If one wanted to do a “genre study”

of “chick-lit” – what are the best books to read? The Devil Wears Prada comes to mind… what else? I’m thinking of reading 5-6 books that sold well, are on the smarter end of the spectrum writing-wise, and that are set in different worlds (ie, I don’t want to read only about women who work in fashion). I already picked up a new book that is sort of chick-lit murder-mystery, called A Little Trouble with the Facts. The author’s hard-boiled, noir-esque voice is hilarious, but she relies on a lot of explication to fill in chapters that set up the background for the main story. Still, I’m enjoying it. Help me out here!

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “If one wanted to do a “genre study”

  1. 15 more years

    I loved “Undomestic Goddess” by Sophie Kinsella (it’s the story of an attorney in London who is mistaken for a wealthy family’s new housekeeper). It is hilariously funny, well written, and it’s decidedly intelligent. You will laugh out loud while you’re reading it!

  2. Nicole

    I think Bridget Jones Diary was the sort of original “chick lit” (v. 1995 or so… certainly one could argue that many Victorianists, etc., were also “chick lit”, but we don’t have to go there).

  3. I really like Lisa Jewell for a quick chick lit fix…
    I liked ‘Thirty Nothing’ and ‘Ralph’s Party’ over her others, but they’re all pretty good.
    I also liked early Jane Green (Bookends and Jemima J) but she gets very formulaic with the later ones.
    If you hadn’t guessed, I’m more of a British Chick Lit reader…

  4. Anything by Jennifer Weiner, I think.

  5. Jennifer Weiner, Sophie Kinsella, Jane Green, Jennifer Crusie, Sarah Mylnowski…I heart ‘chick lit’ tremendously.

    You definitely can’t go wrong with Bridget Jones.

  6. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert could be considered nonfiction travel chick lit. It’s an enjoyable read, writing of a pretty good caliber.

  7. The Miss

    I recommend “Good in Bed” and “In Her Shoes” by Jennifer Weiner.

  8. You’ve got to include “Queen of Chick Lit”, Marian Keyes! The chick lit writers’ favourite chick lit book seems to be her Rachel’s Holiday. My favourite is her lastest, Anybody Out There?

    (Check out http://www.trashionista.com for loads more recommendations!) 🙂

  9. Chicklit:

    “The Adultery Club” by Tess Stimson

    Not entirely sure these count as chicklit:

    “The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing” by Melissa Bank

    Regency romances by Georgette Heyer – I really like “These Old Shades” (one of the most entertaining opening passages ever)

    “The Editor’s Wife” (and others) by Clare Chambers

  10. ChrisinNY

    All chick lit is not created equal- even by the same author.
    Many of the authors mentioned are good, but this would be my specific reading list recommendations- the best of the best:
    Same As It Never Was by Claire Scovell LaZebnik
    Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
    Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie
    The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life by Laurie Notaro (non-fiction)
    One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
    The Accidental Bride by Janice Harayda
    and if British fiction is not too dry for you- Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding
    I did not care for the Devil Wears Prada

  11. I second a lot of those authors/books.
    Megan McCafferty’s Sloppy Firsts series is great. (there’s a TON of really good YA/chick lit out there). Sarah Bird’s books are packaged like chick lit, but a little deeper, and I really like them. Ooh! Jenny Colgan’s Amanda’s Wedding cracked me up, and she’s got a couple more good ones. Pamela Ribon (of pamie.com) wrote a couple really good ones.

  12. Eat, Pray, Love was a terrific book- I second it.

    If you haven’t started Devil Wears Prada, I’d skip it. The story is good but the writing is atrocious.

    I love anything by Marian Keyes- my favorites are Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married and Watermelon.

    I also loved Welcome to My Planet, Where English is Sometimes Spoken by Shannon Olson.

  13. Sorry to have nothing new to add to the list but must 3rd Eat, Pray Love. I honestly had to hide the credit cards while reading through the Italian portion…would’ve booked a flight and fled otherwise. Really fantastic read.

  14. Estrella

    I love Lauren Willig’s historical fiction series which starts with The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. The books have a healthy mix of adventure, girl power, and some romance. Fun reads.

  15. Jenna

    Definitely recommend The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing and anything by Marion Keyes. Also the Shopaholic series – especially Shopaholic and Baby. The description of the stroller (pram) shop and her discovery of the sudden need for a “Pram Room” as well as a “Shoe Room” in the new house almost made me wet my pants!

  16. I’m arriving a bit late into the game here, but I’ll toss my 2 cents in anyway.
    I would heartily agree with the Jennifer Weiner recommendations- I want to be friends with her characters!
    I’m not a fan of the “Shopaholic” series at all, but loved Bridget Jones.
    Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum mysteries are good beach books.
    Elinor Lipman is another good one, so is Elizabeth Berg.

  17. yvonne

    lately i’ve been on the “something borrowed” “something blue” “baby proof” train by emily (?) giffin. something borrowed is the best of the bunch. the second was pretty bad but is a good time filler. and the last one i am struggling through. maybe not such a good idea to read chiclit in sequence. best to read things of substance in between to minimize side effects.

  18. hedder16

    Just finished “Around the World in 80 Dates” by Jennifer Cox. It’s well written (as a bonus the author used to write for a world travel agency). It has everything: romance, adventure, visits to foreign lands and addresses an issue close to any girl’s heart…. ‘how do I find my soul mate’? It’s a relatively easy read and is easily divided into assignments. The only drawback of the novel…. she LOVES to overuse the word resplendent.

  19. Ivory

    How about the No. 1 Ladies Detective agency by Alexander McCall Smith? There’s a while series.

  20. How about Laura Levine’s Shoes to Die For?

    The main character is a carb-loving elastic-pants-wearing copy writer. She’s a kitschy LA-poor writer who stumbles over dead bodies and does detective work story. The book is a bit campy and a bit funny.

    I’m not sure it is elevated writing, but it is a good book.

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