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Keshik
Oct 27, 2000

optimates fellat capra


Ok, before I begin, MY GIRLFRIEND

I am trying desperately to get my girlfriend to start reading.

Some books she has enjoyed in the past:

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophia Kinsella

The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Fork in the Road

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

...and other V.C. Andrews books.



She attempted to re-read Madelein L'Engle recently, since she liked it as a kid, but those books are so terrible she can't read them anymore, which I think is a good sign, as the only thing I remember is how loving awful those books were when I was ten.

edit: good fiction that women will like

Keshik fucked around with this message at Sep 1, 2007 around 18:55

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Archibald Cox
Feb 11, 2005
How dare you, Mr. Agnew

I'd like to point out that you don't really want books that "females" can enjoy; women can enjoy any books that men can, except perhaps for neckbeard sexploitation SF/High Fantasy poo poo.

You want books that a particular kind of unlettered, culture-conscious young woman will enjoy. Check out the mass-market fiction that tops the New York Times bestseller list. A lot of it is feel good writing about ordinary people going through big changes.

I will also offer some unsolicited relationship advice. This relationship is going nowhere, unless it is primarily sexual, in which case, hats off to you.

Yanni Estacado
May 2, 2007



.

Only registered members can see post attachments!

delirious pancake
Dec 29, 2006
in your grocer's freezer

Keshik posted:

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophia Kinsella

How about some other of Kinsella's brainless yet kind of entertaining books? They're about shopping. Heck, the series is even called Shopaholic. Tell her to stop when the sister shows up because that book is virtually all about potatoes and plaid shirts.

quote:

Let's just make this the all-round recommend books females will enjoy thread.

Good luck with your relationship.

Black Trombone
May 9, 2007

I say, do f. that s. squarely in the a., old fruit.

Just toss her a couple of romance novels, and maybe a Jennifer Weiner book. That last suggestion is only if you think she can handle it, as those are usually at too high a reading level for most females, imo.

Keshik
Oct 27, 2000

optimates fellat capra


delirious pancake posted:

How about some other of Kinsella's brainless yet kind of entertaining books? They're about shopping. Heck, the series is even called Shopaholic. Tell her to stop when the sister shows up because that book is virtually all about potatoes and plaid shirts.

Actually, she cannot loving stand the other Kinsella books. I was using hyperbole in my original post for the sake of humor, and you guys took me seriously, unfortunately. I figured the Youtube would give away that I was kidding.

She actually loved the hell out of Year of Wonders, and is currently reading The Golden Compass. I gave her Red Harvest, but she hasn't gotten round to it yet.

All that being said, I read ten books in the week it takes her to read one, so she looks to me for advice on good literature, since she has poor role-models in that realm - her mother being the Harlequin romance type. But of course I have trouble recommending the books I like, as they're very 'male' fiction like Alastair Reynolds, Arthur C Clarke, C.S. Forester, and a few guilty pleasures like Alan Dean Foster.

I was able to get her to watch the A&E Hornblower series with me, but to expect anyone on this earth with a vagina to read C.S. Forester is a bit unrealistic, as I'm sure most would agree.

What I am asking is for internet females to post in this thread what they enjoy, and for guys to talk about what literature is enjoyed by the women they know. My ex really liked Ella Minnow Pea and The Picture of Dorian Grey, both of which I hated and had trouble finishing due to a total lack of interest.

That's not to say I look down on Oscar Wilde, just that he isn't my thing.

To recommend trashy romance is a bit misogynist, isn't it?

Keshik fucked around with this message at Sep 1, 2007 around 18:56

Black Trombone
May 9, 2007

I say, do f. that s. squarely in the a., old fruit.

quote:

What I am asking is for internet females to post in this thread what they enjoy, and for guys to talk about what literature is enjoyed by the women they know.

I'm a fan of James Joyce and Hubert Selby, Jr., personally!

Thought you might enjoy this, OP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Y1tAFajaVE

Bookish
Sep 7, 2006

Cease, cows, life is short.

Keshik posted:


I was able to get her to watch the A&E Hornblower series with me, but to expect anyone on this earth with a vagina to read C.S. Forester is a bit unrealistic, as I'm sure most would agree.


