Home > Uncategorized > Looking for a beach read…

Looking for a beach read…

Not that I’m going to the beach, mind you. Just that I’m looking for something fast, fun, funny. What’s the last book that made you laugh out loud? I’ve already read “Fearless Fourteen” and “From Dead to Worse” and “Stranger in Paradise.” Hell, I even read “Undead and Unworthy” and “Blood Noir.” I’ll settle for something lush and romantic from some bygone era, as long as everyone (important) lives.

You know what I’m NOT looking for? Anything weepy. Anything involving a beach house and middle-aged people walking around in rolled-up khakis having epiphanies. Anything that makes you want to climb under the covers and wail. And most double especially not anything that has cancer in it.

I’ve managed, through convoluted circumstances that don’t really require explanation, to recently read two or three of what I think of as the “sisterhood” style of chick lit. You know the books I’m talking about. Cause they are all just alike.

First, the cover. There are usually three or so women pictured via their disembodied bits — for example, three heads of differently colored hair or three set of feet wearing different shoes or three hands holding different kinds of coffee mugs. It’s a way to show that the main characters are all very different. (Sometimes they go with inantimate objects: balls of yard, shoes, dresses, etc.)

Ah, and those main characters! The cast consists of several “two-adjective and a noun characters” with a wacky cast of supporting characters. You know, the spunky and stubborn single mom, the overachieving and hyper perfectionist, the free-spirited and slutty artist. There’s always a cute kid, an embarrassing relative, one or more asshole exes, and often a dog. (On TV, for some reason, it’s usually four women. Think “Sex and the City” or “Desperate Housewives”.)

The men are simply cardboard cutouts — variations on “the perfect guy”.

The plot is about how this wildly disparate group of women — sometimes actual sisters, sometimes just friends brought together by a common hobby or interest — form a tight bond of sisterhood and get each other through the good times and the bad. There’s often a marriage in crisis, a birth or death, drugs, etc. The usual Lifetime boogeymen. There’s always a romance, too.

There’s always a “funny” bad date or sex scene, an embarrassing family holiday scene, and an “incompetent main character screws up hilariously” scene.

Then there’s the fucking cancer. I swear to God, what’s with the fucking cancer? Often breast cancer (a la Samantha Jones) but sometimes brain cancer (a la the tall blonde from Desperate Housewives). Whether the character lives or dies, it’s a tool used to bring the women closer together, to teach them important life lessons, to allow catharsis and change.

Poor literary cancer. It’s got such a heavy burden, teaching all these people all these lessons. Usually while people bemoan the pointlessness of it all, the arbitrary nature of cancer and death and misfortune. (Does anyone besides me get the irony?)

Anyway, I don’t want to read that. I want something that’s like Jennifer Crusie. (NOT Jennifer Weiner.) Does anyone have any suggestions?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. July 10, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    you could read my book [shameless plug] intellectual psychologoical murder mystery.

  2. July 14, 2008 at 1:21 am

    Try some books by Laurie Notario. I loved her _Idiot Girls Action Adventure Club_ and _Autobiography of a Fat Bride._ Such a hoot! Really light- – Paul Reiser’s _Couplehood_ and _Babyhood._ I was always a Mad About You Fan. Shannon

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