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Gimme Things to Read

So I've been reading a bunch of chick lit lately and I enjoy it quite a bit. Except that I've discovered that a bunch of these chick lit books have a theme that I don't particularly enjoy. It's the one where the vapid woman is only concerned with designer clothes and finding the right man. They don't care about anything else. And by the end of the book, you don't think they deserved the billionaire prince, much less a happy ending.

Now the novels I do enjoy have other things going on. Two authors that come to mind are Jennifer Crusie's novels and Meg Cabot's Heather Wells series. Though they're all somewhat romancy, they have other things going on. And they have, like real jobs! Like in the Heather Wells series, she's solving murders, but she's also working in a dorm, I mean, residence hall, and she's also trying to relaunch her singing career. All of which is complicated by the fact that she's living with a man she's majorly crushing on, but is the brother of the guy she used to date and the guy doesn't even see her with girlfriend possibility eyes.

An example of a novel that I don't like is one in which the woman works for a small financial magazine and would truly prefer to work for Vogue or Cosmo, but she doesn't do anything about getting a job there, nor does she try to even understand anything that she's writing in the financial magazine. She spends more money than she earns and basically falls into a line of work that she enjoys and begins paying off her bills. What I'd prefer is if she actively went out and tried to do a good job.

I suppose what I'm saying is that I like more realistic situations where the people in it try and struggle and then succeed. They deserve their success because they worked hard for it.

So help me out here. Recommend some novels that have strong heroines!

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
lingtm
Mar. 16th, 2007 11:32 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed Devil Wears Prada, but if I remember correctly, the main character wanted to do something else with her life and was only there so she could get experience. I might be confusing it with the movie though.
shaolingrrl
Mar. 17th, 2007 04:09 am (UTC)
My idea of a novel with a strong woman heroine is that Alexei Panshin book, "Rite(s) of Passage." (Don't remember if it's plural or not.) SF all the way. I just don't read chick lit books. Sorry, ma'am.
lingtm
Mar. 17th, 2007 01:43 pm (UTC)
I'll take a look at that too. I'm just in the mood for chicklit. I haven't read a lot of sf/f books of late. I guess I'm just not in the mood for them.

They always tell you write what you'd enjoy reading, and I'm sort of thinking maybe I should write chick lit mysteries since I really do enjoy them. But you know, SF are my peeps. That's a whole other journal entry though.
stephanieburgis
Mar. 17th, 2007 11:21 am (UTC)
I know what you mean - I went through a period when I gave up on chick lit (especially the British stuff) because I found every single heroine so inane and shallow, I couldn't care what happened to them. (I loved Bridget Jones, because I thought both of those books were hilarious - but the knockoffs...not so much.) I really liked Jennifer Weiner's Good in Bed, even though I haven't been a fan of all of her other novels - it had a heroine who was smart and funny and proactive, with real goals. And this isn't such a funny one (or rather, it's a very funny book about horribly sad things), but Lolly Winston's Good Grief is just wonderful, one of my favorite novels ever.

And I can't wait to read the second in the Heather Wells series! It still hasn't come out in the UK yet. :(
lingtm
Mar. 17th, 2007 01:39 pm (UTC)
I'll browse Good in Bed at the bookstore. I read In Her Shoes and I just wanted to slap the sisters. They were the most retarded, like, ever. If I'd written that book, the lawyer sister would have gone out and done something instead of stayed at home after the lawyer partner cheated on her!

I will put Good Grief on my list.

There's a third novel (yet to come out) of the Heather Wells series. So I can't wait for that one. I'm not sure if there will be a fourth since she just signed some ridiculous contract to write a couple of tween novels. Ah well, can't fault her for success in that genre. Have you seen how many "Princess" books there are?! holy moly.
stephanieburgis
Mar. 17th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I really didn't like In Her Shoes either - it was a big disappointment after Good in Bed. But GIB was great.

I heard about the tween novel contract...sigh...I actually really liked her standalone adult romantic comedy novels, but she seems to have given up on those.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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