Genre Bingo 1

Gatsby cat book lederer

Before I began my genre bingo card on July 1, I’d read 39 books this year. That’s less than last year, when I was over 50 by this point and on pace to hit 100 by December 31. I’m not interested in doing that again, now that I’ve proven I can, as I’m socializing more this year and am also into some TV shows. But I enjoy the bingo challenges, particularly when they get me out of my reading ruts, and here are mini reviews of the three books I’ve read so far for the genre challenge.

1. Humor and Comedy. Gatsby and I loved Richard Lederer’s A Treasury for Cat Lovers, and gave it 5 stars on our chart. I thought it would be all jokes and puns, and while there are plenty of those, there is also cool cat info curled up in these pages. What a fun read! Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Richard Lederer, and he’s just as funny and gracious in person as he is in writing. He’s also happy to share writing and publishing info with other writers.

2. Family Saga. Drowning with Others by Linda Keir defied my expectations. Usually, I don’t care much for stories in diary form, and there was a lot of that here, plus I’m not generally interested in high school antics and romances. But this book was free and ticked a box, so I tried it. I liked it! I found the protags quite compelling, and I wanted to discover who murdered the sexy poetry professor. But I didn’t care much for the ending. I awarded it 3 stars, which is a good rating. Four means I liked it a lot, and 5 means I loved it. Contrast that with 2 stars, which is meh/just OK, and 1, which means I totally disliked the book. If I truly hate a book so much I can’t read past a few pages, I won’t star it.

Van Gogh starry night

3. Chick-lit. Some peeps may not know what exactly chick-lit is, so I am here to say… neither do I! But I know it when I see it, even if it’s slippery to define. For some reason, the characters in CL are always ridiculously awkward and clumsy, especially the heroines. They mumble and stumble all over the place (without being drunk) and utter a ton of ers and ahs and uhs. Romance novels don’t have much of this, though there could be an initial clumsy moment to facilitate the meet-cute. CL’s don’t really have meet-cutes, just clunky banter and cringe blunders. That’s how I know I’m in chick-lit world ~ I am constantly cringing.

Now that we aren’t supposed to use the term chick-lit because it’s not woke enough, they’re calling it light women’s fiction. It’s not though. Women’s fiction generally features older heroines who have faced some stuff and are not all awkward and incapable of forming a coherent sentence around an attractive man. In fact, she may be his boss! WF is also not laser-focused on a romance and sexual attraction like RN’s; in fact, there may not be a romantic happily ever after in a WF novel. Women can be happy without a man! But CL is focused on a romance to the exclusion of pretty much everything else, and there is a HEA, though I find all the awkwardness detracts from any sexual tension.

That said, I did read a CL novel to fulfill my bingo square. It was actually a book of six short stories by various writers and called Summer Daze. I read 4 of the 6, so I think I’m entitled to my checkmark… and I also give the whole thing only 1 star. OMG, these stories were horrible. The only one I could somewhat tolerate was Sunny, with a Chance by Laura Greaves because it had a cute dog in it. The first two were awful, and the one following Sunny was so bad I had to stop. Life’s too short to read icky chick-lit!

Genre bingo challenge

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14 responses to “Genre Bingo 1

  1. I hate chick lit! I refuse to read it! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t know chick lit was on the PC naughty list, but I guess it’s not surprising. For me, chick lit is the kind of book that I’d want to read while on the beach in Mexico sipping margaritas all day.

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  3. My Mum and sister read chick lit and my Mum reads Women’s Fiction, so I was interested to learn the definitions.

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    • They are fluid, but I think there are differences, particularly the way romance is treated. If it’s the whole focus, then the book is more likely CL or even maybe a RN, not WF…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow. I admire you for attempting this bingo game.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice pic of Gatsby! 😻😻

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Grey Scotsman

    I’ve never read any ChickLit although quite partial to an occassional RomCom at the cinema. Good luck with the reading bingo….John Buchan/Neil Munro could be good choices for historical fiction…

    Liked by 1 person

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