Sunday, 1 June 2008

Chick Lit or not to Chick Lit?

As the time up to my break from work was approaching I plunged head first into a Chick Lit frenzy. I couldn't help it, I needed to escape! For me, Chick Lit does exactly what it says on the tin: it's extremely easy to read; characters are (for the most part) easy to empathise with and instantly recognisable; it can be completed in one weekend and has nice cover artwork (That's important in Chick Lit - makes you pick it up off the shelf).

The modern boom in this genre took off with a favourite of mine, Helen Fielding's 'Bridget Jones's Diary' (I do realise this is the second time I've mentioned it in 4 postings, which may tell you something about me). Fielding captured the paranoia of a generation of young women, fretting over things that may seem ridiculous to some, but keep others awake at night. It's widely acknowledged that Fielding based her 'comment on society' creations on Austen's 'Pride & Prejudice' and 'Persuasion', and in this illustrious company lies my point about Chick Lit - it's been around for a long time & people enjoy it: when it's good it's very, very good and when it's bad it's horrible.

'The Love of Her Life' by Harriet Evans
A more multi-faceted protagonist than we are used to, some real emotion, an interesting reveal and glitter on the cover. A weekend's reading.

'Wedding Season' by Katie Fforde
Very sweet romance with a good pace to the plot and a number of well crafted characters. Very suitable for any reader who has found themselves attending upwards of a couple of weddings this summer. Three days.

'Plotting for Beginners' by Sue Hepworth & Jane Linfoot
Yawn. I think I was in the wrong demographic for this one. I nearly put it away half way through, but stubbornness made me stick it out until the end. This took ages as I started reading something else alongside it.

'This Charming Man' by Marian Keyes
This is an interesting one as it threatens to transcend the genre through tackling the topic of domestic violence and it's hidden nature. Humour is added through the cross-dressing characters - this is less crazy in context than it sounds here. A week's reading.

'Divas Don't Knit' by Gil McNeil
This has a good story at it's heart and a very current hook, picking up the revived trend for knitting. It was a nice read, but hasn't affected me beyond that. A day.

Once in a Blue Moon

I've been doing a significant amount of reading of late, but haven't found the time to write anything about it. Now I have a month's respite from work I'm glad I can use this time to get my mind back in order, exorcise the million thoughts that are roaming around up there, and attempt to maintain some sense of the status quo. I'm hoping to complete one post a day, until I've managed to clear the backlog of thoughts and then hope to continue at a somewhat more leisurely pace.

I'm also hoping to do some writing over my month's holiday, I've been feeling for a number of years that this is something I want to explore again, which I haven't done since University, and which I think will help to restore some balance between my work and my life - reading and writing being 'life', not 'work'.