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message 1: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
I forgot if this topic has been discussed somewhere, so forgive me if this is repetitive. I was wondering if any of you have suggestions for good, enjoyable chick lit. I mean something light and fluffy but still readable. I've only read a little chick lit and want to expand in the genre (to balance with the serious, highbrow reading, LOL) but I don't know much about it.

To mention some of the things I've read, I love Sophie Kinsella (read all of her books except the latest one), and I've read a little bit of Meg Cabot's adult books (the Heather Wells series, Every Boy's Got One), Bridget Jones' Diary, and The Devil Wears Prada. And... that's about it, I guess. What do you all think about these authors: Jane Green, Marian Keyes, Plum Sykes, Janet Evanovich? Or are there others you would recommend? Thanks a bunch!

message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 11, 2008 08:29AM) (new)

I normally don't really like Chick lit (one of the few genres I actually don't read ; )), but I can recommend Cecelia Ahern. I only know Love, Rosie, which is a very sweet story, but I have heard that her other books are supposed to be pretty sweet as well.

message 3: by Synova (new)

Synova | 20 comments I like Jane Green's earlier stuff. (Jemima J and Mr. Maybe) I love Marian Keyes. My favorite of hers is Last Chance Saloon, but I also really like Sushi for Beginners, and the Walsh girls books are good too (and can be read as stand-alones). Janet Evanovich is one of my all time favorites. I love the Stephanie Plum series.
I also liked Meg Cabot's Queen of Babble series. I liked Caprice Crane's 'Stupid and Contagious' and Mary Kay Andrews is cute too, if you're in a southern mood.

I haven't read any Plum Sykes yet.

message 4: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia (spencerafreeman) Marian Keyes is excellent! Definitely read her stuff

message 5: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
Marion, now that you've mentioned it, I just remember that I've read one Cecelia Ahern book, PS. I Love You. Funny how I forgot about this when I only read it last month... perhaps because I wasn't too impressed. It was sweet but the writing feels amateurish and there were many unnecessary parts. But since it's her first book she may have improved since then.

Thanks for the recommendation, everyone! Keep 'em coming :)

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Dini, I have read an article on Ahern some while back.. before I picked up Love, Rosie, in fact.
She was a praised newcomer then, so some literary magazine had a story on her. She is also pretty young.. I think she was 21 or 22 when she published her first book, so that might also be a reason why her writing in PS. I Love You felt somehow edgy : )

message 7: by Kathryn (last edited Dec 12, 2008 11:22AM) (new)

Kathryn | 361 comments Dini, I LOVE Sophie Kinsella's books! My sister and I saw her at an author talk at Macy's here last year (how great is that, she got to promote her new Shopaholic book surrounded by designer labels!?) and she was sooo fabulous--really nice, sweet, funny and smart--could see her being a total chum to go shopping with, to coffee, etc. Really cool that she ended up being so very much like we expected (that's not always the case with authors!!!)

Have you tried Katie Fforde??? I went through a big phase where I loved her stuff--but some is better than others. It's cozy British chick-lit. She has various ages for the protagonists, too, s o you don't always have to read about 25-year-olds (though, since that's my basic age group, I didn't mind). I like Stately Pursuits best and also Second Thyme Around Life Skills was good, too.

I also liked
The Thin Woman
it's a British cozy mystery, but the mystery is rather thin and there's more emphasis on the heroine coming out of her shell and finding a man in the process!

I've been kind of "off" chick-lit for awhile now, so I look forward to the recommendations here as it sounds like you are looking for exactly what I would like to read in that genre, too!

message 8: by whichwaydidshego?, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego? (whichwaydidshego) | 1996 comments Mod
I only read certain authors in chick lit. I discovered Marian Keyes when I picked up Sushi for Beginners at the English Language Used Bookstore in Florence, Italy. I'd no idea, but it didn't come out here in the states for a few years. I really liked it, and have since read nearly all of her stuff... that which I haven't are on my shelf to read when I get in the chick-lit mood.

Similarly, I picked up Bridget Jones' Diary the same way. When a book has me laughing out loud, I'm going to find more of the author's stuff! As a side note, I LOVED reading the original British version of this book because the little things that were changed for the American version was stuff from the culture there... like listing the weight in stones. Do you know how long it took me to discover how much she actually weighed in terms I could understand? Dunno... I loved that side of it. Some of the phrasing, too, was changed. Anyway, I still have one of Helen Fielding's early books yet to read on my shelf, but while it was rather far fetched, I loved Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination!

