[Shitty Books]"Chick" Books[WTF] (45)

1 Name: Bookworm : 2005-12-11 16:15 ID:uyGRnkYd

Can someone please explain to me these goddamn "chick" books, with so-called "smart and sassy women" who are slaves to chocolate, and shoes?

Reading the back of these is like reading a shoe store sequence from "Married with Children", without the funny! Well, without the intended funny, anyhow.

Seriously. WTF? Is this supposed to appeal to me, because it's main attraction is for use as kindling, or cramming up the ass of the idiot author who wrote it.

2 Name: Bookworm : 2005-12-12 03:44 ID:Heaven

It's weird. My take on it is that they are part of a drive by authors to make novels with a female point-of-view -- I have heard it said that up until recently most books in Western literature, whether written by men or women, whether using a male main character or a female main character, made use of a POV that was either male or supposedly "neutral" (actually just a less obvious male). "Chick" books have female main characters and the corresponding POV, so you'd think it would be a step forward.

But it's not. The women portrayed in these books are still conforming to female stereotypes in Western civilization: they are primarily concerned with material goods (chocolate, shoes) and with obtaining men. Rarely is the main character in one of these books an intellectual or a loner; instead she worries about her appearance. When she's not chasing men, she's concerning herself with children or family members, secretly a soft nurturing type inside her sassy shell.

Well, like >>1, none of these chick books really speak to me either. Guess we should write our own or something.

3 Name: Bookworm : 2005-12-12 06:39 ID:Heaven

just out of curiosity, are >>1 & >>2 chicks?

bullshit aside, would you count bridget jones' diary amongst these

disclaimer, didn't read it, don't watch movies or tv, haven't read any 'chick' books yet

4 Name: Bookworm : 2005-12-12 16:12 ID:Heaven

It doesn't matter if >>1 or >>2 are chicks. Even men can at least attempt to write in a non-stereotyped female pov.
I feel embarrassed saying this, but I really liked Wally Lamb's novel "She's Come Undone" when I was in high school. He perfectly replicated the "female voice" and although it becomes problematic later on, his initial depiction of the fat, outcast female subject of the novel as a HUMAN BEING is a wonderful read.

5 Name: Bookworm : 2005-12-13 17:57 ID:uyGRnkYd


I can't speak for >>2, but I'm a chick.

All I've seen of "Bridget Jones' Diary" are trailers, and have little opinion on it as of yet. Part of what gets me about the books is the level to which the leading females conform to steriotype. The character I've seen who comes closest, is in the movie Catwoman. Patience's friend from work, who keeps trying to convince her to go out with the police officer. She's comic relief.

6 Name: Bookworm : 2005-12-13 18:00 ID:Heaven

>>4 is right.

I've never read it. I'm willing to look into it.

7 Name: Bookworm : 2005-12-13 18:23 ID:uyGRnkYd


That does explain some of it. I guess these roles are so engrained in these authors minds, that all they can do is give a somewhat creepy depiction of what it's like to be within them?

Even when the character is supposed to be an intellectual, they're not. They're the same drones with a book in their hands. Remember, the loner is always looking to be pulled out of her shell by the right man, so that she can undergo her metamorphosis from a catterpillar to a butterfly.

I don't have the intestinal fortitude to do this, but it'd be nice if there were a list which really separated the wheat from the chaff. Perhaps a review site that's willing to pull no punches about these books. Personally, I'm a little scared of the prospect of reading too many of these. I wouldn't want to auto-brainwash, or something. lol

>Guess we should write our own or something.

Sounds like a plan. See you at the signing. ;) I'd say I needed talent, but then again, look at some of this stuff. What I need is to stop procrastinating.

8 Name: Bubu F. Backhawk : 2005-12-13 22:37 ID:Heaven

Books like that are written because, like it or not, there's a market for it.
There is a population of 40-ish overweight housewives who watch soaps on muted TVs in the gym and then go home to stuff themselves with sweets and shoddy "novels". Of course they have nothing to do with reality, that's exactly the point of those "books". What next, the earth is round?
It has very little to do with the "a drive by authors to make novels with a female point-of-view", but rather with the fact, that many freelance-writers out there deliver what their publisher orders them to: Spook books, sci-fi bullshit, "chick" books.
The end.

9 Name: Bookworm : 2005-12-14 19:42 ID:TLtGGre4

>>8 is talking out of his ass.

