Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Finding the Decent Genre Book in a Minefield of Steaming Crap

I'm a librarian, so in addition to reading a lot of books that I want to read, I also try to give genres that wouldn't ordinarily appeal to me a fair shake.

That said, I can't do chick lit. In my attempts to understand and appreciate the genre, I have thrown the following books across the room because I could actually feel them making me dumber:

Fashionistas, Sex in the City, Shopaholic, The Devil Wears Prada

Then, I found one I kind of like, Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner. The book begins with our hero, Cannie, discovering that her ex-boyfriend has written, for a popular women's magazine read by everyone she knows, a column about their relationship entitled "Loving a Larger Woman." From that unpleasant shocker, an assortment of wildly unbelievable things happen to Cannie - from befriending an A-list celebrity to getting knocked up by her odious slug of an ex to a few others I won't spoil.

The thing is, as much as you may try to resist the book, it's eminently likable and punctuated with nice, poignant moments to balance out the ludicrous plot twists. And it must be said that those ludicrous plot twists, if you're feeling amenable to such a thing, do a nice job of providing the reader with some really satisfying vicarious wish-fulfillment.

You read, and think, "Yes, if I was in this horrible situation, I would be every bit as graceful and awesome as Cannie, and everyone would love me and see how grievously I was wronged, and all the bad people would suffer and pay for what they had done to me."

So yeah, if you're in that kind of a mood, you should totally read Good in Bed. Also, if reading the late Judith Moore's Fat Girl made you feel like throwing yourself off of something very high, Good in Bed goes down like a happy handful of Paxil by comparison.

No comments: