Saturday, October 06, 2007

Chick lit to peck ... pick

In Sunday's Bookshelf I review two "chick lit" books. Both are the first forays into adult writing by authors who have gained attention for their books for teens. One of the authors is Ann Brashares, of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants fame. The other is Shannon Hale, who was recognized with a Newbery Honor a few years back for her strong-heroine book The Princess Academy. The new books are The Last Summer (of You & Me) and Austenland. Last Summer is a tale of three dear friends who have grown up together, two sisters and their male neighbor, during their summers on Fire Island off of New York. It's engrossing, entertaining, and frankly irresistible for chick readers. Austenland is about a 30-something single gal who has a bit of an obsession -- fantasy -- secret longing -- for Mr. Darcy. If only he really existed! She gets a reality check when her late aunt bequeaths her a three-week vacation at an estate in England that meticulously re-creates Austen's Regency times. What a fun premise for those of us who enjoy the Austen books and eagerly lap up any new movies made from them.
Our other novel (non-chicky, though) is Death of a Murderer, reviewed by Judy McKibbin, about a notorious murderess who dies in prison and the police officer who is assigned to guard her corpse one night before it is taken away for burial. The officer has a lot of time to ponder on his life and how it's going. This is one that just has to be read.