When I was in high school, I read How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and I was like, “eh.” Ever since then, every time I’ve read stories and books about women awakening to their strength and becoming empowered in their womanhood, I’ve had exactly the same reaction (and to be fair, I have the same feelings about the bildungsroman in general, regardless of gender). Except once.
It’s been hard for me to put my finger on what I love so much about Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, or what I love so much about Elizabeth Gilbert in general. Here are my top three books: Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut, This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen by Tadeusz Borowski, and Antoine de Saint-Éxupery’s The Little Prince — stories that, at heart, are about atrocities and devastating loss and how people or characters cope with the aftermath. Keep reading »
Last week I wrote a list on 20 things we should stop feeling guilty about. I hadn’t realized just how much there was that we women fret over — readers made so many great suggestions for other things we need to let go of and I thought of quite a few more since last week that it seems a second list is definitely in order. After the jump, 20 more things we need to stop feeling guilty (or just plain bad) about. Keep reading »
We women are so hard on ourselves, aren’t we? From stressing over whether we inadvertently said something that might have offended someone at the dinner party we went to last weekend, to worrying about gaining a few pounds over vacation, we find way too many things to feel guilty about. So how about a permission slip to let go of some of that guilt, huh? After the jump, 20 things you can immediately (right now!) stop feeling guilty about. Keep reading »
Men don’t have “guilty pleasures.” We own, nay, celebrate what’s bad for us. Our obsessions are points of pride, not shame. You’ll never see a guy wolf down a small mountain of waffles with a side of pig and squeal, “OMG, I can’t beliiiiieeeeve I ate everything! Tee! Hee!”
We will shamelessly sit in a nest of pizza crusts playing video games for endless hours. Unabashed tears will crawl out of the corners of our eyes when the hometown team chokes at the last minute (tears so manly, of course, that they leave little craters in linoleum). Beer will be quaffed, their caloric potency mocked. These are the things that make life worth living. That, and never ever getting bored of slyly peeping springtime legs stretching out from under brand-new short skirts. Keep reading »
In a recession, people want escapism and a happy ending. The depressing economic situation has lead to an increase in sales of romance novels, while most other genres are having a difficult time selling at all. Harlequin Enterprises, the grande dame of the romance genre, reported a 32 percent increase in 2008 earnings during the fourth quarter, compared to a year earlier. Sales in the first quarter of 2009 also remained strong, said Harlequin’s chief executive. During the Great Depression, Gone With the Wind was a blockbuster book, and readers today are looking for a similar escape from the harsh reality of foreclosures, lay-offs, and rising prices. Romance novels not only provide a welcome happy ending, but they’re also cheap, which is a plus for anyone trying to limit their guilty pleasures spending. Most paperback novels sell for $7.99 or less, compared to larger trade paperbacks that cost $12 to $15. It’s not clear, however, how much it will cost your ego if you’re caught reading a sappy romance novel in public. [NY Times] Keep reading »
There are your garden variety guilty pleasures — like reality TV shows, Doritos, and the other ones listed in our poll last week — that most women have no trouble copping to, and then there are really guilty pleasures — things that feel so satisfying, we overlook their gross factor or lack social acceptance. After the jump, the top twelve guiltiest of all pleasures. Keep reading »