Chick lit--those of us who spend a lot of time talking books know exactly what the term means, or think we do, but I was amazed this summer to realize a lot of people still don't. I was at my home town library for a book signing, when I got into a conversation with my cousin about books I thought she would enjoy. She told me she loved Sex and the City. I thought "Bingo--chick lit, of course. "But when I shared my wisdom with her, she just blinked back. No clue what I was talking about. Confident I would easily locate dozens of examples to show her, I bee-bopped up to the librarian and asked, "Where do you shelve chick lit?" Yet another blank stare.
I was bamboozled.
After a lot of searching and me fumbling for a description of what exactly chick lit is, we turned up one copy of Bridget Jones's Diary and one copy of The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing in general fiction. Success!! The librarian was thrilled with this new discovery and my cousin promised to check out chicklitbooks.com when she got home.
Since then I've read a lot of people's descriptions of chick lit and to be honest a lot of them are a little simplistic and at times, insulting. Chick lit has grown a lot over the past few years. There are lots of subgenres to choose from--something, I'd even go so far to say, for almost everyone.
Here are a few of my favorite subgenres and books I recommend:
- Mystery: The Mommy Track Mystery series by Ayelet Waldman (You won't find this shelved with chick lit, but they are most certainly mom lit mysteries. Love them!)
- Paranormal: I've read a number of these this year. A few of my favorites: Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner (also mom lit), Enchanted Inc.: A Novel by Shanna Swendson, and Goddess for Hire by Sonia Singh.
- Hen Lit: (okay, I hate the term, but try and get past it...) I liked a number of the Next books published by Harlequin. One to try is Sandwiched by Jennifer Archer. I also loved Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews (Also a mystery with a great Southern setting which I am a sucker for.)
- General Chick Lit: I have enjoyed many of the Red Dress Ink books by Harlequin, including Spitting Feathers by Kelly Harte. Then, my all time favorite chick lit has to be Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes. I can not say enough good things about this book. Not the least of which is that it has one of my all time favorite lines comparing a woman's pursed lips to a cat's butt. Now that is my kind of humor!
So, even if you think you know chick lit and it isn't for you--I urge you to give it another gander. Truly, you'll get more good out of a few of these excellent reads than you'll get out of twenty pairs of last season's Pradas. ;-)