The people I know who read "chick" books are not housewives, do not stuff themselves with sweets, and only half are overweight. They range in age from 22 to 65. A couple of them listen to NPR and watch PBS regularly ( public stations in the U.S. ) and all of them are fairly intelligent. ( One of them does watch soaps, but she is an anomaly, and certainly not stupid. )

I would bet that >>8 is only extrapolating his "population of 40-ish housewives" from the one or two that he has seen watching soaps in the gym, and then has assumed that they go home, eat sweets, and read shoddy novels. You are part of the problem, >>8.

10 Name: Bookworm : 2005-12-14 20:43 ID:Heaven


There is also a market for books which aren't like that, amazingly enough, and for some strange reason, that doesn't mean these books exist. Hmm.

11 Name: Bubu F. Backhawk : 2005-12-15 01:29 ID:Heaven

>that doesn't mean these books exist. Hmm.

They don't???

>...>>8 is talking out of his ass.
>You are part of the problem, >>8.

"attacks on one's opponent are a tried-and-true strategy for people who have a case that is weak."

>I would bet that >>8 is only extrapolating his "population of 40-ish housewives" from...

Good argument, just claiming that I'm extrapolating, when one paragraph above you even admit to doing exactly that ("The people I know who read "chick" books are not housewives"). Hmm, wow! A equals B, therefore C, thank goodness for flawless logics!

Actually, the core facts (housewives, 40, watch soaps) from my statement above come from a Lagardère Media target group survey on said type of books. I simply worded them less enthusiastic, "sorry".

12 Name: Bookworm : 2005-12-15 02:52 ID:uyGRnkYd

>They don't???

I'm being more specific than you are assuming. I'm aware that other types of books exist, else "chick lit', as a term, would be superfluous. However, there are untapped markets, and especially so in "chick lit". The publishers you speak of, and some fairly influential authors, are completely ignoring a rather large subgroup of women, who are virtually starving for a more varied and open representation of what it means to be a woman.

These books are supposed to appeal to me on the basis of my two x chromosomes, however, they really only irritate me.

There is more to being a woman than shoes, men, and chocolate. In fact, one can be a woman without an obsession for any of those. If all books depicting men focused on a male who was obsessed with football, porn, and beer, it would be just as disgusting, and insulting to men.

If they then called it "Man-lit", and explained that it was supposed to appeal to all men, as some universal male experience, the rotten tomatoes should fly.

13 Name: Bubu F. Backspace : 2005-12-15 03:40 ID:Heaven

I'm not sure I follow there. Are you complaining that "chick lit" is used to refer to a swathe of books you dislike? Right?

In that case I'd suggest you shrug it off and read what you prefer. Who the hell gives a damn about what other people label stuff you don't even give a tuppence for?

Or do you feel that there's no books catering to your tastes?

In this case I'm afraid I disagree. There's so many books written by both men and women that don't reduce women to shoes and chocolate.

Actually, in my opinion there is "guy's lit", it's full of grim sovietnuclear blacksword islamsubmarines (equivalent to shoes), uncounted metric tons of silicone (equivalent to men) and space ships where people have sex with their own clones/robots in zero gravity (equivalent to chocolate). BANG!

>focused on a male who was obsessed with football, wife-beating, and beer, it would be just as disgusting, and insulting to men.

I wish someone wrote a book like that, titled TRUTH.

14 Name: Bookworm : 2005-12-15 05:03 ID:Heaven

>>13 is DQN

15 Name: Bookworm : 2005-12-15 12:24 ID:Heaven

>>14 is a master of arguments, and stands undefeated in thousands of battles of wits on the internet.

16 Name: Bookworm : 2005-12-15 18:29 ID:Heaven

Actually, >>13 really is DQN.

>>8 makes a ridiculous statement about 40-ish housewives eating sweets and endulging their bourgeois tastes, in the tradition of twentieth-century misogynists.
>>9-10 calls him on it.
>>11 (>>8) claims that he/she found this information about housewives in a survey. He provided no link to or date of this specific survey, and practically admits that he added facts such as "watching soaps in the gym" and "eating sweets".
>>12 tries to get the conversation back to the original purpose, bitching about chick lit.
>>13 gets more and more.. dare I say it... vitriolic, which is not the right thread for that at all.

I am having great fun reading this thread so far, thanks!

17 Name: Bookworm : 2005-12-15 22:15 ID:Heaven


PS: A thread titled "[Shitty Books]"Chick" Books[WTF]" is not the right place to be vitriolic? What?