Are you kidding me? I have read the first 3 books of the Horatio Hornblower series and enjoyed every one of them. Just because I am a girl doesn't mean that I have to read girly books. In fact, I can't stand girly books. I like sci-fi, classic literature, and historical fiction, among many other things.

Girls can enjoy the same thing boys do, ya know.

AliceInWonderland
Mar 21, 2007

by Fragmaster


She might enjoy Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Brigitte Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding

The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Beloved or Jazz by Toni Morrison

But really, in terms of books for "females", I got nothing. Women like the same thing guys like - good books.

Gimpy Joe
Jul 25, 2004
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A Stately Pleasure Dome Decree

There is an emergent genre I've heard called 'chick lit' which seems right up the alley you're looking for. Go to any big chain bookstore and look around the fiction section, and particularly any display tables they've got out. What you're looking for is a certain type of cover. Big pictures, usually of a single object with the rest faded or obfuscated. The author of the book will be a woman (or a womanly pen name) and the title will probably have subtitle to go along with it. Bonus points for New York Times reviews, Oprah status, or any best seller list. Going to amazon and searching for chick lit or beach reads will probably find some good examples.

Or you could stop being a sexist gently caress and realize that boys and girls can enjoy similar things. Maybe she asks you for reading advice because she wants to be a part of your life! Read a book along with her. Make it into a reading club situation where you talk about the book, story, and characters. If you don't think she'll like what you usually read then recommend something else but for fucks sake read it with her.

Devi
Jan 15, 2006

CYCLOPS
WAS RIGHT


Asking for recommendations for a female reader is valid. Men and women usually go for different things in books. Which isn't to say that no girls like hard science fiction and no men like romance. But most of the books/authors I see mentioned often here aren't incredibly popular with female readers from what I can see (I don't read every thread though). I'm going by what I see checked out at my library and looked at in bookstores, not by comments here. If someone isn't keen on reading then giving them something from the hall of fame thread is probably not a good idea. And knowing the sex of the reluctant reader can be helpful. It's not enough to make a really good recommendation, but it's a start.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel is about a kid who gets lost at sea with a tiger. It'd be a good book to read together especially since at the end you need someone you can go "what the gently caress?" to who will understand. The Time Traveler's Wife is loved by many but it's huge and that might be a turn off for someone who's just starting to read for pleasure (or a girl because our brains start to hurt after too many pages, you know). I'm going to contradict myself and say Neal Stephenson's Diamond Age, too. It's weird, the characters are developed, it has fairy tale themes, and it's good.

There's a couple fairy tale anthologies edited by Terri Wind Windling and Ellen Datlow that I love but don't recommend around here because when I do recommend them to guys I get funny looks. Snow White, Blood Red, Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears, Black Heart, Ivory Bones, etc. Retold fairy tales by well known and new fantasy authors. Some good stuff, regardless of the reader's sex. Short stories are a great way to find new authors, too. Anything by Neil Gaiman is a good bet.

If she likes V.C. Andrews, take her to a book store and poke around in the horror section (if you go to a chain, make it Borders since most Barnes & Noble stores don't have a horror section). Many horror novels have similar elements but I'll be damned if I can think of any right now. Unfortunately all I can think of in the horror realm are urban fantasy and paranormal romance books. And Lovecraft who would probably not go over well. Hell, get her some early King or some Koontz.

Ingwit
Feb 19, 2004



Girl: Can I sit there while we read? *points to my balzac*

Stegosaurus
Sep 30, 2005

yeah it was like, we came in one day and there was a five-seven just chillin on airbus two. we were like, 'the hell?'

Make sure to suggest novels with sympathetic heroines to maximize your chances. Anna Karenina might be a good choice, depending on how nuanced your girlfriend's sense of literary analysis is, but for the same slam-dunk bet go with Zola's L'Assommoir.

Or you could just act as if the capacity to enjoy literature doesn't respect gender?

