Monday, August 15, 2011

30 More Days Book Challenge: Day 6

Day 6: Chick Lit


I guess in many ways the term "chick lit" has become a dirty word – or to many it simply means a novel that tilts more toward the romantic. To that I say…uh, well maybe. I don’t read a lot of what may be considered chick lit but I have read some. I read the first Sophie Kinsella novel, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and found it to be pretty funny. I also recently read a book called My Husband’s Sweethearts by Bridget Asher, which had a great twist to the average chick lit novel. A woman’s ex-husband who she thought was the love of her life (until she realized he was cheating on her) calls her to tell her he is dying and he wants to spend his last days with her. So she gets drunk and decides "Sure, I will help take care of him in his last days but so will all these women he cheated on me with." So she begins calling all of these women and says, “Hey, you were there for the good times, how about you show up for the bad?” Well, the women actually start showing up to help care for him.

But as a favorite chick lit book – and I am only choosing this book because I really don’t think men read either of these two books (but they could, I think)--I would have to say either The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank (this is an example of a book I picked up and bought because I loved the cover, by the way) or Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop CafĂ© by Fannie Flagg. Melissa Bank is a very good writer; I have read this one and The Wonder Spot. She is incredibly funny and dead on with dialogue. As a side note, it took Banks over a decade to write her first book. She was hit by a car while riding her bicycle and suffered post concussion syndrome, which effected her short term memory and her vocabulary. Anyway, I really do love Girls’ Guide and would easily recommend it for anyone.

Now Fried Green Tomatoes on the other hand…..this might be more of a pure Southern novel than chick lit…but you know….there is some girl action in here and that is my kind of chick lit. This is Fannie Flagg’s best book, and while Mary Louise Parker may be slinging weed these days…I will never be able to re-read this book without picturing her as Ruth to Mary Stuart Masterson’s Idgie. Of course I can’t watch the movie without seeing Kathy Bates hobbling James Caan in Misery….okay it's getting off the rails a bit. But my point is the book is a classic. Would also recommend this on audio – if you are the sort.

Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing and Fried Green Tomatoes. Those are my picks.


I hate the expression "chick lit" and generally am of the opinion that books are not written for poultry.  However, I will acknowledge that some women tend to like a certain type of book, and that type of book tends to have a pink cover.  Or soft focus.  I hate soft focus.  Those pink-covered books tend to be love stories and they tend to deal with women's issues and relationships.  By that criteria, I too have selected two titles. 

I've previously mentioned David Nicholls's novel One Day here, and more than a year after I read it I still feel strongly that it's a great read.  It's the story of Dex and Emma told over the course of 20 years, each chapter checking in on the pair on July 15th of that year.  The novel is funny, charming, and heartbreaking, and it's soon to be a major motion picture starring Anne Hathaway and the dreamy Jim Sturgess.  I've recommended this book to several friends and they still talk to me...occasionally, anyway.

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close is a new release; it went on sale last week.  That's a plus--you haven't read it yet.  Also, Jennifer Close works at Politics & Prose in Washington, DC, and you should love your booksellers.  I was shocked by how much I loved this book.  These linked short stories totally nail the experiences of a group of women in their 20's as friends begin to wed.  There are the weddings, and the horrible showers, and the even worse bride's maids dresses, and the humorous hell of your friend's happiest day.  I have kept a running total of the amount of money I've spent on wedding showers, wedding gifts, destination weddings, wedding attire, etc, etc, etc, over the last ten years, and some day I'm going to collect some reciprocity.  I think I need a book nerd shower and all of my friends will buy me book stuff and make me cookies and I will NOT write thank you notes.  Anyway, Girls in White Dresses is great and you should pick up a copy soon.

1 comment:

  1. Loved all of those! Recently the Penguin rep near me gave me Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and What Alice Forgot and really enjoyed both- clever but light "chick lit" (although I hate that term!)