Chick-lit and Lad-lit

by Ahalya on October 2, 2010

JGW-2010Talking about intellectual snobbery, I just started reading a book called The Friday Night Knitting Club. Last year, every book blog was raving about it, every reviewer I knew had it on their must-read list. I finally got my copy of the book this week and I was disappointed.
Coming soon after The Help (Kathryn Stockett) a book about the African-American nannies and maids who in the 1960s worked in Mississippi, The Friday Night Knitting Club, does not move me. The characters do not have intense, wonderful voices like they do in Stockett’s book. But, as a story about a single mom, and her knitting club friends, I was hooked. This book is about private lives, there are no far-reaching global repurcussions of what the characters decide. The focus is on love, family, independence, a search for oneself. The women are at their self-deprecating best, their humour is dry, the mess they get into, the solutions they find, the friends they make, all of it is believable and I can identify with several aspects of these women. In essence, this is chick-lit. Think Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopaholic, Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones, Terry McMillan’s How Stella Got Her Groove Back! All these books are quick reads, most men I know wouldn’t buy them ‘for fear of catching some disease’ (actual quote), but several women I know feel much better after reading these books than after a particularly gruesome Ruth Rendell or Agatha Christie. A feel-good book? Well, why not?
The Help isn’t chick-lit apparently. Although it is also about private lives, these lives eventually affect the society they are part of.
Now, Lad-Lit. That is something I am not an authority on, being a little limited by my gender. However, I have read Nick Hornby (About a Boy), and I did enjoy it. Who’d have thought men could think that much (am kidding! am kidding!)! And although I haven’t read Tony Parsons, I heard some tell that he specialises in chick-lit for men!
Now how about that!
Incidentally, I was looking at the names of some of the lad-lit authors and some of them have really macho names which makes me wonder if Chick-Lit works better with girly name authors? I shall have to check up on this.
Frankly, I am all for a light read in between heavy, philosophical books that wring you out emotionally.

So, have you read any Chick or Lad Lit recently?

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

kunal October 2, 2010 at 5:09 pm

advanced sex tips for girls sounds like chick lid does it not 😉
and its funny. v v funny at that.
cynthia heimel is a colomist, agony aunt. and rather than quell ur agony , she confronts u and ur silliness[ i think most, perhaps all people who need to write to cosmo or suchlike for advice need mental help, not a column suggesting something. usually pizza and ice cream in different ways 🙂
then there was another one …gosh. the brain struggles to recall. something about not showing necks…wait[ google to the rescue, its written by the woman who wrote when harry met sally 🙂 ]… 6 mins later he [ that would be me] returns 🙂
i didnt know men had chick lit for them 🙂 haha. or is mens health also chick lit now?


Ahalya October 2, 2010 at 9:14 pm

My my Kunal! You do scout around don’t you? By the way, won’t Tony Parsons, one of your favourite authors qualify as an author of lad’s lit? In that his books are about the personal lives of regular guys and so on and so forth? Cynthia sounds interesting, thanks, will look her up and I think considering how much I love ‘When Harry met Sally’ I can’t wait to read Nora Ephron!!!


Priyanka Borpujari October 2, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Had read “Trust Me” by Rajashree about four years ago. Pure chick-lit. Loved it then; don;t think would want to read it now though.
Would books on spirituality be considered chick-lit, considering men do not want to talk about it openly?


Ahalya October 2, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Yes, that is one drawback with most chick-lit, it doesn’t usually become a must-read-every-summer book. I don’t think books about spirituality are chick-lit, you would be surprised at how many men do talk about it, and sometimes they really do understand the message of the book too!!!


Meethil October 2, 2010 at 9:09 pm

No, i have not read any Chick or Lad lit recently. The only reason being, they did not jump out at me from the store bookshelves. Publishers should realise that if they are going to be selling ordinary content (at Rs. 99-199 you only get ordinary stuff!) they better pack it in an interesting manner. The cover and title of a Chick-Lad-lit should really ‘force’ the browser to pick it up. You see, the price is not an issue, the author is mostly unknown – so thats not a selling point either. They why or why should i waste my time of a C-L-l?


kunal October 2, 2010 at 10:23 pm

scout? well. i like humor, and if someone can make me laugh or even smile in the few random pages i read[ not in order, just random]
or make me think and say ”hmmm”. then i get the book.
sometimes i laugh out v v loud too 🙂 but i know by and large many authors try and try hard to be authors. and ofcourse plenty critics like them.but the sort of s**t that is around is astonishing.
and i wont go naming books or authors now 🙂 but there are too many so called good writers who cant write.but write stuff that somehow gnaws on ur feeling of [what i can] subconscious self pity. and that gets qualified as chick/guy [ or is it metro sexual…eeeek and uggg] lit 🙂 now enough of my insight 😛


kunal October 2, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Main Entry: chick lit
Part of Speech: n
Definition: any literature that is intended to appeal more to women than men, with a focus on strong or quirky females

so male ”chick” lit is a strong man? or what? hahaha…i thought a chick lit could be a mills and boons then 😛 hahahaha…


Ahalya October 3, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Meethil, you have won yourself a book!


Vishal Devgon October 4, 2010 at 9:08 am

Congrats Meethil!!
u made it finally 🙂


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