Sunday, July 8, 2012

Chick Lit to the Extreme

Eight months out of the year my nose is buried in complicated textbooks and pointless notes preparing for that next big paper.  I walk by the Strand's $2 carts and constantly have to remind myself there's simply no time for joy reading.  So when summer roles around, I ditch heavy plots and instead turn towards mindless materials.  I'm sure professors wouldn't approve of my reading list, but here's a few titles that make perfect vacation reads.

Book Review-Rhett Butler's People 
Being a Gone With the Wind fanatic, I was a little skeptical when my friend gave me Rhett Butler's People for Christmas this year.  Margaret Mitchell's classic is the story of Scarlet O’Hara.  It begins with the Georgia belle living on her family’s plantation, Tara, on the eve of the Fort Sumter attack and shows her life through the War and Reconstruction of the South. But Donald McCaig's work is the other side to the greatest love story ever told.  From their first meeting at the Twelve Oaks barbecue to the aftermath behind "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," Rhett Butler's People presents it all.  Plus, readers learn about Rhett's childhood on a South Carolina rice plantation, discover how his relationship with brothel madame Belle Watling really began, and much much more.  I'd certainly suggest it for any Southerner who's looking for a modern take on a classic tale.
My Rating:  ****

Book Review-The Jane Austen Book Club 
The title alone should have been a dead giveaway that this book wasn't for me.  Unlike most girls, I find Jane Austen's books to be too slow and utterly boring.  There's just something about her writing that doesn't interest me.   But back to the book at hand, it's the story of five women and one man who meet monthly to discuss the works of the popular author, but soon discover their lives are playing out much like one of her fictional worlds.  If you're a dedicated Austentine this tale will make you want to dust off your abandoned classic copies.  But, if Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy aren't your relationship role models, I'd suggest leaving it on the bookshelf.
My Rating:  **

Book Review-Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy 
Curious about all the hype surrounding Fifty Shades of Grey?  Well, the rumors and definitely true, it's super steamy. I suspect author E L James is a British housewife who's using the books to live our her sexual fantasies. By no means am I suggesting it's well written, but that didn't stop me from reading the trio in just a few days.  Tracing the sexual escapades between recent college grad Anastasia Steel and manipulative billionaire Christian Grey, it has all the qualities that make books bestsellers:  love, lust, jealousy, and dysfunctional families.  Be warned; the erotic label is certainly  truthful, but I'd say it's this summer's perfect page turner.
My Rating:  ****

Book Review-Bridget Jones's Diary 
I'm probably one of the few people who's never seen the film adaptation with Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant, and Colin Firth.  But before I corrected the situation, I decided to read the book.  Written in dairy form, it's the tale of thirty-something singleton Bridget Jones, who's certain  she would have all the answers if she a)lost 7 pounds b)stopped smoking and c)snagged the perfect boyfriend.  She eats too much junk food and spends way too much time emotional energy flirting with her womanizing boss. In theory, you shouldn't like her constant complaining, but there's something about her that every modern gal can relate to.
My Rating:  ****

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