I liked Julie Kenner's trilogy starting with The Givenchy Code okay. Mostly I had to pick up the first one because of the tongue-in-cheek title! Not the highest quality writing and don't count on being challenged by the "puzzles" as in the book it's title plays on, but fun and more on the adventurous side.

On the one-offs category, yes, The Devil Wears Prada wasn't bad. A fun, completely silly but highly entertaining one is Venus Envy by Shannon McKelden (again with that title how could I not! laughed on first sight!). Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro was probably one of my favorites of this catagory.

I don't know if you'd consider the Rebecca Wells as chick lit... But her Ya-ya books were really very good. Personally I thought her Little Altars Everywhere was fantastic and nothing like chick lit, but most put her in this category. I only read that one and the first Ya-ya book, though. They both have a darkness and truthfulness about humanity that isn't common in chick lit.

On Rory's list, I read this book called The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker. It was fantastic. Well, again, in my opinion. And Rory's! It carried with it that quality that I mentioned regarding the Wells books. Also on her list is The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin. I have it on my shelf, but haven't gotten to it yet. Since it's a Rory, it should be fun but I'm not really expecting anything deep like the other one I just mentioned.

Lastly, I'm going to show myself a total dork in listing Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange. I had fun with this. It was an excessively quick read, but it was fun to look at a whole other perspective on the beloved Austen tale. Okay, it was completely chick lit in that it added even more "happy endings," but I still had a lot of fun with it and would read some of her others if I got my hands on copies (she does the same with other Austen books).

This was too much in one post. Sorry I was so long-winded! Still, I hope this gives you some fresh ideas. Cheers.

message 9: by Elizabeth (last edited Dec 14, 2008 03:14PM) (new)

Elizabeth Hi Dini,

I'm not one for chic-lit either, but a good one that I've found is The Little Lady Agency by Hester Brown. It was light and had some great LOL moments, plus it had a nice ending that wasn't what you were expecting.

message 10: by Dini, the master of meaning (last edited Dec 23, 2008 07:36PM) (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
Kathryn, how cool it was to meet Sophie Kinsella! I heard Kinsella is a pseudonym, and she's also written some books using her real name, Madeleine Wickham.

I wonder if Katie Fforde is related to Jasper Fforde of the Thursday Next books.

Michele, I've seen The Nanny Diaries movie and it was pretty good. Don't know if it was my mood at the time but I actually cried watching it, something I haven't done in a LONG time. Might be interesting to check out the book.

And speaking of Darcy, at a bookstore the other day I saw a book called Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter, about a girl who longs to find a "Darcy" in real life. The cover looks good, it made me want to read it.

I'm loving the suggestions so far!

message 11: by Kristel (new)

Kristel | 164 comments I simply loved the The Devil Wears Prada, because really I could relate. Last year I was in an awful work situation working for an absolute psycho-tyrant, who was kind of like the boss in the book. That's a bit my criteria for chicklit, If I can relate somehow to the main character, I like it. I am currently reading Rebecca Eckler: Knocked Up: Confessions of a Modern Mother-to-Be. Well obviously, because I'm expecting and really I can relate again. Don't really like pregnancy clothing, not being able to drink alcohol, especially now with the holidays and's just a hilarious little chicklit novel. Another criteria: they need to be funny.

message 12: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
Kristel, I agree that chicklit should be funny. Have you ever head of the book Diary of a Mad Mom-to-Be? That should be right up your alley. I haven't read it but my friend says it's good.

I just read Sophie Kinsella's latest book, Remember Me?. Finished it in just a day. As with her other books, you can expect laughs and a likeable heroine. It's about a girl who has amnesia and doesn't remember the last three years of her life. She was even shocked to hear that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston had divorced. "Jen and Brad's divorced? The world really is a different place!" LOL.

message 13: by Erin (new)

Erin | 76 comments Elizabeth - I took your recomendation of The Little Lady Agency and am so glad! Wonderfully appealing heroine, many laughs, and I felt like I was getting an insider's view of living in London, too! Thanks!

message 14: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Erin - I'm glad that you liked The Little Lady Agency. There are two sequals ( Little Lady, Big Apple and The Little Lady Agency and the Prince ) that I haven't got a chance to read yet but are on my list to buy with my Barnes & Noble gift card. Hopefully they'll be just as good!

message 15: by Stella (last edited Jan 05, 2009 08:10AM) (new)

Stella (Stella_ExLibris) | 57 comments Hi Dini and everyone! I'm new, just joined this group :-)

I had to comment on this thread since over the years I have read quite a few chick lit novels, but there are so amny not worth your time.

