Top-Ten: Chick Lit Writers

There are few things more satisfying than getting lost in a book which offers nothing more than some romance, escapism, fun and a bit of a break from the doom and gloom of everyday life.  In the past decade or so a new genre of fiction aimed specifically at women looking for books like this has emerged – the chick-lit novel.  You can recognise them instantly from their pastel-coloured covers and the relaxed looking readers.  Here, in alphabetical order, are my top ten chick-lit writers:

1.  Cecelia Aherne

A publishing phenomenon at just 23 Ahern wrote the massively successful P.S. I Love You, a tear-jerker about a young widow moving on after the death of her husband.  She’s never quite reached the same heights but still produces some good stuff.

Must-reads: PS, I Love You, Where Rainbows End

2.  Louise Bagshawe

Author of 14 best-selling novels I really hope that we haven’t lost Bagshawe to politics forever.  Now going by her married name of Louise Mensch, her books feature a world of glamour and riches that most of us could never imagine. They are great fun and perfect for a long journey.

Must-reads: Glitz, The Movie

3.  Tilly Bagshawe

After being expelled from her Catholic school at the age of 17 for becoming pregnant Tilly Bagshawe took her baby to university and started writing.  Like her sister, Bagshawe writes blockbusters about women who are more perfect than we more mortals could ever aspire to be.

Must-reads: Flawless, Scandalous

4. Jenny Colgan

Colgan’s heroines are more recognisable than the ones created by the Bagshawes, but that doesn’t stop the books being perfect escapist material.  She writes with real wit, warmth and heart and it’s always a pleasure to pick up one of her novels.  Particularly when they have cupcake recipes.

Must-reads: Looking for Andrew McCarthy, Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe

5.  Jilly Cooper

Is Jilly Cooper a chick-lit novelist?  I did think hard about this one and decided that she’s more than a chick-lit writer.  She’s the grande dame of chick-lit writers, everyone else on the list should aspire to be like her.  The county of Rutshire is the very epitome of somewhere to escape to and the books are rollicking good fun.

Must-reads: Riders, Rivals

6.  Jane Green

Jane Green is a former Daily Express journalist who threw caution to the wind and started writing novels.  Her characters face the kind of real-life situations we all sometimes have to cope with such as overbearing mothers-in-law, career disappointments and the search for true love.

Must-reads: The Other Woman, Mr Maybe

7.  Belinda Jones

Belinda Jones is a former travel writer and she uses all of her experience in this sphere to great effect in her novels.  Each book has at least one exotic location to which her protagonist can escape, and take the willing reader with her.  She’s also the author of the 1997 Peter Andre Annual, but don’t let that put you off!

Must-reads: Cafe Tropicana, I Love Capri

8.  Marian Keyes

Marian Keyes is one of the most successful chick-lit authors working at the moment.  She’s a warm, enthusiastic Irish woman – as are most of her heroines.  I prefer her earlier novels and haven’t read much of her recent output, but anyone who loves Strictly Come Dancing as much as Keyes is worth reading.

Must-reads: Last Chance Saloon, Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married

9.  Sophie Kinsella

Kinsella is probably best known for her “Shopaholic” series of novels about a financial journalist who can’t keep her own finances in order.  I prefer her stand-alone books or her work under her real name Madeleine Wickham as the heroine of Shopaholic annoys me too much.

Must-reads: Remember Me? The Undomestic Goddess

10. ,,,, Mike Gayle

Technically not a chick-lit author,  Mike Gayle’s books are the flip side of the chick-lit coin.  We see the man’s point of view in romance stories and can be comforted by the fact that while blokes might look like they know what they are doing, they are in fact just as lost and confused as us girls.

Must-reads: Mr. Commitment, Brand New Friend


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