While most chick lit is set in exciting places like Hollywood and New York City, some stories take place in small towns, too. "Ex and The Single Girl" by Lani Diane Rich (5 Spot, $12.95) is set in the fictional town of Truly, Georgia. The book goes on sale this week.
In the book, Portia Fallon, a graduate student studying literature in Syracuse, N.Y., comes home to Georgia to help run the family bookstore. As it turns out, however, Portia's mom, aunt and grandmother don't really need her help.
Instead, they asked her to come home so that she can meet an eligible young man who is in town for the summer. Since Portia's boyfriend left her, she's been depressed and her relatives are just trying to make her happy with a transition man. What they don't count on is her falling for the new guy. Then, to complicate things, Portia's ex comes to town to try and win her back.
I really didn't know which man Portia might end up with, which made the story interesting. I also liked the book's small town setting and its relaxed pace.
Rich, who lives in Syracuse, N.Y., is also the author of "Time Off for Good Behavior" (Warner Books, $12.95) and "Maybe Baby" (Warner Forever, $6.50).
More chick lit
If you can't tell, I'm still working my way through lots of chick lit. I recently finished reading "Lust for Life" by Adele Parks (Downtown Press, $14). This book was a bestseller in London, where it was published as "The Other Woman's Shoes."
The story follows two sisters who long for each other's lives. Martha is a married mom wishing for her sister Eliza's carefree single days. Eliza, on the other hand, envies Martha's stable relationship.
As it turns out, though, Martha's marriage is far from perfect. When her husband asks for a separation, he leaves her with two kids and more freedom than she really wanted. When Eliza's steady boyfriend won't commit, she moves in to help Martha and soon realizes how hard family life can be.
At first, I found the writing in this book a little formal and stilted, but I soon got used to the tone. I didn't really like the ending, either, but I still found the story reasonably entertaining.
The author of "Lust for Life" lives in London. She has also written "Game Over" (Downtown Press, $13), "Larger Than Life" (Downtown Press, $12) and "Playing Away" (Pocket, $13.95).
Book club meeting
If you're interested in exploring the world of the supernatural, join us at the Gwinnett Daily Post Book Club at 7 p.m. Thursday. We'll be meeting at the Barnes and Noble store in Duluth to discuss "Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife" by Mary Roach (Norton, $24.95).
In this book of essays, the author shares her research on everything from reincarnation and near-death experiences to mediums and ectoplasm. Though Roach won't be joining us, we should still have plenty to talk about.
Barnes and Noble is located at 2205 Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth. The book club meetings are always free. Call 770-963-9205, ext. 1324, for information.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.