Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Good Reads



For this post, I have decided to share with you one of my favourite websites. http://www.goodreads.com/ is a social networking site that allows users to:
• get book recommendations from their friends
• keep track of what books they’ve read and what they’d like to read
• form book clubs
• answer book trivia
• collect their favourite quotes

I love this site, and I’m sure that anyone who enjoys reading will find the services to be fun and rewarding. Over 4 million book fans currently use goodreads, and over 120, 000, 000 books have been added to the site. Creating an account works almost the same way as it does when you sign up for facebook of twitter. It is free and extremely easy to use.

Think of it as being an online library that you can browse through and explore. It’s exciting to find out what your friends are currently reading, and what their favourite books are. The book reviews and trivia are an added bonus.

I encourage all of you to check out this website. Regardless of what you like to read, you will find something that you like from goodreads.

Have any of you used this site before? If so, what do you think of it?

Happy Reading.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sophie Kinsella or Madeleine Wickham?


This week I have decided not to talk about a specific chick lit novel, but rather about a specific author. Last week I discussed Sophie Kinsella’s Twenties Girl, and while doing some background research on her I discovered that she uses a pen name. Kinsella’s real name is actually Madeleine Wickham.
For those of you who might not know, a pen name is basically a fake name that an author adopts and uses when they publish a book. Using a pen name is not extremely popular, but there have been several well known authors who have followed this trend. Some of these authors include George Orwell (his real name was actually Eric Author Blair) and Mark Twain (his real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens).

Anyone who is a fan of chick lit has likely heard of Sophie Kinsella, most likely because of her widely successful Shopaholic series. What many people do not know is that Kinsella has also published several novels under her legal name, Madeleine Wickham. Some of these books include The Tennis Party, A Desirable Residence, Sleeping Arrangements, and The Wedding Girl. Although these books are supposedly written in a similar style to the books that she has published under her pen name “Sophie Kinsella,” I had not heard of any of them before doing this research. Kinsella has not published a book with her real name since 2001. This is because she decided to stick with her pen name after the Shopaholic books became so popular.

Have any of you read any of Kinsella's books that are published with her real name, Madeleine Wickham? If so, which one is your favourite? I am excited to read some of them since there are currently no new Kinsella books for me to look forward to. I encourage anyone who may be looking for a light, fun read to do the same.
Happy Reading.

Twenties Girl



Twenties Girl is Sophie Kinsella's latest novel. It was a fun, easy read and I really enjoyed it. I found it to be comparable to Kinsella's other novels because of its light-hearted and funny tone. Lara, the main character is easy to relate to, and has a charming personality. However, the plot of Twenties Girl is somewhat different from the typical plots of Kinsella's previous novels - it is a ghost story.
When I first found out that this book was about a ghost, I was sceptical. Chick Lit novels do not typically deal with ghosts or anything to do with fantasy. But since I loved everything else Kinsella had written, I decided to give it a chance.
The main idea is Lara visited by the ghost of her great-aunt Sadie, who believes that she is still alive and living in the 1920’s. When Sadie demands that Lara help her retrieve a lost necklace, the two begin a hilarious journey that helps Lara to learn a lot about her own family, and about herself. There are many twists and revelations throughout this novel that will keep you guessing all the way to the end. It is a definite page turner.
You will discover all of the typical romance and charm that would be found in any chick lit novel, but none of the creepiness that is often found in a ghost story (much to my relief). I encourage anyone who has read any of Kinsella's other books to check this one out too. If you liked the Shopaholic series, or my previous recommendation, The Undomestic Goddess, you will be sure to enjoy Twenties Girl too. It is unique chick lit novel that may even please someone who is not generally a fan of the genre.
Happy Reading.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Where Rainbows End




This week I decided to talk about the book Where Rainbows End by Cecilia Ahern. It was recommended to me by a few people, and I absolutely loved it. However, I had a hard time actually finding the book in the first place because when I initially heard about it, it was called Rosie Dunne. After I did a bit of research, I found out that the book has a few different titles and it changes depending on where you live. I heard about several people who bought both Where Rainbows End and Rosie Dunne only to find out afterwards that they where the exact same book. I found it funny when I came across a package on amazon.ca that included both titles of this book. Make sure that if you have read one of these, do not get the other one, and do not order that amazon package.

