Would you mind sharing with me what you think are the best written chick-lit books of the past five years or so? I've started a novel, have decided it's going to be unabashedly chick-lit (for lack of a better term -- talent is talent), and I'm looking for inspiration. I've finally managed to read Good Grief and loved it, and that's the kind of thing I'm shooting for.
You've started off with a good one. Good Grief is one of my all-time favorite books, and I think Lolly Winston's voice and plot are sheer perfection. In fact, TDLF has frequently been compared to GG, and geez, that makes me nervous because it's such a high standard to live up to.
Okay, well, it goes without saying that I have to plug the gals who have all blurbed my novel. Pamela Redmond Satran, Val Frankel, Jen Lancaster, Cara Lockwood, Claire Cook and Johanna Edwards. Each has found a way to stand out in the inundated chick lit/women's fiction market, and in this market, that's saying a lot. I also read two women's fiction novels that stood out this summer: Finishing Touches by Deanna Kizis and London is the Best City in America by Laura Dave.
But beyond those plugs, here are some books that every aspiring author in this genre should read:
-Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner: clearly, Weiner is the queen bee of this catagory, and while Good In Bed launched her career, I actually think that LE is the most complex of her work so far, weaving in four different plot lines and dealing with some very real and hard issues
-How to Be Lost by Amanda Eyre Ward: so good that I read it in one night.
-The Big Love by Sarah Dunn: seemingly simple chick lit that isn't simple but is indeed perfection.
-The Dive From Clausen's Pier by Ann Packer: one of my favorite books of all-time. Period.
-My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult: the best, in my opinion, of Picoult's work. Riveting, so well-written, just incredible.
-Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin: my favorite of Giffin's three book, she took a classic chick lit theme - wanting someone else's guy - and spun it in a totally new way. Really absorbing.
-Sophie Kinsella's books. I admit that I actually haven't read these, but I've heard that they're smart, witty and engaging, and I'm definitely going to pick one up as soon as I get through my must-read pile that's built up on my nightstand.
I know as soon as I post this that I'm going to think of DOZENS more. And I'm annoyed at myself for not being able to rattle others off the top of my head (but I'm admittedly really brain-dead this week).
So I'll let other readers chime in: what have been your favorite books from the past few years?