Ingwit
Feb 19, 2004



Keshik posted:

All that being said, I read ten books in the week it takes her to read one, so she looks to me for advice on good literature, since she has poor role-models in that realm - her mother being the Harlequin romance type. But of course I have trouble recommending the books I like, as they're very 'male' fiction like Alastair Reynolds, Arthur C Clarke, C.S. Forester, and a few guilty pleasures like Alan Dean Foster.

I was able to get her to watch the A&E Hornblower series with me, but to expect anyone on this earth with a vagina to read C.S. Forester is a bit unrealistic, as I'm sure most would agree.

Actually, instead of lording your almighty speed-reading over her and dismissing as an option a series that I know is read by many vaginas, why don't you just ask your girlfriend what kind of book she wants to read rather than expecting an internet forum to magically know what would appeal to her beyond what she already reads?

Gimpy Joe
Jul 25, 2004
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A Stately Pleasure Dome Decree

Ingwit posted:

Actually, instead of lording your almighty speed-reading over her and dismissing as an option a series that I know is read by many vaginas, why don't you just ask your girlfriend what kind of book she wants to read rather than expecting an internet forum to magically know what would appeal to her beyond what she already reads?

I think that is pretty much the point of this thread, she doesn't know what she wants to read. The impression I get it a guy who reads for entertainment has found a girl, and she wants to get into his world which involves a great deal of reading. To her horror she wants to get into a world of reading but she hasn't read anything seriously in quite some time, it isn't her fault just outside of what she was trying to do. Now this guy is trying to piece together what the girl would want to read based on her distant past, female stereotypes, and vague assumptions.

I agree that hording your speed reading over her won't accomplish a thing (from any perspective). ainstead try and read the same thing as her, as I recommended, and come up with interesting insights into it. If you can't/aren't doing that what is the point of speed reading anyway?

stalkingbutler
Jun 1, 2007


The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex, both by Jeffrey Eugenides, are really good books for anyone. Both deal with gender issues but not in the chick lit kind of way.

H.H
Oct 24, 2006

August is the Cruelest Month

Archibald Cox posted:

...women can enjoy any books that men can...

Don't be silly, they are all under-developed. That's why it is preferable for them to abstain from reading as a whole and remain in their natural habitat, the kitchen.



Ozma doesn't visit TBB, does she?

Keshik
Oct 27, 2000

optimates fellat capra


Stegosaurus posted:

Or you could just act as if the capacity to enjoy literature doesn't respect gender?

The ability to appreciate literature does indeed transcend gender. I got her to read Cormac McCarthy's The Road, which we both thought was very well written and not enjoyable at all. I'm looking for simple reading for entertainment here, and that is not something that transcends two random individuals, much less between genders.

I wouldn't read V.C. Andrews if you put a gun to my head, just as she wouldn't read Tom Clancy, even under duress.

Is it because I am the kind of guy who occasionally likes to listen to an author masturbate furiously to descriptions of jet aircraft, while she likes stories about brothers and sisters who gently caress because they're locked in an attic? Maybe so. Is it just possible that it is not a mind-blowing assertion that most Tom Clancy readers are male, and most V.C. Andrews readers are female?

So maybe I'm not being sexist, and Devi is the only person kind enough to understand my dilemma.

Devi posted:

Asking for recommendations for a female reader is valid. Men and women usually go for different things in books...If someone isn't keen on reading then giving them something from the hall of fame thread is probably not a good idea. And knowing the sex of the reluctant reader can be.

Keshik fucked around with this message at Sep 2, 2007 around 02:36

99 Apple Schnapps
Jul 16, 2006



Ever consider some of the Shakespeare romances? Give her a book of sonnets. Or have her try poetry out in general. I've always though Joyce's poetry was much better than his prose...

AliceInWonderland posted:

Beloved or Jazz by Toni Morrison

Good lord, not Beloved, anything but Beloved.

Jazz is good. Try Sula, which is a personal favorite.

Lucindawst
Nov 23, 2006

Princess Powerful!

Recently I loved Thirteen Moons and Memoirs of a Geisha(which I have read three times). I think on a female perspective level, if she wants something just from the female perspective.... anything by Amy Tan is nice as well.

