Doing the 52 Book Challenge. I bet I can do it. The question is if I can read any non-chick lit this year.
38. The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry. I really enjoyed this and read it in about 24 hours.
37. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Fabulous!
36. Me vs. Me by Sarah Mlynowski. Blah.
35. Goodbye Jimmy Choo by "Annie Sanders." This one was super cute and much less fluffy than you'd expect. And for those of us reading chick lit for a little escape it's nice at least once in a while for the characters to be "the wrong side of 30," married with kids. And I put Annie Sanders in quotes because it's actully two friends--Annie Ashworth and Meg Sanders. Kelli?
34. A Dangerous Dress by Julia Holden. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME. What a load of crap. And you know how much I love dresses. This book was just so poorly written. Hello, please, please, please get a thesauraus. And to the main character: if someone throws away your priceless, magical 1920 beaded gown in perfect condition, follow it shrieking like crazy. Do not give up and just whine. Oh, and don't put it on a hanger. That's an 80+ year old with hundreds or thousands of glass beads on silk. And for the love of dresses, don't wad it up and pack it in your CHECKED BAG!
33. Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett. Run, don't walk to the library or bookstore for this one. Don't be put off by it being a kids' book. Seriously seriously good!
32. The Marriage Diaries by Rebecca Campbell. Not the worst chick lit book ever. I had gotten into it and then it ended. Boom. So, so stupid. It's like she just got tired or reached her total word count and quit. Argh!
31. Down Came the Rain by Brooke Shields. I really thought that this was a good book. I hope it really helps lots of women to know that they're not the only ones who are/have gone through this.
30. The Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne. I actually really enjoyed this one. A little better than I expected. The end was a little fantastic, but delicious all the same.
29. Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross. Fabulous book! Read it!
28. Frangipani by Celestine Vaite. This was a really, really good book. I enjoyed the aspects of life in Tahiti as well as the universal themes of mother-daughter relationships. Definitely an actual novel versus most of the trashy chick lit I read normally.
27. The Right Fit by Sinead Moriarty. I enjoyed this more than the first one. (The Baby Trail, #6) The third, and final installment is already out in hardcover in the UK.
26. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. Holy cow, that was a good book. I read it in two days. Of course, those were days that I wasn't working or anything, but still.
25. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
24. I Did (But I Wouldn't Now) by Cara Lockwood. Her best one so far. I actually liked the character better than the older sister in I Do (But I Don't). I don't know if she wore me out or if I didn't like the character that Denise Richards played in the idiotic Lifetime movie. But I did like seeing how things turned out with her even though she wasn't the main character in this book.
23. The Other Woman by Jane Green. I think this was one of my favorites by this author. It was a lot more involved than I had expected. I also enjoyed reading about the transition from single to married and all that goes along with it. I read this one in the course of an evening (and late into the night).
22. The Breakup Club by Melissa Senate. I read it in one day. So, so cute! It was surprisingly well written for chick lit and I mean that in the best possible way.
21. The Gatecrasher by Madeleine Wickham. Good fun. I really enjoyed this book even though the main character was a con artist. About 50 pages in you know what's going to happen, but you're not completely sure. There's still the possibility of someone human stupidity getting in the way. It's a fun ride.
20. Cocktails for Three by Madeleine Wickham (aka Sophie Kinsella of the Shopaholic books). Good times. Very trashy and not nearly as upsetting to me as the shopaholic books since reading about teetering on the edge of financial ruin isn't exactly "escape" to me. Anyway, this one was a good waste of a few hours and definitely good for insomnia.
19. Do Me, Do My Roots by Eileen Rendahl. So much fun and not nearly as trashy and dirty as it sounds. Actually, quite the tear-jerking and heart-warming story about love and sisters and death and sickness and living. Seriously good book. Much, much better than #12 (see below).
18. Killer Heels by Sheryl J. Anderson. Cute chick lit mystery. I liked the characters and the mystery wasn't too cheesy, although it was a little predictable. But still a good time and more to come... Killer Cocktail is already available so I'll have to read that one, too.
17. A Promising Man (and About Time, Too) by Elizabeth Young. Super cute book that I enjoyed. A little bit of light fluff with enjoyable characters and the fabulous rival you love to hate. Written by the author of Asking for Trouble, which was cute as far as I remember (it's been a few years) and the inspiration for the movie The Wedding Date, which I still want to see.
16. The Jinx by Jennifer Sturman. Follow-up to The Pact, which was another fun chick lit mystery. A little predictable at times, but still lots of fun. I do have to say that the main character drank so much Diet Coke, I was getting jittery. I have to give the author credit for making investment banking or whatever the main character does seem interesting, and dare I say it, exciting. Holding out for The Key, due out some time year.
15. Me Times Three by Alex Witchel. Warning: chick lit with gay friend who dies of AIDS. I can only take so many of those stories. Too gut-wrenching, thanks. Also, stupid "fairy tales" that the character writes that are just embarassing. It's the crap you write in your journal. And then burn! And burn with shame that you ever wrote such drivel. I could have napped during my planning period but instead I finished this and threw it across the desk in disgust. Seriously, don't waste your time.
14. This Side of Married by Rachel Pastan. Okay, this is an actual novel and I really enjoyed it. I wasn't sure at first but I found myself between classes out in the hall reading it while I "watched" the kids.
13. Pushing 30 by Whitney Gaskell. This was a lot more complicated than you might expect for a chick lit book. I really liked the characters. The author has written other books that I'll have to check out. I do own She Myself & I, which I also enjoyed.
12. Balancing in High Heels by Eileen Rendahl. Marginal chick lit. It was an easy read, but it was kind of silly. And not in a good way. Overly simplistic. It wasn't exactly a waste of time, but I'm glad I got it from the library.
11. Heavens to Betsy by Beth Patillo. Cute chick lit book about a woman struggling to be a minister, a friend, and of course, to find love. Good for those who are looking for kinder, gentler chick lit with a little less in the way of casual sex, drugs, binge drinking... There's going to be a sequel, but it looks painful. But since it will be summertime, I'll totally get it and read it.
10. The Friendship Test by Elizabeth Noble This one took me a while to get into. Plus, it had ridiculously large text, especially after 1200 pages of tiny print. I seriously checked about ten times to make sure I hadn't accientally gotten the large print version. About two chapters in I got hooked and put the other book that I was reading at the same time on the back burner. I really enjoyed the characters and liked where things went and how it ended.
9. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas Even more fabulous than I remembered! This is the unabridged version with all of the sex and violence and drugs... 1200ish pages, but well worth the time.
8. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation: Lauren Willig Fun historical romance. My one complaint was that the characters seemed really modern. But she set it up for a sequel and I found out that there's already one and read that she's writing another one...
7. Wolff, Isabel: Rescuing Rose Chick lit with a lot of heart and an actual plot
6. Moriarty, Sinead: The Baby Trail
5. Parks, Adele: Lust for Life (originally published as The Other Woman's Shoes)
4. Harding, Robyn: The Journal of Mortifying Moments
3. Litz, Courtney: Live From New York, It's Lena Sharpe
2. Lockwood, Cara: Dixieland Sushi
1. Davis, Kyra: Sex, Murder and a Double Latte