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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!)

December 12, 2012 - 4:56 pm

Alexa Y. - I am ashamed to admit that I have not read any of the adult titles in this post, even though a bunch of them are on my TBR! I really should remedy that…

December 11, 2012 - 5:26 am

Hemborgwife - You cracked me up about the mom safe books because my grandma loves to read and loves to read Nora Roberts and the like and some of the books she has given me when she was done I was like ummmmmm yeah that was some serious sexy-time going on and I do not want to think my grandma just read this!

December 9, 2012 - 1:17 am

Estelle: Shelve It from Rather Be Reading Blog (12/9/2012) - […] 2012 YA Book Releases The Big Kids’ Table: Holiday Edition Welcome Caller This is Chloe Themed Gift Pack Review: Kissing Snowflakes by Abby Sher weVerb4: New […]

December 8, 2012 - 8:12 pm

Jess - What a great list. I want to check out The Empty Glass.

December 8, 2012 - 4:55 am

Rebecca @ Reading Wishes - “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.” YES. Yes, yes, yes! I TOTALLY get where your coming from. My mum’s the same and loves romance novels and I’m often recommending her titles I think sound good or I’ve heard about through book bloggers who read a bit of Adult like Ginger from Greads. I know there’s sexytimes in all the books she reads but when I’m the one choosing her a book I’m a little cautious and go for more subtle titles that don’t ooze too super sexytimes in the premise and one’s where the covers aren’t of half naked people (although she does like those, I must admit). Thanks for all the great adult recommendations! I think my mum will love all these so I’ll be sure to look into them further. I’ve heard great things about Rainbow Rowell and I know her titles are available at my local library so I think when she’s reading Attachments, I’ll be reading Eleanor & Park – sounds like a plan!

December 8, 2012 - 1:51 am

Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads - Another great list! Everytime I see you tweet about another Big Kids’ Table post, I always hurry over to see what you’ve recommended. I don’t read nearly enough big kids’ books, but I totally should. And I LOVED your YA picks for the big kids’ table — especially Second Chance Summer. I think the themes in that book will resonate with readers of all ages. Great choices!

December 7, 2012 - 6:56 pm

elena - I’m so glad you enjoyed Attachments so much. I still need to read Saving Ruth, it sounds FANTASTIC! Hooray for Second Chance Summer. 🙂

December 7, 2012 - 4:56 pm

Allison (Allure of Books) - Attachments, City of Women and I’ll Be There are all on my list – sigh. I waaaaant them.

I love LOVE that you feature adult books <3

December 7, 2012 - 4:03 pm

Lisa is Busy Nerding - I LOVE that you share adult titles! You rock my world.

Also thanks for the reminder that I need to get The Empty Glass from the library.

December 7, 2012 - 12:50 pm

Sharon @ The Book Barbies - Ooh, thanks for the list! I just discovered Susan Mallery this year, and I need to read more of her books. I could see her writing a fantastic Christmas novel.

I heard about Attachments quite a while ago and was hesitant to read it. It sounded like it could be good, but I probably wasn’t going to jump in and actually read it. After reading your thoughts, though, I just might!

Also, YES. I am so glad someone else hates the term “new adult!” I have always wished for more books with that age group, and I love that it is finally becoming recognized as a credible genre. But I can’t stand the name.

December 7, 2012 - 12:19 pm

Tara - How have I only read one of these?!?! I seriously need to read your copy of City of Women stat because it’s borderline ridiculous that I haven’t yet.

December 7, 2012 - 11:53 am

Anna - My sister would pee her pants if she saw this but I’m not going to show her because she will start in on the Harry Potter thing! She was the big sister so when a new book would come out, we’d go out at midnight and get it, but then SHE would get to read it first. I distinctly remember this — Little Sister Syndrome! So the books were our “shared” books and therefore I do not have custody of them and they’re at our parents house wahhh!

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