Instead of writing children's stories this weekend or working on my WIP, I read The Help. I couldn't put it down. I love the way the author uses multiple points of view and does it in a way that doesn't make you work hard as a reader.
I've had a hard time deciding on the genre for the stories I've written so far. It seems that what I'm writing is Women's Literature, but not Chick Lit. Once I wrote that scene about a woman giving birth, I accepted the fact I had just kicked the male readers to the side.
Women's Literature and Chick Lit genres don't seem to be very tightly defined - I like black and white, clear definitions. I haven't found a clear definition of these genres, but it seems like Chick Lit is more superficial than women's literature, or maybe simply has the purpose to entertain, to be a fast and enjoyable read with a theme relevant to women. From what I've read, Chick Lit is the equivalent of buying fun, costume jewelry instead of the pricey stuff. The purpose of Women's Literature is to make a point (a point relevant to women) while entertaining. Does that sound right? It seems to be very subjective.
So I'm making my way through a list of high-quality Women's Literature. Personally, I think The Help is damned entertaining and would be enjoyable for men too. I bow down to Kathryn Stockett - she definitely did it well.