Saturday, February 5, 2011

Macho Men and Chick Lit

Hello all,

Did you miss me?  Does anybody even know that I haven't posted a blog for 10 days?  Now that you know that, do you care?  Okay, moving on:  I want to cover what I think is a very interesting topic.  How do we get the male gender of our species, who usually only read about macho men (e.g. Mitch Rapp, Gabriel Allon, or John Wells), to read chick lit?  In fact, what exactly is chick lit?  Beats me.  But I can certainly tell you what it's not.  It's not cheesy romances.  There are a number of female authors who have written excellent novels about relationships (with both male and female protagonists) that I have enjoyed immensely.  Yes, perhaps it can be said that I'm a bit girlie.  But I like to think of it as getting in touch with my feminine side (my metrosexualism, if you will).

Here are some recommendations.*  These are all books that I have read.

Lolly Winston (2) - Good Grief and Happiness Sold Separately
Deborah Wolf (the daughter of someone who worked for Rich for many years) (2) - With You and Without You and When I'm Not Myself
Billie Letts (3) - The Honk and Holler, Opening Soon (the sleeper hit of the year a few years back for Bob and me), Made in the U.S.A., Where the Heart Is
Anna Quindlan (4) - Rise and Shine, Black and Blue, Every Last One, and One True Thing
Jodi Picoult (millions) - her books are either good, really good, or excellent
Alice Sebold (1) - The Lovely Bones
Ann Patchett (3) - Bel Canto, The Magician's Assistant, and Run - very good stuff
Kathryn Stockett (1) - The Help
Sara Gruen (1) - Water for Elephants

That should hold you macho man readers for awhile.  In fact, the first man that tells me he's read at least one book from each of these authors will receive a novel of his choice free, from me.  He can have it in hardcover, softcover, or in ereader form.  I have to say that I feel pretty safe on this one but will be happy
to pay up.

*P.S.  Women will like these books too.

Here are a couple of upcoming author events that might be interesting to some of you:

at "M" Is for Mystery, in San Mateo:
3/7 - Randy Wayne White - 7:00
3/17 - Keith Thomson - 7:00 - his book from last year, Once A Spy, was very good - now he's promoting his next book in the series, Twice A Spy
at Keplers, in Menlo Park:
Cara Black - 7:00
at Book Passage - Corte Madera (and the big one):
Jodi Picoult - at Dominican College, San Rafael - 7:00 - Joni and I are going with Donna and Phil - it's a Wednesday night, but we are huge fans of hers - anyone else?


  1. I have always stayed away from the chick lit stuff. But I'm not sure why. Could I have been worried what others around me might think? Well, worry no more. No one around here has any idea what I'm reading. Living in Tokyo has its advantages (anonymity).
    So, on the advice of the book sage, I will jot down these chick lit authors and search for them. It might take awhile. Finding English books in Japan is a bit of a challenge. We have a chain used book store called Book Off. 90% of the store is dedicated to manga. 5% to Japanese magazines. 4% to CDs/DVDs. 0.5% to video games, and another 0.5% to foreign books. Luckily 90% of the foreign books are English. Also, the turnover of books seems quite high in the nearest Book Off branch.

    From Book Off, I recently picked up these gems:

    God's Children by Harold Coyle, 300yen. I fought through it, but it is... not good.

    Vortex by Larry Bond, 200yen. Just started it. So far so good.

    The Red White and Blue by John Gregory Dunne, 105yen. Possibly next on my reading list, unless I can find a chick lit title to read... secretly.

  2. About time you got back to writing something. Can't let normal life get in your way, can you?
    BTW, I have read 3 of the women authors you mention and liked them very much. Then there is Alex Kava who writes for the guys 

  3. Billie Letts' Honk and Holler absolutely entertaining. A bit "closer to home" would be the SFPD homicide inspector Kate Gillespie series by Robin Burcell (Face of a Killer, Cold Case, etc)

    Keep em comin captain

  4. One other thought, as I see one of the bloggers is living in Tokyo. Miyuki Miyabe has a pretty good novel titled All She Was Worth, highly recommend it.

  5. Torrey, We have a few of these titles. I will send over a little care package (including a few little somethings for baby Alice. Yes, I am a slacker).

    Lloyd, thanks for adding to my list. It's nice to know that I don't have to remember them as I can just visit your blog!