I'd definitely recommend Marian Keyes, but I think there are a few of her books which are rather a miss, I'd recommend Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married (the best in my opinion, funny, witty, and romantic), Anybody Out There?.

Also my favourite chick lit author (besides Sophie Kinsella) is/was Melissa Nathan. You should definitely check out her books! They are funny, witty and the writing is good quality. My favourite is The Nanny and The Learning Curve, but Pride, Prejudice and Jasmine Field (or Acting Up as it has been lately renamed) which is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, and Persuading Annie (modern Persuasion) are all very enjoyable!

Also Kristin Gore's Sammy's Hill was such a delightful surprise! It is laughing out loud funny and very original! Would definitely recommend that one also.

When it comes to Cecelia Ahern, though I find her a very nice and sympathetic girl, I simply don't like her books and her style though I've tried. Ps. I Love You wasn't bad, but nothing exceptional, and Where Rainbows End (or also called Love, Rosie) was so boring and the writing dull that I tried to read it twice and failed both times, reaching only the middle.

Speaking of Irish authors, I have read The Mile High Guy by Marisa Mackle which I found roaring out loud funny and very original if I remember correctly.

message 16: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 361 comments Stella, what is "The Mile High Guy" about? I can't find a review here or on Amazon. Thanks! :-)

message 17: by Stella (new)

Stella (Stella_ExLibris) | 57 comments Kathryn wrote: "Stella, what is "The Mile High Guy" about? I can't find a review here or on Amazon. Thanks! :-)"

It tells the story of a young Irish stewardess (a bit autobiographical, since Marisa Mackle was a stewardess) and the ups and downs of her dating life (mostly with a dashingly handsome celebrity travelling on first class). What is also great is that we get to see glimpses into the real life of stewardesses and pilots, how this whole flying off, staying in another city, etc is in reality. And Mackle narrates it in such an original, funny and bubbly whirlwind, that when you are not trying to keep up you are laughing out loud.

here is a review I have find on amazon:

"I don't usualy bother writing reviews but I've just finished reading the Mile High Guy and felt I had to say how much I throughly enjoyed this book. This novel was so much FUN to read! The story line zips along nicely.

The main charachter, Katie is an adorable but slightly ditzy air-hostess who divulges her inner-most thoughts to the reader in a pacy, bubbling steam of internal monologue. The story is told from the first person and is so refreshingly real and funny.

A hopeless romantic Katie gets swept away by the glamour and romance of a date with a famous first class passanger. Her discriptions of the passengers and other crew members are an absolute hoot and Katie's vivid imagination conjures up all sorts of elaborate would-be scenarios which had me in stiches. I've never read one of Marisa Mackle's novels before and I came accross the Mile High Guy purely by accident and though the title sounded like fun- and it certainly was! it's a fast, comic story with a twist. The writer's style reminded me of Sophie Kinsilla's 'Can you Keep a Secret', a book which I also loved. So if you're a fan of Kinsilla's Shopaholic seres this is definitly your kind of book."

Hope this helped (and made you want to read it) ;-)

message 18: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 361 comments Sounds cute and I will have to watch for it! Too bad I don't have a chance to find a copy before my next air travel next week--sounds perfect! ;-p

message 19: by Stella (new)

Stella (Stella_ExLibris) | 57 comments Yes, I found it by chance in Dublin before flying off myself, and becuase of its theme it was the perfect read while flying ;-)

message 20: by Lauren (new)

Lauren I am not a big chicklit reader but I love the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich!! I find the escapades absolutely hilarious and the characters are enjoyable. Not a series to take seriously but that is my main foray into chicklit.

message 21: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 361 comments Just wanted to make sure that all the Sophie Kinsella fans know about the upcoming "Shopaholic" film; February and there's even an ad for it running on GoodReads now! I'm hoping it will be warmhearted and hilarious, just like the books. I admit that Hugh Dancy doesn't look a bit like I'd pictured Luke, but I won't complain since I *heart* Dancy! ;->

message 22: by whichwaydidshego?, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego? (whichwaydidshego) | 1996 comments Mod
I confess, I just added The Mile High Guy to my Bookmooch wishlist. And I NEVER add chicklit titles to that list! Well done you, Stella - you're a great salesperson!

message 23: by Stella (new)

