Bring on the chick lit books. Although I pride myself on being honest about books that I think are bad (I'm looking at you, Thomas Friedman), I will freely admit that I have no standards, no cynicism, absolutely no discrimination whatsoever when it comes to chick lit books. I pretty much love them all.
This week's case in point was Holly Denham's Holly's Inbox, which is an entire novel told through the emails of receptionist extraordinaire Holly Denham's life. Although you might find the epistolary (emailistolary?) format tiresome, it does have one big payoff: it reads fast. Sure, this book is 665 pages long. But it can still be read in a couple of hours, which has the added benefit of allowing you to quickly finish the book and slam it down with a meaty thunk and really feel like you've accomplished something with your afternoon.
This novel is also set in Great Britain, which is a second sure way to get me interested (it's been compared to Helen Fieldings's Bridget Jones's Diary, and although I liked it, I must say it is no Bridget Jones's Diary). It also ended a trifle abruptly, I thought, although a sequel is in the works so perhaps that's why. But it is fun; the following is an email from her coworker in reception, as Holly has just started the job:
"From: Patricia Gillot
That's nice for you, darlin. Just keep grinning at people for today, and I'll do the rest. Hopefully by the end of the month you might know your arse from your elbow."
Of course her tough-as-nails co-worker turns out to have a heart of gold; Holly has the obligatory gay male best friend; the perfect guy turns out to be a sleaze; the man who formerly wronged her turns out to have been wronged himself. Formulaic, simplistic, it's got it all. And I ate it up with a spoon. Please refer to my first paragraph, and then feel free to mock me--IF you don't have any reading skeletons in your closet.