Novelist Danielle Steele, according to the Wall Street Journal, prefers not to be identified with the term “chicklit.” She feels that it is too limiting. Since I feel quite sure that Danielle Steele does not read this blog, I will share with you my surprise at her reaction. I have always felt that Steele was not good enough to be called “chicklit,” not to mention too old. I don’t think any of those old RO-mance novels gets to be called “chicklit.” I think that it is a new genre of its own. Typified by things like Bridget Jones’s Diary and The Nanny Diaries, it consists of books written in the first person with protagonists who are girls in their twenties or perhaps early thirties if they are still single. They have to be bright (the books, not necessarily the protagonists) and well-written, yet about nothing in particular. Once a book begins to have depth, or plot much beyond Shopaholic, it no longer gets to be chicklit. Chicklit has to be like Seinfeld — froth, but first-quality froth.

The WSJ claims that chicklit has to be studded with brand names, and I am willing to accept that, but it also has to have a bit of neurosis, a little social awareness, and local color. I think it cannot fit neatly into any other genre — that is, a chicklit-style mystery novel or straight formula romance novel would lose its chicklit status.

This is just my opinion, of course.

If you are not in the mood to read books and would rather play around with something online, Nanette Blanchard has a link to this amazing color scheme generator. It allows you not only to generate color schemes which look just like advertisements, but also to see what they would look like to people with various kinds of color blindness. I found it mesmerizing. I can’t think of anything it would actually be useful for (you know the color wheel already, right?), but as a toy it is hard to beat.