Last night, during the season four finale of “Gossip Girl,” Cecily von Ziegesar, the author of the books the show is based on, made a surprise appearance—Headmistress Queller introduced her to Serena van deer Woodsen as they brushed past each other at an alumni benefit. I believe this was the perfect time for Cecily to make a cameo, since “Gossip Girl” has gotten really, really good the past few episodes. Why? Finally, the show’s spotlight isn’t shining on Serena and one of the 98,000 paramours she’s had on the show—in fact, she’s single at the moment. The action is about Blair and Chuck, who I have always thought are the most interesting characters on the show, hands down. (If you haven’t watched yet, SPOILER ALERT.) Keep reading »
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I have a favorite independent bookstore near my office. There are tables full of new fiction and non-fiction, shelves filled with New York Times bestsellers, and one particular bookshelf full of pastel pink and purple books. These pink and purple books, of course, are in the “chick lit” section. Even without searching for titles like Confessions of a Shopaholic, you can tell from the rose- and lavender-colored hues that this bookshelf is where you will find the fluffier books which are primarily written for women, by women.
But one book critic has had enough of this “flouncy frivolity.” Imogen Russell Williams from the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper finds it “almost impossible” to pick up a pink, “candy coated” book. Particularly when the book in question is being marketed to teen girls, Williams writes, “This kind of packaging often does a disservice to thought-provoking content, because knee-jerk anti-pinkers like me assume whatever’s inside must match the cover for ersatz, grinning emptiness.” Keep reading »
Gossip Girl author Cecily von Ziegesar reminded us of how petty and jealous high schoolers can be. Now, she’s tackling college campus life in a series of adult novels, but she’s not taking Blair Waldorf or any other familiar character back to school, despite what some have written. Von Ziegesar has created a whole new gang who meet Freshman year at a fictional Maine college and soon find themselves wrapped up in interpersonal drama. The first of the two books published by Hyperion should be out this year and is titled Cum Laude — with a title like that there should be some steamy college sex. Like Gossip Girl, the new novels will be based on von Ziegesar’s life. “I’ve mined my high school years for all they’re worth, and now I’m moving on to college,” she admitted. Keep reading »