chick lit

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Some Chick Lit as of Lately

The Hypnotist’s Love Story - I read this in basically one sitting, I became enthralled with the characters. From a professional female hypnotist to a female stalker, I was very intrigued in this story line. I just saw on Goodreads some less than stellar reviews, but I am a fan of Moriarty’s writing style. It was a good book to get quickly submersed into.

Paris for One - this is a collection of short stories, with all strong female protagonists. Moyes is another one of my favorite female chick lit writers. I normally never choose to read short stories, but have found this is the perfect solution for quick reading before bed. And a lot nicer topics to enjoy without causing any nightmares, like everything else I tend to read!

I hate going to look at reviews of women’s fiction books and they all start out with “normally I despise chick lit”

Okay that’s great?? Have a cookie?? I hope you, as a woman, can explain to me why you hate a genre written for and by women and every protagonist is happy in the end and has a good job and sometimes a boyfriend and learns to love herself in a lot of them. Please tell me what you hate about this. Times New Roman. 12 font. Double spaced. I will need it by tomorrow.

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“How was it possible to be afraid and in love… The two things did not go together. How was it possible to be afraid, when the two of them grew stronger together every day? And every night. Every night was different, and every morning. Together they possessed a miracle.”
― Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt

Then Carol slipped her arm under her neck, and all the length of their bodies touched fitting as if something had prearranged it. Happiness was like a green vine spreading through her, stretching fine tendrils, bearing flowers through her flesh. She had a vision of a pale white flower, shimmering as if seen in darkness, or through water. Why did people talk of heaven, she wondered.
—  Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt
Chick Lit? You Mean Lit?

For the last three months, I’ve only read books, poems, and short stories penned by women. I made the decision after reading the same beatnik-esque “a young white man finds himself, feels numb, and hooks up with a manic pixie dream girl” story line for the 107th time.

As an English major I read JD Salinger, Shakespeare, Jack Kerouac, Vonnegut, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Dickens, Faulkner, and EE Cummings until my eyes bled, however I never felt as if I connected with these books and the experiences they presented to me, because these books did not take me into account. They were not created for me. I’m an outsider looking in, trying, so hard to understand the author’s genius, but failing. They are written in a language I will never understand; one I do not have access too, one that centers around masculinity and the rejection of femininity. 

Often male works are misogynistic and narrow minded, and if I had to read one more novel with a flat female character, I was going to DIE.

So, I began to delve heavily into Chick-Lit. No, not romance, or sappy story lines, but real chick-lit. Books written by women.

I haven’t read a novel written by a man in three months and I accredit this as the reason why my skin has cleared and why my blood pressure has lowered.

In celebration of International Women’s Day here are some of my favorite works written by women (all summaries are from GoodReads):

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit- Jeanette Winterson

Winner of the Whitbread Prize for best first fiction, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a coming-out novel from Winterson, the acclaimed author of The Passion and Sexing the Cherry. The narrator, Jeanette, cuts her teeth on the knowledge that she is one of God’s elect, but as this budding evangelical comes of age, and comes to terms with her preference for her own sex, the peculiar balance of her God-fearing household crumbles

Half of A Yellow Sun- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra’s impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor’s beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover’s charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna’s willful twin sister Kainene. Half of a Yellow Sun is a tremendously evocative novel of the promise, hope, and disappointment of the Biafran war.

Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood- Koren Zailckas

With one stiff sip of Southern Comfort at the age of fourteen, Zailckas is initiated into the world of drinking. From then on, she will drink faithfully, fanatically. In high school, her experimentation will lead to a stomach pumping. In college, her excess will give way to a pattern of self-poisoning that will grow more destructive each year. At age twenty-two, Zailckas will wake up in an unfamiliar apartment in New York City, elbow her friend who is passed out next to her, and ask, “Where are we?” Smashed is a sober look at how she got there and, after years of blackouts and smashups, what it took for her to realize she had to stop drinking. Smashed is an astonishing literary debut destined to become a classic.

Persepolis- Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming–both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.

You Deserve a Drink- Mamrie Hart

Since launching her YouTube channel “You Deserve a Drink” in 2011, comedian Mamrie Hart has built an intensely devoted following of more than half a million viewers. Like her bawdy and bacchanalian show, Hart’s eponymous debut pays tribute to her boozy misadventures with an original cocktail recipe accompanying each hilarious tale. From the “Leaves of Three Martini,” commemorating the hookup to whom she accidentally gave poison ivy, to the “Bizzargarita,” in honor of the time she and a friend were approached by two uber-Republican couples who wanted to “swing” while on vacation in Mexico, You Deserve a Drink is as useful as it is entertaining.

The Awakening- Kate Chopin

When first published in 1899, The Awakening shocked readers with its honest treatment of female marital infidelity. Audiences accustomed to the pieties of late Victorian romantic fiction were taken aback by Chopin’s daring portrayal of a woman trapped in a stifling marriage, who seeks and finds passionate physical love outside the confines of her domestic situation.

Women, Race, and Class- Angela Y. Davis

A powerful study of the women’s movement in the U.S. from abolitionist days to the present that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders.

The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath’s shocking, realistic, and intensely emotional novel about a woman falling into the grip of insanity.

Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.

Happy Reading! 

PS: Try the “Read Only Female Authors in Your Spare Time” Challenge for 2016. It’s soooooo worth it and it totally decreases the manic pixie dream girl characters you read by 82%*

*according to a scientific study+


+this scientific study was not scientific and instead conducted by me while laying in my bed reading over the span of three months