September 30, 2011

Musing on why I read chick lit

In my experience there has always been alot of controversy over the chick lit label given to books and the genre. It has been said for years that "chick lit is dead" and ever few months some article comes out or people get up in arms with posts on how this statement is not true again. A buzz last few a few days, we all go back to our books and writing and wait for it to happen again. I think with the fact that this subject comes up so often and from what I see there is always people disagreeing with the statement the genre will never actually be "dead". I do think in the publishing industry they may move away from calling it "chick lit" and there is rebranding that is happening. The same heart of the books and type of books are there and will continued to be published in some way. Maybe not in the same way they have been in the past or the same amount that were coming out at points. The genre/type of books will not disappear completely in my opinion, just how we look at them and find them might change.

Now, why I read books that are called "chick lit". I was first introduced to the genre by my former stepmother, who brought British chick lit into the house, think Sophie Kinsella/Marian Keyes/etc. and introduced me to some lighthearted comedic books. At the time as a college English major, these books were the kind of escape I needed during breaks. I soon went off on my own and was finding other books in the genre that appealed to me more. Discovering Jennifer Weiner, Emily Giffin, Jane Green, and more on my own. My former stepmother and I grew apart as I got older and left the house, but I will remember she started me on this genre. She never really got into the genre like I did, didn't branch out beyond some of the comedic escape, stick with more of what be romantic comedy movies, but were books. Not me though, once I started I wanted more and knew there was more out there.

I see the genre as more than just an escape, more than just fluff books. Yes, there are the fluff ones out there and those are fun to read sometimes. But, many of the books there is more to them. If you are going through something in your life and need something to relate to in my experience I can usually find a book that deals with something similar at least and gives me something to relate to. The book will most likely have a happy ending and I may not, but that is ok at least it gave me an escape from my real problems for a little while. Many of the authors deal with subject that would normally be seen as taboo, but bring them out in fictions makes them less taboo and gives readers something to think about.

These books have gotten me through some dark moments in my life and made me think and consider things I wouldn't otherwise. Not all of them have bright pink covers, or deal with the single girl in the city with an amazing job that is out drinking with her friends ever night. Yes, those books exist, but I personally don't feel that they dominate the field anymore. I do read books that are more simpler and enjoy them at times. But, if I need something more than that I know there are other things in the genre that will meet my needs and that I will enjoy.

Plus, there are many of the classics that I have not even had a chance to read yet. So, I am sure I will be busy and stay reading chick lit for a long time. For me it is an old friend that I can and do still turn to and it is defiantly not dead for me.

September 27, 2011

Many Faces of Journaling: Linda C. Senn

Another book I pickup to expand learning about journaling. This one was more of a disappointment then the last one. It did have a summary on different types of journals that someone could write and showed examples of the types of journals. The examples made up most of the book though and there was just a few sentences between the excerpts saying you could journal like this. Yes, it gave some suggestions about types of journal and in those specific sections what you could write. But, I feel like there was no writing prompts or things to help me with writing my own journal.

I guess I just wanted more from the book. I didn't feel like there was alot of substance. If you want to just read excerpts and examples or journals this would be a great book, but if you aren't looking for examples there isn't much to this book.

So, I can't recommend this book, but did read/skim it as much as I could.

September 26, 2011

The Last Page: Lacy Camey

Norah Johnson is at crossroads in her life. Her relationship has just fallen apart and the fact that he was a major league baseball player so it is being splashed across the tabloids it is not helping. Her family sends her to the beach house and sets her up with a therapist to help her move on. Her therapist assignes her to journal, but after pouring out her hear Norah get frustrated and tries to throw her journal into the sea.
She then tries to go on with her summer with the help of her Best Friend, Chloe, and sister, Maycee. She is trying to work on her line of clothes, attend therapy, and humor every ones as they each have their way to help her heal. Along the way she meets Orien, who has found a journal on the beach and has fallen in love with the girl who wrote it, now if only he can find her and convince her to trust him.

I devoured this book. All the main characters were very relatable to me. I didn't ever really feel like an outsider looking in on this world, but someone who was learning about the story and was part of the group. There was moments of elements that the reader didn't necessarily know what the group of characters was referring to, but the reader was clued in when they needed the information. I felt like this really pulled the reader into part of the group and made the reading enjoyable for me.