Atomic Soda
Jun 8, 2005
Drink this baby

Sherri S. Tepper is a great female author who writes fantasy/sci-fi, if your girl is into that. I highly recommend Beauty, Grass and Gibbons Decline and Fall. A Plague of Angels isn't bad either.


The Eyre Affair and assorted sequels by Jasper Fforde are also fun reads.

Savahontas
Jun 13, 2005

I say..
Yea buddy!
Rolling like a big shot,
Chevy tuned up like a Nascar pitstop


If we're making this into a general books for girls, you've come to the right place...

ANYTHING BY AIMEE BENDER. She's amazing. Sweet, clever, and the sort of classic magical realism of the new female genre. If you have not read Girl In a Flammable Skirt PLEASE DO SO NOW.

Novels:
Tracey Chevalier (for the soul), Joyce Carol Oates (for the classic), Janet Evanovich (for the silly/crime fighting fluff). Or, if you're into hosed up magical realism, might I recommend: Judy Budnitz, Trinie Dalton, Miranda July, Rachel Resnik.

Other writers that we seem to enjoy are Jonathan Safran Foer (for the poignant), Gabriel Garcia Marquez (for the mysterious), Wally Lamb (for the serious), David Sedaris (if she likes the funny), etc.

Start with Aimee Bender and Tracey Chevalier, for sure.

slowfoot
Jun 19, 2005



OP, what types of movies and tv shows does she like? What books did she read and hate? It's hard to tell what books we should recommend based on that short list.

I have a vagina and these books struck me as possibly appealing to other people who also have vaginas:

Sunshine by Robin McKinley - girly vampire book, but not a crappy romance.

Case Histories and the sequel, One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson. Drama/mystery, sort of. These are full of interesting characters and they're both funny and sad.

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. Sci-fi (time travel) with romance and humor.

Grandasaur Egg
Oct 14, 2005

GROOR

Lady Chatterley's Lover is beloved by all women, I think.

Mr.48
May 1, 2007


Just grab everything by Bill Fitzhugh and Neil Gaiman, I find that these guys write with a universal appeal.

I cant rhyme
Aug 19, 2007


I really liked the Time Traveler's wife. It was hard for me to read all that much, being a girl and all.
White Oleander is a pretty good book, very sweet. It's also very long. However, I found it quite easy.
I also absolutely loved Gone with the Wind.
The Notebook is a terrible book, but she might like it.
Anyway, good luck.

I cant rhyme fucked around with this message at Sep 2, 2007 around 16:38

Pornbot
Jun 25, 2002

by Ozma


A cookbook.

Keshik
Oct 27, 2000

optimates fellat capra


slowfoot posted:

OP, what types of movies and tv shows does she like? What books did she read and hate? It's hard to tell what books we should recommend based on that short list.
Romcoms, So You Think You Can Dance, Wedding Bells, etc. Shows we share passion for are the standard; Rome, House, Sports Night. I don't know how much bearing enjoyment of tv/movies has on reading, though. I loooooove science fiction in books, but I don't ever watch the scifi channel.

Pornbot posted:

A cookbook.

Hilariously enough, she does read The Joy of Cooking for pleasure, sometimes.

Devi
Jan 15, 2006

CYCLOPS
WAS RIGHT


Keshik posted:


Hilariously enough, she does read The Joy of Cooking for pleasure, sometimes.

Get her something by Anthony Bourdain. Kitchen Confidential is about his life as a cook/chef, A Cook's Tour is him traveling the world eating, and The Nasty Bits is a collection of articles and essays.

Kitchen Confidential was first recommended to me after I read Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress by Debra Ginsberg. You wouldn't think that reading about a waitress would be entertaining, but it was. Reads like a novel but there's no sappy happy ending and you might learn something.

Not cookbooks, but Bourdain's books will teach you about food. I've heard good things about his Les Halles Cookbook, too. There's a lot of instruction in there and not just recipes.

S.S. Exploder
Aug 21, 2007


this is sexist and stupid. just give her a normal good book to read that you think she will be able to identify with and gain from.

Toil
Apr 19, 2006
I aspire to own 75 cats.

If she's a fan of chick flicks, Summer Sisters by Judy Blume is like the East of Eden of fluffy "chick" literature. It is definitely not intellectual literature but it's great beach or train reading.

