Girls Write Out
Saturday, January 21, 2006

You say, "light" like it's a bad thing...

In the world of fiction reviews, there is deep, raw and there is light and unworthy of note. Deep and raw are Oprah picks. "Light" is what you buy at the grocery store, and viewed with a note of disdain. Fiction reviewers often speak with an air of your mother, "Read this, it's good for you." When you can't understand 60% of the verbiage in the review, I know the book is the literary equivalent to brussel sprouts and life is short!

Let me say I am a big lover of great fiction. I just don't like to be told what it is, when it isn't. My very favorite review term is that it's an "important" book. You know what? "Anna Karenina" is an important book. This one, not so much. Here's just a few words from some literary reviews:

despairing and resilient (what the heck?)
brief, tragic encounter (a favorite!)
vernacular dialogue
obliquely revealed
plumbs the existentialist questions

And I want to read any of this, why?
Here's the thing. I'm a smart girl. I went to college. I graduated. I worked in the Silicon Valley, and I know what a Hybrid IC is (it's not a car), but I'm comfortable with myself. I don't have to prove to myself that I'm intelligent by reading a book where I want to shoot myself at the end. (Unless, it's Thomas Hardy, he's worth it!)

Life is filled with pain and raw emotions, yes, we all seek to better ourselves, but if on occasion, you want to read light, nix the guilt and enjoy!
Kristin Billerbeck  
posted at 11:41 AM  
  Comments (9)
Delicious Delicious
At 1:18 PM, Blogger Ron Estrada said...

If I need a dictionary to read the reviews, I should probably pass. I've read literary fiction. It's wonderful writing...and depressing. I need to read some "terrible" writing by Stephen King or Tom Clancy to get out of my funk.

At 1:28 PM, Blogger Robin Caroll said...

Amen, Kris! Right now, I'm reading Diann's HOT FLASHES AND COLD CREAM and let me tell you, it's JUST what I need right now. I'm laughing out loud--even reading parts of it to my hubby, bless his heart, and enjoying getting lost in the humorous and realistic world Diann created for my enjoyment! Bring on the light sure serves an important purpose! :)

At 5:51 PM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

I love the pic. Yes, nix the guilt and enjoy. :)


At 8:41 PM, Blogger Camy Tang said...

YEAH!!! I have a difficult relationship with the literary fiction gathering dust on my bookshelf. I think I'll go give them away tomorrow.

I love light! I love fluff! I write what I read! I confess to a secret fondness for Harlequin Presents romances!!!


At 9:58 AM, Blogger Rhonda Gibson said...

Hummmm, I never feel guilt about reading what I read. Of course, I also don't read literary reviews. Ignorance "is" bliss I guess in this case. I read fiction for enjoyment and non-fiction to learn. No guilt here...

Very nice picture!

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

Good for you Rhonda! See, here's the thing, I'm a smaller person. I tried Faulker, and We Were the Mulvaneys, and you know, there's not enough time in life to feel stupid and have to wonder why I don't get it. I just don't get it. So what. LOL

At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Rebecca said...

I cant seem to read books that are grammically incorrect or something. I guess I've read to much

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

So Rebecca, can you read Faulkner? It drives me crazy to read dialogue so "real" I can't understand it.

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Margo Carmichael said...

I read the Bible and the news for deep. That's enough.

For fiction, I'll take a Stockingdale over a Mulvaney any day.

I'm also reading _Read for your Life--Literature as a Source of (I forget)_ recommended by my instructor in a Christian counseling course, for the healing therapeutic universal feelings brought out by literature.

I can believe it, but the teariest I want to get is with lines like at the end of _To Kill a Mockingbird_: "And he would be there when Jem woke up in the morning." *sigh*


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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