Chick Lit and Me

24 05 2009

I am not usually one for chick lit, but I came across a book called Bitter Is the New Black by Jennifer Lancaster a year or so ago and was so taken with the sarcasm and snarkiness that I became a fan (even on Facebook!). How can you not like a book with a front cover that reads, “Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered, Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office”? This non-fiction gem details the life of an ex-sorority girl with more money in her closet than in her savings and what happens when her world comes tumbling down on her. Secretly all poor people want the rich(er) people to fall on their ass, and Jen does and tells us all about it in an hilarious way.

In the last week I have read the sequels, Bright Lights, Big Ass and Such a Pretty Fat. There is a fourth book freshly out that I have yet to read, but believe me that as soon as our library calls me and tells me it’s waiting for me I’ll be in my car to get it clothed or not.

The best part of Bright Lights, Big Ass was the several pages detailing a trip to the gynecologist after a 4-year-hiatus (my new favorite word I guess since I’ve used it twice in as many days). When Jen started talking about stapling the paper gown back together over her chubbiness I laughed so hard I choked on a pretzel (dipped in chocolate pudding) and almost woke my roommate. There were many other quite humorous parts, but that one took the cake for me. The central part of the story however was her working as a temp while waiting for money from Bitter is the New Black. How can you not laugh at a former big shot collating copies and fetching coffee for $10 an hour?

In Such Pretty Fat, Jen delved more into her weight issues in a funny and snarktastic way. Much as she used to drop off a bad rent check then force herself to waitress her tables for maximum tips to cover it, she signs her publishing contract as a deadline to make herself work to lose her weight. It’s an up and down battle with her binging on pie and working out to a pint sized drill-sargent at the gym.

Through all of the books she throws in funny stories about her dogs, husband, friends, and even herself to show readers that she (and those associated with her) are real people in the real world.

So, chick lit and I can be friends; just don’t expect me to start reading every glossy, pink-jacketed, shoe or flower bedecked book out there. It’s not going to happen. Jen Lancaster’s next book, Pretty in Plaid has pink and green argyle socks on the cover–so not the same.

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