The Vagina Monologues might make for interesting discussion.

Dorothy Parker and Emily Dickinson are good standbys for short stories and poetry, respectively.

AliceInWonderland
Mar 21, 2007

by Fragmaster


Pornbot posted:

A cookbook.

I love food writing. Seconding the Anthony Bourdain rec, particularly Kitchen Confidential.

Fallen Angel Eyes
Jan 6, 2007
Eternity Seeker

Gimpy Joe posted:

There is an emergent genre I've heard called 'chick lit' which seems right up the alley you're looking for. Go to any big chain bookstore and look around the fiction section, and particularly any display tables they've got out. What you're looking for is a certain type of cover. Big pictures, usually of a single object with the rest faded or obfuscated. The author of the book will be a woman (or a womanly pen name) and the title will probably have subtitle to go along with it. Bonus points for New York Times reviews, Oprah status, or any best seller list. Going to amazon and searching for chick lit or beach reads will probably find some good examples.

Oh god chick lit. Chick lit dismays me. Women actually do read stuff with substance, I promise, being one of them. Every time I walk by that section in a store I cringe. I try to take the optimistic view I guess, that at least the people who like this stuff are reading something rather than nothing. It's hard though.

Devi posted:

There's a couple fairy tale anthologies edited by Terri Wind Windling and Ellen Datlow that I love but don't recommend around here because when I do recommend them to guys I get funny looks. Snow White, Blood Red, Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears, Black Heart, Ivory Bones, etc. Retold fairy tales by well known and new fantasy authors. Some good stuff, regardless of the reader's sex. Short stories are a great way to find new authors, too. Anything by Neil Gaiman is a good bet.

Someone else who's read these books! I'm so happy! I love these collections as well. I have a thing for alternate/"adult" versions of fairy tales (and yes, I do prefer the original Grimm's stories) I definitely second these recommendations.

Also seconding the Gaiman recommendation, because he's just such a great contemporary horror/fantasy writer. I'm not sure if I can recommend anything helpful other than that, seeing as I don't think I read very stereotypically "girly" things. I like high fantasy, hard scifi, cyberpunk, and horror, from psychological to splatterpunk, among other things.

P.S.-If you're really really really desperate, you could try introducing her to the Mary Sue trainwreck that is Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake or Merry Gentry series.

AliceInWonderland
Mar 21, 2007

by Fragmaster


Fallen Angel Eyes posted:



P.S.-If you're really really really desperate, you could try introducing her to the Mary Sue trainwreck that is Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake or Merry Gentry series.

Argh!

Y'know, before that, she might appreciate some early Anne Rice, especially if she's into V.C. Andrews. Anita Blake starts great and then becomes appalling on a much steeper and earlier curve. Anne Rice does eventually disappear up her own arse, but The Vampire Lestat is still one of my favouritest books ever. That's a book guaranteed to appeal to the vagina set. Get her to try the first four of the Vampire Chronicles. After that it's all downhill, but hey.

And if she likes that, she could try some werewolf romances - The Passion and The Promise by Donna Boyd, or The Silver Wolf by Alice Borchardt.

She might also like Barbara Hambly's Innocent Blood and Travelling With The Dead, or Freda Warrington's Taste of Blood Wine, Dance In Blood Velvet series.

*Realises she has betrayed a pretty thorough knowledge of girly gothdom, so skulks off...*

I'll also second the Sheri S. Tepper and Neil Gaiman recommendations.

Skutter
Apr 7, 2007

I was curious to see how far you'd go to find me. Well, here I am.


I enjoy a lot of literature written by men, but if she's looking for female authors specifically, there's always "the classics."

Charlotte Brontė - Jane Eyre
Emily Brontė - Wuthering Heights
Anne Brontė - The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Kate Chopin - The Awakening
George Sand - Indiana
Jane Austen - Pride & Prejudice
Virginia Woolf - A Room of One's Own
Elizabeth Gaskell - Mary Barton
Mary Shelley - Frankenstein

I really enjoyed Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre myself. I think someone already mentioned Joyce Carol Oates for something contemporary. And there's also stuff like Patricia Cornwell and J.D. Robb.