Anyways, regardless of what this book is called, I loved it and I just couldn’t put it down. One thing that I found very interesting was that the book was written entirely though emails and letters between different characters. It tells the story of Rosie and Alex, who have been best friends for their whole lives. The book begins with an invitation from Rosie inviting Alex to her seventh birthday party. It then goes on to tell the story of their lives through their childhood, teenage years, careers and various relationships.

From the beginning is it clear that Rosie and Alex are meant to be together, so as a reader it is frustrating to see how they hide their feelings from each other. Readers see situations through both characters points of view, so it is easy to recognise all of the suspense and bad timing on both of their parts. However, this also adds to the overall humour of the novel.

This it is one of my favourite chick lit novels ever. It is suspenseful and keeps you guessing all the way to the end. I highly recommend this book, and I hope that some of you will check it out.

Happy Reading.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Everyone worth Knowing




I recently read the book Everyone worth Knowing by the Lauren Weisberger. Many of you have probably heard of her, as she is also the author of the well known novel The Devil Wears Prada. I have not read very many of Weisberger’s books, but I was drawn to Everyone worth Knowing because it tells the story of a young woman, Bette Robinson, who begins a Public Relations Career in Manhattan. Since I am currently a PR student, this topic was of great interest to me.

I was extremely excited to start reading this book. I remember thinking to myself, “This will give me a glimpse into what my future as a PR professional will be.” I was so wrong. As much as I loved this book, I don’t think it gave a very accurate portrayal of what it will be like to work in PR.

The main idea of the novel was that the main character, Bette, gets a new job at a boutique PR agency in New York. She had no previous experience, but somehow she ended up working with many high profile clients. It seemed like her whole job consisted of going to parties ever night, and being forced to date one of the most desirable bachelors in all of New York in order to increase his own publicity and the publicity of Bette’s PR agency.

From everything that I have learned so far in school, PR is about so much more than going to parties and hanging out with celebrities. This book seemed to glamorize the career and it didn’t do a very good job of showing what PR is really about.

However, with all of that aside, I really did like this book. It was funny and very engaging. One thing that I really liked about the novel was the high amount of character development. Bette especially was a very complex and likable character. She seemed like a real person, and someone who I would want to hang out with.

I hope that all of you check out this book. I would be interested to hear some of your opinions about it.

Happy Reading

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Undomestic Goddess



This week I decided to review a book that I just finished, The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella. For those of you who know a lot about chick lit, you will probably recognise Kinsella as being the author of the widely popular Shopaholic series. I have to admit that my decision to read The Undomestic Goddess came about mostly because of how much I enjoyed those books.

Samantha Sweeting is the “goddess” that the story is based on. She is a workaholic attorney from London England, the same place that Sophie Kinsella is from. Kinsella is also a former self proclaimed workaholic, so it seems that she may have based the Samantha’s character herself.

Shortly into the novel, Samantha makes a huge mistake at work and has a complete meltdown. After a series of events she ends up in the middle of the English countryside with no idea where she is. Samantha is too afraid to go back to London and face her mistake, so she takes a housekeeping job with a local family. Her new employers have no idea that she is a lawyer, or that she actually has no idea how to cook or clean. ... It is all very dramatic and silly, but it is also an overall fast and fun read. Anyone who likes chick lit will love The Undomestic Goddess.

After dong some research, I realized that Kinsella has a lot in common with Samantha's character. Both women left highly stressful jobs and ended up perusing more carefree lifestyles. Kinsella is a former financial journalist, and she now spends her time writing novels. In several interviews, she has mentioned that her current job gives her the time to spend with her family that she didn’t have before. I believe that Kinsella’s drastic life change was one of her biggest inspirations for writing The Undomestic Goddess.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a light and witty novel to enjoy. It is genuinely funny and has all of the charming, romantic and light-hearted tones that make any chick lit novel great.