Stella (Stella_ExLibris) | 57 comments Hehe thanks :-D

(I can't stress enough how hugely funny and enjoyable The Nanny by Melissa Nathan is - that is my all-time favourite chick lit I think, some have said that it is as if Jane Austen would have wrote it in the 21th century :-)

message 24: by Heather (new)

Heather | 2 comments I'll have to pick up some of these suggestions next time I'm at the library! The last one I read was Austenland by Shannon Hale. I really liked it, but I'm generally a fan of anything relating to Austen. It was a very quick and easy read -a lot like just sitting down to watch a chick-flick.

message 25: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 100 comments I have to say that Janet Evanovich is hands down wonderful! I absolutely love the mix of suspense, humor, and romance. You just become hooked to the main character, Stephanie Plum. And you never know what will happen next. I highly recommend all the Plum series! :-)

message 26: by Donna (new)

Donna | 1 comments I love Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes. Another funny chick-lit writer is Robyn Sisman. Marisa Mackle also wrote another 'airhostess' book called Confession of an AirHostess which was very funny.

message 27: by Sarah Mae (new)

Sarah Mae (sarahmae) I agree with the others who have said Marian Keyes and anything by Meg Cabot. I also enjoy Maeve Binchy and the short story collection This Is Chick Lit:

message 28: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 361 comments Thank you, Elizabeth, for mentioning The Little Lady Agency! I got it for my cross-country flights and I've read about 1/4 of it (yeah, I got too tired to read much!) but I really, really like it so far. Lots of fun and interesting premise. Plus, I really love how the heroine makes a point that she doesn't sleep around with boyfriends. I don't mean that as a judgment on those who do, but just it is refreshing to see a "chick-lit" where sex is not the main course, or even the desssert.

message 29: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Kathryn wrote: "Thank you, Elizabeth, for mentioning The Little Lady Agency! I got it for my cross-co..."

I'm so glad you're enjoying it Kathryn!

message 30: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
And the recommendations keep coming! Thanks, everyone :)

OK, now I might have to get The Little Lady Agency, what with all the good things you people are saying about it!

For those who've read the Stephanie Plum series, they're kind of chick lit meets detective stories, right? How many books are there, anyway? I think they use numbers in the title but I don't know how far they've got.

message 31: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 100 comments She is at book 14 now. I heard that she was not doing anymore Plum series. But I just heard it as a rumor.

message 32: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
I was in a bad mood the other day so I went and bought The Little Lady Agency to cheer myself up :D Can't wait to read it!

message 33: by Dottie (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) | 698 comments Dini wrote: "I was in a bad mood the other day so I went and bought The Little Lady Agency to cheer myself up :D Can't wait to read it!"

How very Gilmore Girls is that, Dini? Books to fit the mood! Loved it -- it gave me an early morning giggle.

message 34: by Hippo dari Hongkong (last edited Feb 27, 2009 01:17AM) (new)

Hippo dari Hongkong | 74 comments Umm.. chicklit right? Is it OK for a guy like me to read chicklit? :D
So far I've only read three Kinsella's book. And the "bad thing" is .. I like it :D

Psssttt.. Dini! don't tell anyone OK?! :-p

message 35: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
Your secret is safe with us, Erie... we know you love those books! ;D

message 36: by Chase (new)

Chase Brooks (chasebrooks) | 1 comments You should read my book, "Hello, My Love." It is definately chick-lit. Its a romantic comedy that centers around first love. Everyone who has read it has fallen in love with it. The sequel may be released by June.

message 37: by Britt (new)

Britt Griffith | 3 comments I would recommend anything by Jane Green, especially Swapping Lives or Jemima J.

message 38: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
So I finished The Little Lady Agency a while ago and I enjoyed it! Thanks Elizabeth for the suggestion. I can't wait to check out the rest of the series.

message 39: by Meghan (new)

Meghan | 76 comments vera, i enjoyed luxe. i haven't read the other 2, but they got good reviews from the teens at my library and i plan to read them. i thought luxe was a lot like booth tarkington's the magnificent ambersons, actually. i don't remember it being racy, but it's been a while since i read it.

message 40: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (SweetMelissa111) | 20 comments I'm not a big fan of the one Plum Sykes book that I've read, Bergdorf Blondes. It was kind of shallow and I didn't find any of the characters very appealing. I love Marian Keyes, however, and have read her first eight novels. I'm also a big fan of Jennifer Weiner, especially her first, Good in Bed. I also like Emily Giffin, again, especially her first, Something Borrowed. My other favorites in the genre are Megan Crane, Kristin Harmel, Cara Lockwood, Lauren Weisberger and Alison Winn Scotch. If you're interested in some funny memoirs, Jen Lancaster and Laurie Notaro are fantastic. I also recently read Jancee Dunn's first memoir, But Enough About Me, and loved it.