Devi posted:

There's a couple fairy tale anthologies edited by Terri Wind Windling and Ellen Datlow that I love but don't recommend around here because when I do recommend them to guys I get funny looks. Snow White, Blood Red, Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears, Black Heart, Ivory Bones, etc. Retold fairy tales by well known and new fantasy authors.

Those sound really interesting. I tried to read "Mirror, Mirror" by Gregory Maguire, but hated it. Are these books anything like that?

Dr. Ballznwang
May 7, 2007
Yes, I am Salazar Ballznwang

I don't like the OP's tone or views on books that women should read, but regardless, there are tons of things out there she might enjoy for enjoyment's sake.

Try Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. A fun read regardless of gender.

I'll throw out books like The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Amy Tan tends to fall into the Oprah Book Club readership which is what I think you're after?

It might sound trite, but what is wrong with any of the classics? I don't know why people refuse to look towards the well established authors even if they don't know they might like it.

I stand by Thomas Hardy pretty much. Jude the Obscure, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Far from the Madding Crowd (one of my top 10 books of all time, period.), and so on.

I think Willa Cather also rights highly enjoyable light reading if you choose not to think about it. My Antonia and O Pioneers are wonderful introductions.

There are always the Bronte sisters which I think get a bum deal when mentioned as women's literature. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte was one of those "oh dear, I've been missing this literature for years..." kind of moments. It is better now that I know I am reading this stuff.

Non-fiction I could think of gardening and generally anecdotal life stories by Michael Pollan. 2nd Nature is fantastic. I read an excerpt in a Nature Writing course and it got me hooked to more of his writing and other writers within the genre.

When Elephants Weep by Jeffrey Masson and Susan McCarthy is a great read, but it does have some very difficult parts to read through. I had a hard time reading about all of the terrible things humans have done to animals in the name of "research."

Jon Krakeur's Into Thin Air is interesting as well. It's about the famed Mt. Everest disaster in the 1990s that ended up killing a bunch of people.

I mean, push comes to shove, if she doesn't read much get her started on Harry Potter. It is involving, and if she enjoys the first book she has incentive to read some more of them. I guess it sounds stupid, but I like Harry Potter because of the overall storyline. It is something to read, an easy read, but a read nonetheless. I see no harm in HP

Stormcrow
Nov 11, 2004


I'm afraid I was very, very drunk.


She should really try this.

Stormcrow fucked around with this message at Sep 3, 2007 around 19:49

Devi
Jan 15, 2006

CYCLOPS
WAS RIGHT


Skutter posted:


Those sound really interesting. I tried to read "Mirror, Mirror" by Gregory Maguire, but hated it. Are these books anything like that?

I haven't read any Maguire so I can't compare him to the books. The anthologies have so many stories (and poems) that I'd say anyone with any interest in retold fairy tales would find something they like. All of them have enough big names in them to guarantee a few good reads, if nothing else. You should be able to find a volume or three at a library, so even better.

maxnmona
Mar 16, 2005

if you start with drums, you have to end with dynamite.

Ingwit posted:

Girl: Can I sit there while we read? *points to my balzac*

hahahahahahahahahahahaha

Also, OP, you're a sexist idiot and your girlfriend has apparently not read anything since adolescence, so I'm not sure there's much hope for her. That's not a female thing though, it's more of a "the type of people who would date you" thing.

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The Baroness
Oct 1, 2004
Glasses, evil and HAWT

Generally speaking, I enjoy High Fantasy and Sci-fi, but occasionally, I venture into the den of horror that is chick lit.

If she likes historical books and spies, and isn't too picky as to their accuracy, may I recommend the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig? It borrows from Orczy's Scarlet Pimpernel, but uses female spies during the Napoleonic time. It also has a small amount of romance, both in the past and the concurrent 'present' storyline. There are so far three books out, with a fourth one coming. The first is The Secret History of the Pink Carnation.

Failing that, I can say that all the females who come into my store drool over Phillipa Gregory's Boleyn series and Jodi Picoult. I have not read any of their books, but I have heard the Boleyn books also contain very questionable history.

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