18 Name: Bookworm : 2005-12-15 23:10 ID:Heaven

Of course not, there's no vitriolic tag

19 Name: Bookworm : 2006-02-22 19:19 ID:T69w2d2e

Please that such stereotypes about males and females have, like, no actual BASIS but are just memetically rammed down our throats through the media (and to some extent parents and peers), and this includes, ironically, this kind of books. So, in answer to the overzealous vitriolic >>13, I have to say that your «guy's lit» (which sadly exists) is on the same level as «girl's lit», and that attacking «girl's lit» is not really defending «guy's lit» or attacking feminism, because, in fact, «guy's lit» is socially the same as «girl's lit» and, in terms of literary quality, it's just as bad.

20 Name: Anonymus : 2006-02-23 00:03 ID:Heaven

lol, you just made reading this thread worthwhile

21 Name: bubu : 2006-02-23 17:35 ID:Heaven

>attacking «girl's lit» is not really defending «guy's lit» or attacking feminism, because, in fact, «guy's lit» is socially the same as «girl's lit» and, in terms of literary quality, it's just as bad.

and holy shit, wow! hmm, bubu never thought of that before, wonder if that's why bubu spoke so derisively of "guy's lit"? No, can't be it...bubu must've actually been defending it!
and yeah, bubu was totally seeking to attack feminism by stating that sad housewives around the planet drug themselves with a certain kind of laudanum in literature form to escape the reality of being beaten by their brutish husbands on a daily basis!
Bubu suggests that you swiftly retribute by calling someone a misogynist over THE INTERNET (oh shit!), the harshest reaction possible - or go even further and deny the existence of facts unless they are published on THE INTERNET.

22 Name: 19 : 2006-02-23 19:45 ID:T69w2d2e

I think you're missing the point ^^;

23 Name: Bookworm : 2006-02-23 21:48 ID:Heaven

>>21, maybe you were being misogynistic? It wasn't trying to be an insult, it was trying to accurately describe the attitude of your post.

24 Name: bubu : 2006-02-23 22:17 ID:Heaven

Then it failed.
No matter whether it was "trying to be an insult" (hard to achieve over THE INTERNET), it just has nothing to do with "20th century misogyny" (like, totally last century, dude!) to describe the target audience like I did.
Even ignoring that, it's about as worthless a claim as arguing that "the attitude of icebergs is fascist because they try to suppress humanities' freedom of travelling to the north pole". What?

25 Name: Bookworm : 2006-02-24 05:01 ID:Heaven

calm down >>24

26 Name: Bookworm : 2006-02-26 07:21 ID:Heaven

goddamn guys.

Anyway, I read a book on my ex-girlfriends request. The title was "Confessions of a Shopaholic." I must admit - I liked the writing style. But that's it. The content of the book was pretty terrible. It was about a woman who worked at a magazine fashion place and basically sat around bitching about other people and buying shoes/dresses all day. the book was absolutely terrible, and I think a perfect example of "chick lit". It potrays terrible stereo-types in a positive manner - basically, it's what we're all expecting from this genre in every way possible.

Also, the market for these kinds of books happens to be - yes - people who can RELATE to the main characters. I can relate to Genshiken - thus, I love it. My ex-girlfriend can relate to "confessions of a shopaholic" (not the ex- there), so, she can relate to it.

it's really pretty terrible how shallow/cruel some people can be to get what they want, and how much media really effects some peoples lives. I might be hypocritical when I state this, but that's for another thread.

27 Name: Bookworm : 2006-02-26 22:46 ID:T69w2d2e

That was exactly the point of my post. This kind of books, and other memetical factors, are ramming stereotypes and shallowness - fear of existential dread, after all - down our throats!

28 Name: Bookworm : 2006-02-26 23:00 ID:ObyR6oxO

oh noes, ideas being rammed down our throats!

how about just not reading what you don't like or not agree with?

29 Name: Bookworm : 2006-02-27 02:43 ID:Heaven

too easy a solution, and besides - what would we have left to bitch about, then?

30 Name: Bookworm : 2006-02-27 14:24 ID:Heaven

I'm going to start writing books about people bitching about shit on the internet.

31 Name: Bookworm : 2006-02-27 21:01 ID:T69w2d2e

I DO know what I dislike. Many people don't because they grow amidst the social equivalents of chick's lit, and that's the problem.

