Tuesday, June 3, 2008

In defense of chick-lit

I swung by Half Price Books on Roosevelt last night. Visiting Half Price Books when I normally shop at Barnes and Noble is a bit like stepping into TJ Max after spending your life shopping at Nordstroms. No pretty displays, no "recommended reads" or "new in fiction" section. While the place is no B&N, I have to admit that I felt rather cost-savvy as I walked out of there with 3 books for under $16 (total, not per book).

The first book I bought is just what I need after reading The Alchemist - classic chick lit. It's called Stuck in Downward Dog and it's by Chantel Simmons. In my last post, I said I was hoping for a book about a 30-something woman living in England and working in PR. I couldn't quite hit that nail on the head. Instead this book stars Mara who is 28, living in Toronto and working as a receptionist at a plastic surgery clinic. I started it last night and should be finished soon. Check back for a "review" later this week.

I also picked up a Jane Green book - Bookends. I've already read 4 of her other books (Jemmima J, Babyville, Mr. Maybe, The Other Woman) and while they cannot be called high brow literature, I love them all the same. I think this one will be perfect reading for my upcoming LA trip.

My addiction to chick lit can be kind of embarrassing, but at the same time I feel the need to defend it. Life isn't always as romantic and happily-ever-after as I'd like, so sometimes it's fun to read about lives that *are*. Because chick-lit is a reading staple for me, it always feels a bit like coming home when I pick up a book by someone like Jane Green, Marian Keyes, Elizabeth Young, or Sophie Kinsella. I find the familiar plot-lines and characters in these books very comforting. Particularly if they are wittily written, which many are. Jane Green's books always contain just the right amount of British slang - bum instead of butt, wobbly bits instead of cellulite, chap, bloke, and I really love it when people say bloody or bugger off. Interestingly, I just googled Jane Green looking for her book list and it turns out she has her own blog! In case you're interested, here it is: http://www.janegreen.com/

I also picked up The Inheritance of Loss, which sounded very familiar, but I'm sure I haven't read it. It's a bit more serious, so I think I'll start that that up after my trip, when I'm feeling like I need a break from chick-lit.

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