Happy Reading

Monday, February 7, 2011

Something Borrowed



To start my blog, I want to talk about a book that I really love, Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin. This is not only my favourite chick lit novel; it’s also one of my all time favourite books from any genre. It’s Giffin’s first novel, and is a New York Times bestseller.

My cousin recommended this book for me, and I have to admit that I wasn’t very excited to read it at first. I trusted my cousin’s judgement, but when I read the book’s synopsis and found out that the plot revolved around the main character, Rachel, having an affair with her best friend’s fiancé, I really didn’t think that I was going to like it at all. I took my cousin’s suggestion to heart, but really had no intention of reading this book.

About a week or so later, I was at my local bookstore – which is one of my favourite places to go. Seriously, I’m a huge nerd. I can literally spend hours and hours just browsing around bookstores.

Anyway, I was at the bookstore and I came across Something Borrowed, and I noticed that there was a review on the cover from Lauren Weinberger, who is one of my favourite chick lit authors and is most well known for writing The Devil Wears Prada. She said, “You don’t have to lust after your best friend’s boyfriend to worship this book … Here’s a heroine you’ll root for and a book you won’t want to put down.”

I finally decided to give it a try, and I am so glad I did.

The thing that surprised me most about this book was that even though the main character Rachel was a great big cheater, I didn’t hate her. In fact, I kind of loved her right from the start. She was probably one of the most likable and real characters that I’d read about in a chick lit book in a long time. She seemed like a normal, smart girl, someone whom I would want to hang out with – but I guess I would probably want to keep my fiancé away from her.

Oddly enough, It was Rachel’s best friend Darcy (the same friend whose fiancé she was cheating with) whom I didn’t like. She was an annoying, spoiled girl with a seemingly over-perfect life. She irritated me so badly – but that could be because the story was written from Rachel’s perspective.

I wanted to hate Rachel, I really did, but I just couldn’t. I’m sure that anyone who reads this book will feel the same way. You’ll find yourself rooting for Rachel until the end.

I won’t give anything away from the plot because I want anyone who’s interested to go out and read this book. It is chick lit at its finest, very realistic and totally believable.

There is also a sequel called Something Blue, which is also great. It’s told from Darcy’s perspective, and it gave me a bit more sympathy for her. If you read Something Borrowed and like it, I would highly recommend reading part two. It’s equally as fun and quirky.

Also, look out for the movie version of this book that’s set to hit theatres May 6, 2011. It stars Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, John Krasinski and Steve Howey.

Happy Reading.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Welcome

I love to read. It has aways been one of my favourite things to do. When I was a kid in grade 2, I wrote a letter to Santa asking him to bring me a library for Christmas. Although I never got that library, I did get a bookshelf loaded with "Full House" and "Babysitter's Club" books and thus my collection of "chapter" books was started.

Over the years I found several book genres that I love, and chick lit is one of my favourites. Chick lit novels may never be critically acclaimed, but they certainly are fun to read.

For those who don't know, chick lit is a form of women's fiction that addresses issues of modern women, often humorously and lightheartedly. Some people find this genre to be nothing more than "fluff," "trash," or "pointless garbage," and while I agree that these types of books probably won't bring to light any important social issues or change anyone's life too drastically, I do find them to be entertaining, quick reads. They are the perfect type of book to bring to the beach, or read over the weekend. Any girl who likes to watch romantic comedies will love to read chick lit novels.

Reading a chick lit novel is like listening to your best friend tell you about her life. The novels are written with a very personal tone, and the characters are often easy to relate to.

With this blog, I will review and recommend some of my favourite chick lit novels. I will also discuss some of my favouite authors and compare many central themes.

I am looking forward to sharing my opinions about this often misunderstood type of fiction. I encourage everyone to check my blog every week and then read some of the novels that I recommend.

Happy Reading.