32 Name: Bookworm : 2006-03-31 14:39 ID:Heaven

I feel you show a lack of appreciation for Chick's storytelling and artwork. I've been reading Jack's fine graphic novels for years, and he's brilliant. Read http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0046/0046_01.asp?repeatfrom3yearsago
and you'll change your mind!

33 Post deleted by moderator.

34 Post deleted by moderator.

35 Name: Polka : 2006-05-16 15:39 ID:cgcG2mwZ

>>30 YOUR STEALING MY IDEA!!!!11 STEALER!!!! But, seriously, it needs to be done. If you write yours first I'll be too busy enjoying it to hate you.

36 Name: Bookworm : 2006-05-17 12:08 ID:zvr2X815

37 Name: girl : 2006-07-16 21:45 ID:XiJfaCJl

>>19 is right about "guys lit".

Chicklit is just a genre. So it's a pretty rubbish genre, packed with stereotypes and other mindless crap, amd it has a shamefully wide audience. But it's still just a genre. There are many many other genres and novels out there that aren't made up of stereotypes and crap. Just like there is a shamefully wide market for bubblegum pop music; that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of people that enjoy decent music.

38 Name: Bookworm : 2006-08-21 22:13 ID:SrHipjtt

So, we all agree on that chicklit sucks ass.
How do we go about fixing this?
Not by granting the genre more attention IRL, but by promoting the fewer non-chicklit books that are actually good.

Also, I vote for us writing better books, or at least if nothing else create an idea repository for authors who want to write better books, in this thread. Ready, set, go!

Personally, I have a lot of ideas for books I want to write, but they're more of stories where the main character just happens to be female, rather than being some sort of empowered zomg woman story that will smite chick lit. The main chars are likely to have part geek in them. I hate chick lit and would hate to write anything like it, but trying to write something that actually is related to it (in this case by intentionally striving to write something that works as it's opposite) makes me shudder as well. I want to write stories I find interesting, not having to look at something I hate in an attempt to spite it.

random graphical novel with a woman as main char:
"Miss Terrified and Love"
I can translate the (sorta crappy but I couldn't find anything better with the tiny amount of effort I spent on looking for a review) review page if anyone wants to, it's a damned neat graphical novel, it's a bit abstract in all the right ways, and in spite of that the main char is a woman it's not chick lit in any way, plenty of guys have no problems with identifying well with the main char. The author also wrote a (graphical) novel that took the story of Cinderella and retold it in several different ways, in comparison to the Disney version. It was awesome. ^_^

Sorry about this tl;dr...

39 Name: Bookworm : 2006-08-21 22:16 ID:SrHipjtt


>its opposite


40 Name: Mich The Weird : 2006-08-26 02:22 ID:blFe6Y+k

Chick Books...now those are interesting, though they'll often look like crap. This Was Your Life is the most overrated of them, honestly (as is Dark Dungeons when it comes to parodies). Angels? is the most underrated of them, containing evne a guy named Lucifer ("Lew Siffer", but still...).

OH, YA MEANT THE OTHER KIDN OF CHICK BOOK. I prefer Chick tracts for my share of absurdness.

41 Name: Bookworm : 2006-09-14 16:15 ID:Heaven

Damn, beat me to it. I was about to go "what, they're published in a collected book now? hot damn!" but, preempted.

42 Name: Bookworm : 2006-09-18 12:57 ID:QrCgzOWk

Chick lit is like hard-boiled $2 detective pulp, only for women in the "not quite old yet" category. (For the "yes yes, I'm old, so what" category, there's bodice ripper girlpr0ns.)

43 Name: Bookworm : 2007-01-12 10:17 ID:NFRc6RdI


i know of a story where all characters were male except for 2, and it sucked (irrevelant yes)

44 Name: Bookworm : 2007-01-20 11:01 ID:T4JFPhkb

I've got to second the Shopaholic series. I've met quite a few women who rave about it.

45 Name: Bookworm : 2007-01-27 15:31 ID:qSH7WL3v

Somebody needs to bitch about "teen-lit", the equivalent of "chick-lit" and "guy-lit" for teens, only it masquerades under the name "young adult fiction". Talk about ramming it down peoples throats- that's half of the books people are forced to read in school and they're terrible. It's all about "omg parents", "omg gurlz/boiz", "omg carz", "omfg everbody hatz meh", "no1 underztandz meh!". Then it throws in some shitty message about being unique or the importance of family. Blarg.

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