NYT’s Girls of Summer

In today’s New York Times, Jane Maslin picks summer titles that take “a supportive, girlfriendly approach to weathering crises” (don’t call them “chick lit”!) in “The Girls of Summer.”

Many of the titles overlap with People magazine’s recent summer list, including the heavily-reserved new-widow-confronts-dead-husband’s-mistresses memoir, Perfection. It is also reviewed in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, receiving a “B+”. It’s getting much better reception in the consumer press than it did in prepub reviews. Masling says the author “brings refreshing candor to a startling, painful tale.” It seems  one woman’s “refreshing candor” is another’s “too much information.”

Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal
Julie Metz
Retail Price: $23.99
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Voice – (2009-06-09)
ISBN / EAN: 1401322557 / 9781401322557


All the titles on Maslin’s list have been ordered by the libraries we checked. The book that Maslin calls “the most inviting” of the group, Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan, is one of the most lightly ordered (prepub reviews were so-so, except for BookList), with few reserves. Says Maslin,

Ms. Sullivan introduces strong, warmly believable three-dimensional characters who have fun, have fights and fall into intense love affairs, sometimes with one another.

Commencement is also reviewed in the new Entertainment Weekly (6/19), which rates it an “A-“, saying it is a successful update of Mary McCarthy’s The Group that “manages to find that sweet spot between Serious Literature and chick lit.”

J. Courtney Sullivan
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2009-06-16)
ISBN / EAN: 0307270742 / 9780307270740

Also available as downloadable eBook from OverDrive.


The title on the list with the heaviest reserves overall is Lisa See’s Shanghai Girls. Maslin calls it “thoughtful and intricate.”

It is on the 6/21 NYT bestseller list for the second week, at #4.

Shanghai Girlsl
Lisa See
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2009-05-26)
ISBN / EAN: 1400067111 / 9781400067114

It is also available in unabridged audio:

Publisher: Random House Audio;  (May 26, 2009); $39.95
ISBN-10: 0739359339
ISBN-13: 978-0739359334

And in large type:

Publisher: Random House, $25
ISBN-10: 0739328255
ISBN-13: 9780739328255

And on Overdrive in both downloadable audio and eBook.

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