Something Borrowed and Something Blue by Emily Giffin Rachel is a lifetime overachiever who has always done exactly what is expected of her and has always played a back-up role to her best-friend, the outgoing and vivacious Darcy Rhone. Rachel shocks everyone, including herself, when on her 30th birthday she finds herself in bed with Darcy’s fiancé Dex. Something Borrowed tells Rachel’s story as she questions her life, her friendships and what it is that makes her happy. Something Blue is Darcy’s story. The book follows Darcy on a path of self-discovery as she too evaluates what she knows about friendship and love. These books are best when read together and are a great example of how there are often multiple sides to the same story. Emily Giffin’s most recent novel is Where We Belong which features a successful woman whose structured life begins to unravel when the daughter she gave up for adoption years before unexpectedly turns up on her doorstep.
Swapping Lives, The Other Woman, and To Have and To Hold by Jane Green Jane Green is an English author considered to be one of the very first “chick lit” authors. In Swapping Lives two women swap lives for one month and realize the grass isn’t always greener. Both women long for the things they don’t have and see the swap as a perfect opportunity to obtain what is missing in their lives. The book chronicles their failures and successes while they try to swap lives with the other woman. In To Have and To Hold we meet a woman who has lost sight of her true self in an attempt to turn herself into the kind of wife her husband wants. When Alice learns about her husband’s infidelity in a very public and embarrassing way she takes the opportunity to rediscover who she is and find out what makes her happy. The Other Woman is the story of Ellie and Dan. Their fairytale romance encounters issues when Ellie learns there is another woman in their marriage. Dan is not guilty of cheating; rather the other woman is Dan’s overbearing mother. This book demonstrates that family is more than just a husband and wife and extended families can be both a challenge and a blessing. Jane Green has written many other books including the more serious book Promises to Keep and her most recent novel, Family Pictures.
Shoe Addicts Anonymous and Thin, Rich, Pretty by Beth Harbison Shoe Addicts Anonymous is a fun and entertaining read filled with the comical antics of four very different women. In an attempt to save money and get out of debt Lorna starts the Shoe Addicts Anonymous club on a whim. To Lorna’s surprise women actually respond to her internet ad and the club quickly becomes a place for the women to escape the reality of their personal lives. As they share shoes and swap stories the women help each other overcome personal challenges. Thin, Rich, Pretty is the story of three women; each one is likeable in her own way. Twenty years ago these women went to summer camp together and now find themselves reunited and still searching for the same validation they sought two decades earlier. Just like Harbison’s previous book, this is light fun read that will keep the pages turning. Beth Harbison is the other of other books as well, her most recent publication is the novel, When in Doubt, Add Butter.
Gods in Alabama and A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson Joshilyn Jackson’s books can be heavier and darker than most chick lit books. Fans of Marian Keyes, Elin Hilderbrand and Jennifer Weiner might best appreciate this great author. In Joshilyn Jackson’s debut novel, Gods in Alabama, we meet Arlene Fleet who left her hometown of Possett, Alabama and promised never to return. Despite her attempts to separate herself from Possett, Arlene’s past, present, and future begin to intertwine. This story is full of twists and turns and memorable characters. Jackson’s most recent novel A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty is all at once a coming of age story, a mystery, a love story, and a family drama. We meet Ginny, Liza and Mosey Slocumb, three generations of women who have come to expect disaster every fifteen years. Mosey is a young woman just finding out who she is when old secrets are unearthed and threaten to change everything. Joshilyn Jackson has an upcoming titled, Someone Else’s Love Story which will be available in late 2013 or early 2014.
Watermelon, Rachel’s Holiday, Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes Each of these books tells one of the Walsh sisters’ stories. Watermelon is Claire’s story. The day Claire gives birth to their first child her husband announces he is leaving her for another woman. Left alone to navigate the challenges of motherhood Claire returns to Ireland to recuperate with the help of her loving but wacky family. Rachel’s Holiday is Rachel Walsh’s story. This book chronicles Rachel’s spiral into drug and alcohol abuse and her eventual sobriety. This book might sound like it isn’t much fun but don’t let the serious subject matter deter you this book is also a love story written with Marian Keyes typical wit and humor. We are reunited with the Walsh family in Anna Walsh’s story titled Anybody Out There. This book is all at once loveable and heartbreaking. Other books in the Walsh family series include Angels and the newly published, The Mystery of Mercy Close featuring Helen Walsh. Another notable Marian Keyes book not affiliated with the Walsh family is This Charming Man.
The Undomestic Goddess and Remember Me by: Sophie Kinsella/Madeleine Wickham Best known for her Shopaholic series, Sophie Kinsella is the author of several entertaining standalone books. She has also published several books under her real name Madeleine Wickham. In The Undomestic Goddess Samantha Sweeting decides she is too stressed out and finds herself just walking out on her life as an attorney. She finds herself out in the countryside accepting a job as a housekeeper. Before she can tell anyone about the mistake she’s made she realizes she actually likes the new life she stumbled into. When readers first meet Lexi in Remember Me? she is in a hospital bed unsure of what has happened. Lexi still thinks she is young, poor, and unattractive with a dead end job and a dead beat boyfriend. She is super surprised to learn that she is suffering from amnesia and has forgotten she is now married to a rich and handsome husband, has a high paying high powered career and is glossy and beautiful as a woman from the pages of a magazine. Lexi happily settles into her new life until she realizes this new life isn’t all it seems to be and the new Lexi has quite a few secrets. Sophie Kinsella’s most recent books are I’ve Got Your Number and Wedding Night.
The Tea House on Mulberry Street, The Ballroom on Magnolia Street and The Tavern on Maple Street by Sharon Owens This is a fabulous collection of books by Irish author Sharon Owens. The first book The Tea House on Mulberry Street features Penny and Daniel the owners of Muldoon’s Tea Room on Magnolia. The story revolves around the tea room and a group of unique and loveable patrons who make the tea housetheir second home. The characters include Brenda Brown who is obsesses with the actor Nicholas Cage and Clare Fitzgerald who is looking for her long lost love. In the next book, The Ballroom on Magnolia Street, Kate and Shirley Winters spend evenings and weekends dancing at Hogan’s Ballroom hoping to find true love. Both girls find love and happiness even though the routes they take might be a little unexpected. The most recent book, The Tavern on Maple Street finds Jack and Lily Beaumont so in love with each other and so in love with their simple life as owners of the tavern on Maple Street. Their perfect life is threatened to be destroyed when a developer plans to tear down the tavern to make room for a giant shopping mall. In an attempt to save the tavern they end up closer than ever and discovering what their simple life was missing. Sharon Owens books are delightful reads to be treasured.
Good in Bed and Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner Published over ten years ago Good in Bed is still a great read by Jennifer Weiner. When plus sized Cannie Shapiro discovers her boyfriend published a magazine article about loving a larger woman she finds the article a little too personal and the statements he makes touch too much on her insecurities. Cannie writes her own book and starts a new life where she learns to overcome her insecurities and prioritize her life. In Fly Away Home Sylvie discovers her senator husband’s affair. The hurt Sylvie feels is magnified by the fact that her husband is a public figure and his affair is newsworthy. Sylvie and her grown daughters go to their summer home in an attempt to flee the spotlight and get some clarity. Once away from her husband, the man whose career and life have come before her own life and interests for so many years, Sylvie starts to reevaluate her life and her choices. Jennifer Weiner is the author of many good reads. Her book Certain Girls is the sequel to Good in Bed and her most recent book is titled, The Next Best Thing.
Other recommended authors include: