Saturday, June 21, 2008
I take my light reading seriously.
Usually I aim for "contemporary literature", but sometimes I just want to read something that goes down easier, something that requires no thought, just turning the pages waiting for the inevitable conclusion (preferably involving true love). I don't beat myself up about it; I like feeling good, sometimes.
The past couple of weeks I've been going in for a few of these fluffy novels. I guess I've been anxious, and I would rather soothe myself with poorly written prose than, you know, cupcakes (although I don't actually like cupcakes that much). Luckily, though, I've managed to find books that have a little bit of merit.
Emily Giffin seems to enjoy taking situations that seem cut and dry (you don't sleep with your best friend's fiance, for example) and giving them dimension and making them somewhat understandable. The fiance example comes from the book I'm currently reading, Something Borrowed. The writing is solid (not poetic, not beautiful, but not god-awful like most), and the characters are strong and realistic. I'm a little more than halfway through and I thoroughly appreciate the fact that I actually don't know how it's going to end. Last week I read her most recent novel, Love the One You're With. The narrator in that book starts up a relationship with an ex, minus telling her husband. Again, I was swept up into a story where the character was making really poor decisions, but I kind of understood why she made them . Both books were (or at least the first half of the first one has been) very readable, even compulsively so, and enjoyable.
The other novel I read is not as well written, or as realistic, but it has the bonus of being set in Vancouver, which made me a little bit giddy (like when you watch a movie made here and recognize a storefront). Unpredictable, by Eileen Cook, was fun and funny, light and frothy, overall a good beach read. The main character poses as a psychic to break up her ex and his new girlfriend, hijinks ensue. Woo!
I have to say my main chick lit pick (say that ten times fast) is one I read a couple of years ago, The Matzo Ball Heiress. It was just typical girly book storyline, set (typically) in New York City, but it was so funny and enjoyable and great. Unfortunately the West Van library copy disappeared, but if you can access it (and, you know, like this kind of thing) I highly recommend it.