February 10th, 2012

[stock] femme fatale always on the run

book talk time!

So, I have ridiculous reading this term—my Russia & the West seminar is like all primary sources, my Gender & Law obviously features legal documents heavily (actually wish they'd do that more, the cases are loads more interesting than secondary-source books cataloguing and summarizing the cases)—and while I am deeply into it all, it does mean that sometimes I just want Stupid Reads when it comes to my off-hours literature. And while I'm embarrassingly up on YA lit, land of 90% stupids (she says with affection and expertise), I'm just not really in the mood right now. So I'm looking for some light adult recs.

The thing is, I have weird, specific blind spots when it comes to dumb adult lit—I think I fundamentally misread what "chick lit" was going to be about at a very early age. I got into poking around the adult shelves when I was, ehh, ten, eleven, decided with cheerfully aggressive logic to read with an eye to figuring out This Sex Thing That I Think I Kind Of Comprehend But Am Not Totally Sure About, So Let's Parse That Out, Huh, and ended up, natch, in chick lit. Wherein my first* and fastest favorites featured
  1. A lady jewel thief who'd been born with nothing and decided to sleep her way into a life of glamour, at the time of the novel living in satisfied middle age and cat-burgling for fun and profit whilst living a ridiculous jetset life of supreme luxury entirely on her own (except for her job). (I suspect that this might still be awesome. Kind of want to reread.)
  2. An outright gold-digger who'd been born with nothing and decided to sleep her way into a life of glamour, at the time of the novel undergoing a midlife crisis and deciding to look for a husband whilst living a ridiculous jetset life of supreme luxury entirely on her own (except for her ~boyfriends). (I know now that this book was a hot goddamn problematic mess. ...Kiiiiind of want to reread?)
*Actually my first ever Adult Literature was White Oleander, and my mother and I had a year-long standoff about that book. Meanwhile, I...was still going and poking around the adult shelves every other weekend when my dad took me to the library, and reading things that were even significantly less appropriate. White Oleander's just funny because it's basically a book about her job—I brought it home blithely and she read it first and came to me like, WHAT THE HELL, THIS IS ALL THE STUFF I SCRUPULOUSLY DON'T TELL YOU.

Like, what is that! Purely circumstantial, I was working out of the tiniest library ever with no idea as to what I was looking for, and I ended up with SELF-SUFFICIENT SELFISHNESS: A THESIS IN FAB BUSINESS BITCHES. When, a year later, I finally figured out that actually chick-lit was about criminally insecure ladies living romcom situations, I was so disappointed! In a nutshell, I'd been conditioned to expect the Baroness in a genre comprised almost exclusively of Marias. My figuring this out was so concentrated and so painful that I was completely and totally burned out at thirteen. Still can't look adult lady lit in the eye, and this saddens me.

So I'm opening this up to discussions and discourse. Either rec me lighthearted escapist lit you love, bonus points for unapologetic fab bitches (always bonus points for unapologetic fab bitches, where are you), or just come talk to me about the worst books you've ever loved or loathed. This is a shame-eraser post. Talk to me about bad shit.