message 41: by Jessika (new)

Jessika (jessilouwho22) Like Melissa, I would definitely recommend Emily Giffin. I think she's an excellent chick lit author :)

message 42: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
Thanks for the suggestions. My sister just bought Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes so I'm definitely checking that out.

message 43: by whichwaydidshego?, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego? (whichwaydidshego) | 1996 comments Mod
Dini, Anybody Out There? is one of Keyes' books about a family of sisters. Each sister has a book that is centered on her. You can read them out of order, but there are references to the other characters that make a bit more sense (and likely make you laugh harder) when you know their back stories. Anyway, in case you wanted to try them in order I wanted to warn you. Still a good book, either way.

message 44: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
Thanks, Michele. I didn't see a clear order of books in Goodreads so I didn't know which one was the first.

message 45: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 197 comments I think the order of the Walsh sisters books is Watermelon then Rachel's Holiday, then Angels then Anybody Out There. I loved the first 2 books, really liked the 3rd, liked the 4th but didn't love it. Keyes made HUGE changes to Anna in Anybody Out There-so much so that I almost didn't think it was the same series. In the other books she's flighty, free spirited, into crystals and tarot cards etc. In Anybody Out There she's a career girl who works for a magazine (I think-or maybe a cosmetic company). I think if I read that one first without reading the others I would have been fine but I was really bothered by how much she changed the character.

message 46: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (SweetMelissa111) | 20 comments Joanie got the chronological order right. I'm a bit obsessive about reading authors' works in order, even if the plot lines aren't at all linked.

I didn't mind the changes made to Anna and Helen in Anybody Out There, however. It's natural to change with age. When we meet Anna in Watermelon, she's a lost 20 year old kid living with her parents in Ireland. In Anybody Out There, she's in her early 30s in New York City. Those kind of lifestyle changes necessitate a change in personality, and definitely a career orientation. (She works in PR, by the way -- her client is a cosmetics company.)

I also think that a bit of the difference in Anna's personality is that this is the first time we're getting a book told from her perspective. Obviously, Anna will see herself differently than Claire, Rachel or Maggie does. The older Walsh sisters practically see each of their siblings as one-dimensional caricatures. Maggie and Anna seem to be the only ones to think of their sisters as complex creatures.

Anyway, I've read Keyes's first eight novels and Anybody Out There is my favorite so far. She really continues to improve and develop her writing with time.

message 47: by whichwaydidshego?, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego? (whichwaydidshego) | 1996 comments Mod
I thought there were more books about the sisters for some reason. Strange.

I didn't realize that she came out with another book a year ago. How did I miss that? I've read all the others. (Well nearly. Under the Duvet and it's follow-up are on my shelf to be read eventually... but they aren't novels.) Looks like This Charming Man is my next big book hunt at the used bookstores. Actually, it should be hard since it's been so long. Her next one, Brightest Star in the Sky, isn't out until the end of October it seems.

message 48: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
So my sister bought me the second Little Lady Agency book for my birthday a while ago, and it's just as good as the first. I know there's a third book, but does anyone know if it ends there or the author is still planning to continue?

message 49: by DJ (new)

DJ  (DJDivaofJava) hi,I know I`m late joining this discussion but on the subject,I love "the Shoppaholic"series by Sophie Kinsella but gotta say hated what they did with the film!Just got "TWENTIES GIRL" so I`ll let you know how it goes.

message 50: by Meghan (new)

Meghan I'm going to have to back up Melissa and recommend Laurie Notaro. Her memoirs will have you giggling and you will recognize your friends (or yourself) in far too many of stories.

I really like Elizabeth Noble, who wrote Things I Want My Daughters to Know and The Reading Group.

I know Sarah can't recommend enough Emily Giffin's series, Something Blue.

If you liked Devil Wears Prada, you should enjoy Fashionistas by Lynn Messina. I think it's actually better written.

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Books mentioned in this topic

Love, Rosie (other topics)
Second Thyme Around (other topics)
Life Skills (other topics)
Stately Pursuits (other topics)
The Thin Woman (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Cecelia Ahern (other topics)
Katie Fforde (other topics)
Jane Austen (other topics)
Julie Kenner (other topics)
Helen Fielding (other topics)