Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

This Is Chick Lit and oh,how sweet it is!

In the introduction to This Is Chick Lit,editor/contributor Lauren Baratz-Logsted says"this collection was born out of anger"-the anger coming from another short story anthology entitled "This Is Not Chick Lit" which sets out to "nourish your heart and mind" with Very Serious writings by Very Serious Women Authors. Sounds like a barrel of laughs,doesn't it?

On to the book at hand-TICL has eighteen stories from a variety of chick lit writers(and one who is more of a spy novelist,Raelynn Hillhouse,who gives us a great Jane Bond story called Secret Agent Chick),some of whom I've only heard of but never read before(Cara Lockwood,Harley Jane Kozak,Rachel Pine),a couple who I'm already a big fan of(Julie Kenner,mainly her Demon Hunter Soccer Mom books,Carpe Demon/California Demon and Johanna Edwards)and some that are brand new to me(Gena Showalter,Heather Swain,Karen Siplin). Their stories cover love and romance but also other topics such as motherhood,body image issues,competitiveness amongst women and finding the courage to achieve your dreams.

Some of the best stories have interesting creative twists like Caren Lissner's The Database,which envisions a future where people meet friends and lovers thru a national computerized listing service and Confessions of a Three Eyed Freak by Ariella Papa that has one woman's quest to remove a bothersome mole lead to an unexpected result. There's some slightly supernatural touches in stories like Dead Friends and Other Dating Dilemmas by Julie Kenner,about being literally haunted by the past and Lauren Baratz-Logsted's Shell Game that hits upon a tasty solution to a probelm marriage.

There's also plenty of good humor available in such offerings as Nice Jewish Boy by Karen Siplin which highlights the hell of social functions for singles and Mama Knows Best by Kayla Perrin,a sweet payback tale that makes me hope for a whole book about the characters. I have to say that two stories strongly stand out in my mind;Heather Swain's Cafe Con Leche Crush,about a new mother of twins who goes back to her old coffeehouse stomping grounds to reassess herself and Andrea Schicke Hirsch's Meeting Cute where a little girl with a not so cute attitude decides the fate of a budding relationship. Both stories have touching moments(particularly Cafe Con Leche Crush)and great narrative styles that I'll be on the lookout for these ladies when I need to find a good thumping read to tide me over.

This Is Chick Lit makes a marvelous addition to your chick lit library and if this genre is new to you,TICL is the perfect introduction. Anger may have motivated it but good writing and a strong sense of self is what drives TICL into charming it's readers. Please click the title link above to go to the TICL website that has more about the authors and plenty of links to many online discussions about Lit vs. Chick.
Hopefully,both sides will find a happy accord and to start,there's a list of recommended reading"across the aisle" by the contributors which should make many reading groups sit up and take notice.


AddledWriter said...

Thanks for the mention!!
Great blog.

Caren Lissner

lady t said...

You're welcome,Caren!