So, Orientalism has been abandoned… in favour of (gasp!) Daddy Long Legs (rereading after ages). To my credit, I read the entire introduction and a huge chunk of the second chapter before:
a) Beginning to get tired of Said reiterating his point (while acknowledging that his point is a good one) with the unfortunate result of weariness turning to defiance (I will love Kubla Khan, so there!).
b) I began to feel sleepy simply by opening the book. (Clearly high-mindedness can happen only in small chunks which does not bode well for trying to read Ulysses in tandem with other people).
Weird side effect of having read (a large portion of) Orientalism before Daddy Long Legs is propensity to ponder issues of feminism, race relations and the Other in poor happy-making book. This seems to represent the dilemma of my life, wherein I am caught between manifest feminism and latent harkening back to the desire simply to be rescued by a handsome prince and taken care of. (Ha! Said would be so proud. At least I can use his erm discourse, if not his sensibility). Apparently, I have never quite outgrown my desire for a Daddy (I know, it sounds sick, but this is what the likes of Said have done to me).
Anyway, for the longest time, I’ve been planning to list for the edification of my motley crew of readers the greatest chicklit of all time (according to moi):
1) Bridget Jones’s Diary: The mother of ’em all and the one that started me off. Part 2 is not as good but if you’re a fan of the original, you’ll enjoy the sequel too.
2) Anything by Sophie Kinsella. In order of enjoyment:
a) The Shopaholic Series: some in the series are better than others but all decent
b) Can You Keep A Secret?
c) Remember Me?
d) The Undomestic Goddess
(Just discovered there’s a new one out called Twenties Girl. Yay!)
3) Bergdoff Blondes, Plum Sykes (Her other novel, Debutante Divorcee, is tolerable. My copy is mysteriously at large … has someone borrowed it?
4) The Zoya Factor: Bestest Indian chicklit.
5) Left Bank, Kate Muir: Lovely! (though not classic chick lit)
6) Fashion Babylon: Perhaps it’s not chick lit but its very much in that style. All the other Babylon books are a decent read as well.
7) English as a Second Language, Megan Crane: About a girl who chucks her job and goes back to uni. Read while that is exactly what I was upto.
8) Sex and the City, Candace Bushnell: Anyone reading this hoping for a written version of the series can forget it. The book is a collection of vignettes but the characters are harder, more acerbic and less likeable. Weirdly, I like it. None of her other books though.
9) The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Wiesberger. If I can remember correctly, I like the idea of this novel and the title better than the writing itself. “Everyone Worth Knowing” is also bearable but “Chasing Harry Winston” is impossible to get through its trying so hard.
10) The Nanny Diaries: Quite good. Got a serious thrust to it that makes up for the sometimes insipid writing. Helps if you can imagine Scarlett Johannson though.
11) The Washingtonnienne: The scandalous adventures of a Washington intern. Again, the character seems a bit twisted. But a good read.
12) Emily Giffin novels… In order of love:
a) Baby Proof (maybe because I read it first and because it touched a chord)
b) Something Borrowed
c) Soomething Blue (a sequel to the above, not as awesome but have to read as its a sequel)
d) Love the one you’re with (good not great)
Along the way, I have disliked many many authors. I’ve also discovered my favourites are by Brit authors. The dry, self-deprecatory tone lifts the nonsense out of, well, nonsense-land. Chicklit is essentially frivolous and if the author doesn’t have a distinctive flair, it could be just me writing it. Tried and disliked:
I’m always open to suggestions. So girls fire away!