big-city girl who moves in across from him. As they discover a sizzling attraction, it’s Grace who finds herself surprised. Cole’s the only man who’s ever dared to get close enough to see through her tough facade. And his mysterious past only makes him sexier.

Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Rubick (Goodreads)
Genre: Historical Fiction Publication Date: September 4th, 2012
Why I picked it: Hemingway, literary genius, and setting: Key West. Perfection.
GR Description: In Depression-era Key West, Mariella Bennet, the daughter of an American fisherman and a Cuban woman, knows hunger. Her struggle to support her family following her father’s death leads her to a bar and bordello, where she bets on a risky boxing match…and attracts the interest of two men: world-famous writer, Ernest Hemingway, and Gavin Murray, one of the WWI veterans who are laboring to build the Overseas Highway.

Broadway Tails by Bill Beloni (Goodreads)
Genre: theater non-fiction Publication Date: September 4, 2012
What I picked it: This is such a cute premise & I love how animals found a better life as part of the theater.
GR Description: In this heartwarming book, he tells the true stories of “throw-away” animals who came back to work with some of entertainment’s biggest names, names like Bernadette Peters, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mike Nichols, the New York City Ballet, and many more. This updated edition includes an account of Berloni’s search for the newest Sandy to star with everyone’s favorite red-headed orphan.

Losing My Sister by Judy Goldman (Goodreads)
Genre: Memoir Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Why I picked it: Siblings and emotional overload. There’s nothing like a hard hitting memoir.
GR Description: Goldman’s was an idyllic childhood, charmed even, filled with parental love and sisterly confidences. Growing up in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Judy and her older sister, Brenda, did everything together. Though it was clear from an early age that their personalities were very different (Judy was the “sweet” one, Brenda, the “strong” one), they continued to be fairly inseparable into adulthood. But the love between sisters is complex. Though Judy and Brenda remained close, Goldman recalls struggling to break free of her prescribed role as the agreeable little sister and to assert herself even as she built her own life and started a family. The sisters’ relationship became further strained by the illnesses and deaths of their parents, and later, by the discovery that each had tumors in their breasts—Judy’s benign, Brenda’s malignant. The two sisters came back together shortly before the possibility of permanent loss became very real.

She Matters: A Life of Friendships by Susana Sonnenberg (Goodreads)
Genre: memoir
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Why I picked it: Her Last Death, by Sonnenberg, was one of the most engaging (and devastating) memoirs I ever read. Can’t wait to pick up another book by her.
GR Description: Childhood friendships, friendships with older women, friendships that play out with the passion and intensity of love affairs, the friendships between new mothers–each has its own subtleties, its own lessons that Sonnenberg examines and understands with astounding acuity. Sonnenberg’s style is investigative and ruminative; the result is candid and fearlessly observed portraits of the nuances and complexities of friendships that become universally recognizable.