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Starting yet another chick lit kick with 'True Hollywood Lies'

Once you start reading chick lit, it's hard to stop. When you finish one book, you'll want to read another. It's impossible for me to say no to another light-hearted story, just like I can't refuse another piece of pizza or a little more Chex mix.

In the past few weeks, I have been on a real chick lit kick. It all started when I got an e-mail message from Josie Brown, author of "True Hollywood Lies" (Avon Trade, $12.95). She had read Shelf Life and thought I might like her book. She was right.

When I got a copy of "True Hollywood Lies," I started reading it immediately. At the beginning of the book, Hannah's famous father dies suddenly and leaves her without any money. She has to take a job as an assistant to a rising Hollywood star, the high-maintenance and irresistible Louis Trollope.

Though the main characters in "True Hollywood Lies" are fictional, the book is packed with plenty of real-life celebrity references. I felt like I needed to grab a copy of People or Star to keep up with all of them.

But it's the story, not the stars, that kept me reading. Hannah can see herself falling for Louis, but she also likes Mick, who is friends with Louis. A good love triangle always makes for interesting reading.

Brown, who lives in California, has created a great Hollywood story. The author, though, grew up Georgia. She attended Sprayberry High School in Marietta.

A British book

Right after I finished "True Hollywood Lies," I picked up "Turning Thirty" by Mike Gayle (Downtown Press, $13). This British book follows Matt Beckford as he leaves his job in New York and returns home to Birmingham, England. He moves back in with his parents for three months, while waiting to start a new job.

Matt's 30th birthday is coming up, and now that's he back at home, he decides to look up friends from high school. One of them is Ginny, a girl he always liked, but never really had a relationship with. Another is his best friend Gershwin, who is now married and has a daughter.

The book reminded me a little of "High Fidelity" by Nick Hornby (Riverhead Trade, $14). In "Turning Thirty," however, Matt reconnects with almost everyone from his past, not just his old girlfriends like the character in "High Fidelity" did.

I enjoy reading stories from a guy's perspective, and "Turning Thirty" was definitely more than a little entertaining.

My favorite part of the book was Matt's parenthetical descriptions of his classmates. For example, "Adam Heller (then, the boy mostly likely to become a drug dealer; now, a fully qualified dentist)" and "Fay Jones (then, the girl most likely to become a hairdresser; now, a hairdresser)."

Since I read those descriptions, I've been trying to think of one for myself. But I'm not sure exactly how my high school summary would read. Of course, that might be for the best.

Libraries closed Friday

If your library books are due soon, don't forget that the branches of the Gwinnett County Library will be closed on Friday. The libraries will reopen at 9 a.m. Saturday. Call 770-822-5351 or visit www.gwinnettpl.org.

If there's a book you think I really ought to read or you have information about upcoming author appearances in the Atlanta area, please e-mail rachael.mason@gwinnettdailypost.com.