Lately, I’ve read quite a few ‘girly’ books, and it’s been brilliant.
I’ve indulged in Austen inspired romance, baking, time travelling tales of love and Mindy of ‘The Mindy Project’ fame’s book. That’s quite an array, so don’t be thinking all typical Woman’s fiction is all the same (get the guy, buy the dress, happily ever after). These tales of girls, women, love, hate and ambition are much more than that. Here’s some stuff I have to say on them.
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennett- Su Bernie, Touchstone
Inspired by possibly Austen’s most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice, this modern rewrite of the classic tale of class, assumption and the knight in shining armour is not bad. Unfortunately, it wasn’t great either. I mean, it won’t be a classic, but this mod version of the Georgian love story is good for a one time read. Lizzie Bennett is a media communications student who embarks on vlogger project detailing the craziness of her life, her mother and bagging a man. Injected with mobile phones, tweets, technology jargon and being a strong independent woman who don’t need no man, but can choose so if she so wishes ‘cos we can vote and everything now, the modernity jars with some of the more traditional tropes in the original. The plot line and names remain largely the same though.
Unusually, this is based on real life.
Overall, 3.5 stars.
The Art of Baking Blind – Sarah Vaughan, Hodder and Stoughton
I loved this. Food porn is a big business nowadays. Instagram, Pinterest, restaurants, TV – there all portals for our growing appetite and obsession with food- and this story of baking, family traumas and an unlikely group of people becoming friends hasn’t escaped.
The story centres on a group on contestants who enter a baking competition with the supermarket equivalent of Waitrose and their journeys in and out of the competition. Their stories are interwoven with that of Kathleen’s, the baking idol of which the competition was inspired by.
The story is more than sinking soufflés and poorly filled éclairs and soggy bottoms. But the journey encounters dieting and bulimia, broken marriages, poverty and struggling to connect with your children among other themes, so if you don’t only like cake, there’s plenty on offer
If you like the Great British bake off, food and drama, you’ll love this.
Landline – Rainbow Rowell, Saint Martin’s Press
This is an off beat tale of an LA couple who have disconnected but reengage in a mixture of time travel, retro communication and stroppy teenageriness. I really enjoyed it. It kinda felt like what ‘Juno’ would be like if it was a book on this exact subject if that makes sense? Probably not. Basically, I can see it being made by an indie film company and it becoming a classic- I really hope it doesn’t get hollywoodified when it eventually makes it to the big screen- it would ruin it.
Animator/stay at home dad leaves his wife for Christmas to go home to his mother when she refuses to give up work for the festive period. Over the course of the holiday, a distraught and slightlydelusional wife rings her mother in laws landline only to speak to her husband a decade ago.
A great story of falling back in love with you’ve been disconnected.
Mindy Kahling : Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me- Like the Mindy Project, hilarious and honest. 3.5 stars