Monday, May 21, 2007

How do you feel about chick lit?

I've always liked chick lit (and am in the process of getting Eric to read it). I'm currently reading a book that would make the literari out there cringe with derision: "How to Kill Your Husband" by Kathy Lette. It's a laugh a minute, social commentary, chick romp all rolled into one.

But you see, that's how I feel about chick lit. It has a lot to say about our society of women today and how we juggle work, boyfriends/husbands, friends, kids and everything else. Hey, Jane Austen wrote the chick lit of her time and the women there spent their days mooning over how to get husbands, just like we do today!

I particularly like the humorous prose of Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella (Shopaholic series) and Nisha Minhas. Read one of their books and study how they write humour. They have the ability to turn a very tragic situation (like Indian bride kidnapping) into something you can share and laugh about (but at the same time, commiserate with the heroine's situation).

So, 'fess up now. Do you read chick lit?

(BTW, MPH 1 Utama has a bookshelf dedicated to 'chic' lit, but I suppose chick lit is chic too.)


Gette said...

Sure I do. They're a good fun romp. I can't think of any other word to describe it, apart from "romp".

"Undead & Unwed" is pretty funny.

Tunku Halim said...

Haven't read any of it myself. But I suppose it's for chicks?

Lydia Teh said...

Read one of Nisha Minhas's books. Don't like it because it's full of four-letter words and the protagonists jumping in and out of bed. Sophie Kinsella's heroine Becky is air-headed. At the beginning I was quite irritated by her but towards the end, she redeems herself. My daughter can't get enough of chick lit. When I was her age, I was into M&B (Mills & Boons not Maths and Bio), those were the chick lit twenty-thirty years back.


Ted Mahsun said...

I don't read chick lit but Lina does, and all I know about chick lit, I know from her.

Funny you should mention "How to Kill Your Husband". We saw that book in Kino the other day and Lina made an off the cuff remark, to the tune of "I should buy this!"

She can be scary sometimes.

Argus Lou said...

Haha, poor Ted. My partner will get a tad worried when he reads one of my stories in the vein of 'Dark City'.

Xeus, the trouble with chick lit is the moment a shop labels it such, few men will go near it.

I can't seem to enjoy chick lit much. Found Kinsella and Lette to be annoying to read. Although I deliberately chose 'West End Girls' by Jenny Colgan to review for a daily and it turned out quite enjoyable although slightly pointless (even my partner read it 'coz he forgot to bring a book to the island resort; he asked, "What is the purpose of this book?").
Perhaps I liked it 'coz it wasn't about shopping gone out of control, cleaning up after babies, bitchy-nasty she-bosses, or forever sashaying to trendy cafes and restaurants.

Xeus said...

Gette, who is Undead and Unwed by? I'll try to get it.

TH, chicks as not in the chicken variety :) But if we chicks can read 'male' books, you guys can read chick books too!

Xeus said...

Lydia, I like the chick lits because they're so funny!

Becky Bloomwood is certainly one character. She's going to be in a movie soon.

I think chick lit was only invented after Bridget Jones. Before that, women only had romance. But chick lit is more than romance, it's about career and friends and choices.

Xeus said...

Ted, long time no hear!!!

There are lots of handy tips on how to kill your husband in that book. Beware!! (And Lina looks so sweet).

Argus, you are too high brow for chick lit!! I mean, you read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I've read Jenny Colgan and she's the most 'serious' of them all.

Keris said...

If you like chick lit, you should visit the chick lit blog I co-edit, Trashionista (

And I wouldn't say Jenny Colgan is the most 'serious'; Marian Keyes deals with much more serious issues (and she's a much better writer).

Xeus said...

Keris, most cool. Thanks for the link. Marian Keyes is a very good writer. I learned a lot about literary agents and writers' deals from her book The Other Side of the Story.

alex said...

Gette said...

Sorry for the late reply. Forgot to check back.

"Undead and Unwed" is the first of a vampire chick lit series by MaryJanice Davidson. Last I checked, she also has a new series out about a mermaid.

Sharanya Manivannan said...

Ooh I like Kathy Lette. The *only* feminist chick lit writer, IMHO (also the only one I can really stand. Haven't read the latest but look forward to it.

Anonymous said...

I simply loved nisha minhas's novels.she has the good flair for i'm waiting to get my hands onto her latest novel, Tall,Dark and Handsome.

I also enjoy other chick lit books. they are the normal books that interest me apart from harry potter.

btw,i'm 18 going to be 19..and i simply love reading

Molly said...

I will happily read most fiction (and plenty of non-fiction as well), from heavy literary tomes to classics, to crime, to thrillers, to science fiction and fantasy.... and yes, chick lit (blushes).

The only things that I draw the line at are historical sagas, bodice rippers and pure romance - but when I am in a certain mood, nothing but chick lit will fill the gap.

Yes, they are candy floss for the brain, but sometimes life calls for empty frivolity and most of the authors mentioned provide a relaxing and amusing few hours of light relief from the day to day grind :-)

Marian Keyes is mistress of her art, with Sopie Kinsella not far behind, and Nisha Minhas with her culture clashing themes is always a winner. I also love Isobel Parkes and Jenny Greene.

It is interesting to note that there are several distinct categories of chick lit, to appeal to each stage of the female life: young free and single; woman with baby/young child; mid life crisis (what I like to call Chicken Lit ;-). I distincly remember not being able to get enough of chick lit involving babies/children when my own kids were little ... these days I'm more your Libby Purvis type - but I still enjoy a good romp with some of the more frivolous examples of the genre from time to time.

Anything that gets people reading is good in my view - and chick lit, whilst it may not be high literature, educational or even particularly enlightening, is still to be commended for sheer entertainment.