Personally, I would say that this was a very enjoyable book that I would recommend to others and I am looking forward to more in the series and by Camey.

This is the first book is a series of <i>Living,Loving & Laughing Again</i> and my review is part of the Chick Lit Plus blog tours. To stay updated on when more in this series come out you can follow Lacy's progress at Also, if you comment on the Chick Lit Blog tour for the page you can win a $10 Amazon giftcard, like is link to site.

I was provided a copy of the book for review, but the summary and thoughts on the book are mine.

September 25, 2011

Carrying around this week

What I am working on reading and carrying around this week.

Thirty Nothing: Lisa Jewell
With Just One Click: Amanda Strong  For Chick Lit Plus Blog tours
The Many Faces of Journaling: Topics & Techniques for Personal Journal Writing: Linda Senn

September 24, 2011

Journalution: Sandy Grason

Getting back into more journaling lately, did creative writing in August and September is my journaling month. Only missed two days so far, even if they are quick one page before I head to bed, try to put something down at least. In order to expand more in my journaling I thoughts I would read a few books about journaling.

The first I pick up is Journalution by Sandy Grason. What drew me to the book was the second part of the title; Journaling to Awaken Your Inner Voice, Heal Your Life and Manifest Your Dreams. The book is in sections that a new some one new to journaling or someone who has been journaling for years could follow. I would say I am in the middle there are a few times in my life that I have tried to take up journaling, but haven't never been able to stay committed to it. What I felt this book did was let you know what was important to do and you could learn from form journaling, but the simpleness that journaling was also. At least that is what I got out of the book.

It took you through sections on different ways journaling can be used to look at different parts of your life or bring out different emotions or understanding that you needed. In the section there was then writing prompts to try and how others had used the prompts. I didn't try to prompts as I wanted to, but I may use some of them still. I do feel like I have learned about journaling, have a better understanding of it, and am more accepting of how journaling can help me. In the past journaling has just been about the negative and getting it out for me. Now, I see there is positives and you can share the good and the bad to share and you have to accept both parts.

If someone is wanting to explore journaling more and even if they do journal, but need a jump start this is a great book to use.

September 18, 2011

Carrying around this week

This is my feature that I am going to try and do this every week. To let you know what I am working on reading. I don't usually stick to one book, but know that it does takes me a few weeks to get through books. I do foresee some reading time this week, so hope for more reviews soon.
What I am reading this week is or carrying around in my bag:
With Just One Click: Amanda Strong
Thirty Nothing: Lisa Jewell
Journalution: Sandy Grason

September 14, 2011

Not That Kind of Girl: Catherine Alliott

My first review that I posted everywhere else recently.

Henrietta, Henny, has devoted her life to raising her kids and managing the house hold. But, with the children off at boarding school, things don't need quiet as much attention around the house. So, Henny goes into town to be a PA for a famous tv
Historian. One lunch with the boss that leads to a little to much to drink and Marcus getting wrong impression find Henny in town permanently away from her home and family. As Henny tries to find  what she wants with her marriage falling apart her past comes back into Henny's life. Now Henny has some real choice to make the past that has left her before or the 15 year marriage that she thought had stood by her, but she is questioning.

This book is looong, and most of it is character development for Henny. It follows Henny with her thoughts and interactions between other characters.  Though we followed Henny and the plot did keep moving I don't feel like Henny really grew or learned much through the process of the book. She learned about a few other characters and those revelations effected how she choose to live her life, but She never seemed to make the choice for herself.
In the end she did get appreciation for what she had and that gave me a bit of appreciation for what I have. I did enjoy reading the book, but there just wasn't much substance to it in the end.

I would suggest this book and give it 3 stars, but don't expect much and for it to go deep.

September 12, 2011

What to put in reviews?

Wanted to share what I usually do in reviews.
My typical review goes:
A Summary of the book plot points, trying not to give away spoilers. Think the summary on the back of a book.
My thoughts and opinions on characters, plot etc.
I close up with if I would suggest the book and who I would suggest it too.

What would you put in a review? What do you put in your reviews?

September 11, 2011

Where to find my other reviews

I have been writing book reviews for years, and have decided to move them here as well as the other places I post them. I am on goodreads and live journal and my past reviews are over there. The best place to find my past reviews are more reviews to be coming soon.
I am still working out how I am going to be transferring over to Blogger and am not sure all that I am going to be writing about, but it shall all be growing.