Today I happened to read this old post from Simple Mom and it got me thinking about the quality of my own reading. I love to read and always have, and I very much hope to instill the love of books in my child(ren). I appreciate the challenge of high quality literature that pushes your mind with both language and content, but I also like to include the occasional fluff just because it's fun and gives your brain a little break. Simple Mom references Charlotte Mason's definition of twaddle as Dumbed-down literature; absence of meaning. I know that chick-lit isn't exactly fine literature but sometimes when I want to escape the world, a little twaddle goes a long way. Here are some of my recent favorite twaddle-full books and also some twaddle-free.
With or Without You by Carole Matthews
Admittedly I hated the first book I read by Carole Matthews, but this one struck me for some reason. Probably because I was in a very wishy-washy time of my life and was inspired by the idea of marching of on a trek in Nepal by myself. It is cheesy and silly but also charming and funny. I've read it three times :)
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
I love the entire Shopaholic series and I think Sophie Kinsella is a hoot. These books run in the same vein as Bridget Jones and they are full of ridiculous shenanigans and hilarious debacles. They are a great pool-side read that had me laughing out loud.
Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
Jennifer Weiner borders a little more closely to literature than the previous books but most definitely still falls in the chick-lit category. I've liked all her books that I've read, including In Her Shoes, which was far better than the movie version. A sequel to this book recently came out and I'm hoping to read it during a vacation this summer. Jennifer Weiner brings a little more realistic emotion to her books but still adds in the sillyness that make chick-lit heroines who they are.
Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund
The story in this novel comes from a tiny passage in Moby Dick when Captain Ahab references a young wife he left behind in Nantucket. Sena Jeter Naslund creates a beautiful tale of Una and how she came to be married to Ahab and living in Nantucket. It's one of my favorites.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Obviously most people consider Jane Austen's novels to be classics and Pride and Prejudice is one of the big ones in her collection, but I just read this book for the first time a couple years ago. The language is a challenge at first but once you get the feel of it, the story is lovely. I actually found myself still in suspense about the ending, even though most everyone in the free world knows how things turn out. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Most people have already read this one too but I just finally picked it up just before the movie came out. I tend to shy away at first from books that are strongly popularized in the media and then read them eventually. I was glad that I eventually read this one. I thought the story was both poignant and touching and I'm curious to see the film version. I don't expect it to live up, as few films do, but I'm still interested.
Here's to a summer of reading...