Guilty pleasure (defined): an activity one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard or is seen as unusual or weird.
Most people use the term guilty pleasure in connection to the entertainment industry, but the majority of my guilty pleasures are consumables… Pop Tarts, Diet Pepsi, and in the fall… candy corn.
If you were a fly on the wall in my office, kitchen, living room or car it would not take you long to discover that I am fairly regimented in my daily routines. I try, at all times, to maximize my own efficiency in hopes that there will be just a little more time to do x, y or z.
This is why protein smoothies are my favorite lunch. I can easily eat-drink my meal during my daily commute to teach my 12:40 Intro to College Writing class. I’d be fine if we cut cable because I rarely watch TV and I make grocery lists to avoid extra trips to Target.
I also usually select my reading and listening material base on what it will provide me, and often times, ENTERTAINMENT, does not top the list. What tastes does this publisher currently have? How does an established author handle diversity within their cast of characters? How can I sneakily place educational content in a narrative as it is done in THIS or THAT best-selling series?
Earlier this month I even took a break from fiction to listen to industry informing podcasts. What can I say? I’m obsessed! I’m willing to do whatever it takes to be successful as a writer. Even if it means being unable to join in conversations about “This is Us” or comment on Taylor Swift’s outfit at the AMA’s. To me, writing time is just more important.
I know. I sound like a snob. I’m sorry. Please know that I am not judging anyone else’s personal time habits. The motto that keeps the peace in my family is: “Everyone gets to pick!”. In fact, those who do regularly veg out are probably better for it. I know this because last week I discovered my own guilty pleasure.
In saying that this book was my guilty pleasure, I am not in any way, shape or form saying that it or genre of the book is lacking value or less worthy of literary merit. Quite the opposite. I use the term guilt pleasure in connection to this book, because choosing to do something purely for entertainment for 14 hours felt so out of the ordinary for me… that I should have felt guilty I wasn’t following my usual-uber-productive routine. And if I hadn’t enjoyed it so much… I might have.
So what is it? What did I greedily consume every available second? The audiobook version of When Life Gives You LuLuLemons by Lauren Weisberger.
Welcome to Greenwich, Connecticut, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor.
Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton does not do the suburbs. After leaving Miranda Priestly, she’s been working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.
When Karolina Hartwell, a gorgeous former supermodel, is arrested for a DUI, her fall from grace is merciless. Her senator-husband leaves her, her Beltway friends disappear, and the tabloids pounce.
In Karolina, Emily finds her comeback opportunity. But she quickly learns Greenwich is a world apart and that this comeback needs a team approach.
So it is that Emily, the scorned Karolina, and their mutual friend Miriam, a powerful attorney turned stay-at-home suburban mom, band together to not only navigate the social land mines of suburban Greenwich but win back the hearts of the American public. Along the way, an indispensable ally emerges in one Miranda Priestly.
With her signature wit, Lauren Weisberger offers an alluring look into a sexy, over-the-top world—and proves it’s style and substance together that gets the job done. (summary courtesy of Amazon)
This book examined the thoughts of three, 30-something women in a way that was brutally honest and at the same time, down right hilarious. I found myself empathizing, relating, and laughing both with and at the characters. I was intrigued and appalled at their ultra-wealthy lifestyles. I was sucked into their drama, enchanted by their wardrobes and couldn’t wait to gobble up chapter after chapter.
I suppose as I listened I did gain tidbits of author craft. I noticed when my jaw dropped as I drove down Copeland Avenue and hated on Karolina’s a-hole senator husband, and made mental notes of how to replicate that dramatic effect in a future project. I devoured the delicious details of the character’s clothing and paid attention to the way Lauren Weisberger expertly spooled out three narratives in a single story. I’m certain I learned things while listening to this book, but for the first time in a long time, learning was not my primary purpose. Entertainment was. This book brought me hours of relaxation and joy and escapism and THAT is a noble pursuit. Maybe even the greatest accomplishment an author can hope to achieve.
Hats off to you Lauren on a job well done. You have won yourself a true fan! And even more so, succeeded in turning a work-a-holic into a binge-listening, chick-lit loving, word nerd.
Let’s keep the good times rolling. In the comments, please share your favorite guilty pleasure read!
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