Shoe Addicts Anonymous


Beth Harbison - 2007
    Lorna Rafferty is up to her eyeballs in debt and can't stop her addiction to Ebay. Sandra Vanderslice, battling agoraphobia, pays her shoe bills by working as a phone sex operator. And Jocelyn Bowen is a nanny for the family from hell (who barely knows a sole from a heel but who will do anything to get out of the house).  On Tuesday nights, these women meet to trade shoes, and, in the process, form friendships that will help them each triumph over their problems—from secret pasts to blackmail, bankruptcy, and dating.  Funny, emotional, and powerful, Shoe Addicts Anonymous is the perfect read for any woman who has ever struggled to find the perfect fit.

A Walk In The Park


Jill Mansell - 2012
    Because Lara left her family and boyfriend Flynn eighteen years ago without a word to anyone. Why has no one heard from her since? Her childhood best friend Evie is thrilled Lara's back and able to share her happiness. Evie's about to walk down the aisle with her dream man, Joel. Or so she thinks... Then there's Flynn Erskine, even more attractive now and stunned to see Lara again. The spark between them is as strong as ever, but how's Flynn going to react when he discovers the secret she's been keeping from him? Oh yes, there's a lot of catching up to be done...

Forget About It


Caprice Crane - 2007
    At twenty-five, she is attractive, smart, funny and talented. But all that doesn't keep her mother from calling her fat, her boss from stealing her ideas, and her boyfriend from cheating on her. Day in and day out, she sits back and watches as everyone walks all over her. Then one day while riding her bike home from a particularly awful day, Jordan collides with a car door and is knocked clear off her bicycle. Coming to in the hospital, Jordan realizes she has a perfect excuse for a "do-over"; she vows to fake amnesia and reinvent herself. And it works. Finally, Jordan is able to get the credit she deserves at work, and she stands up to her family and her jerk boyfriend. She's living the life she always dreamed of--until the unthinkable happens. Suddenly Jordan must start over for real, and figure out what really makes her happy--and how to live a truly memorable life.

The Ivy Chronicles


Karen Quinn - 2005
    So she dreams up a new business--helping upscale New Yorkers get their little darlings into the most exclusive kindergartens in the city. What begins as one woman's bid to earn a living becomes an everywoman's tale of midlife reinvention and unexpected romance, set in a looking-glass world where even tots have résumés.

Keep Me Posted


Lisa Beazley - 2016
    Cassie is consumed with trying to make her life work as a Manhattan wife and mom to twin toddlers, while her bighearted sister, Sid, lives an expat's life of leisure in far-off Singapore. So Sid, who shuns social media, challenges Cassie to reconnect through old-fashioned letters.Soon, the letters become a kind of mutual confessional that have real and soul-satisfying effects. They just might have the power to help Cassie save her marriage, and give Sid the strength to get her life back on track.But first, one of Cassie's infamous lapses in judgment comes back to bite her, and all of the letters wind up in the one place you'd never, ever want to see them: the Internet . . .READERS GUIDE INSIDE

The Starter Wife


Gigi Levangie Grazer - 2005
    starter cars. starter houses. and then there are starter wives.From the bestselling author of "Maneater" comes "The Starter Wife," a sexy, savvy, and wickedly funny novel about life after divorce and one woman redefining herself after years of marriage to a Hollywood studio head.When her husband Kenny dumps her by cell phone mere months before their ten-year wedding anniversary, Gracie Pollock finds herself reeling. Though her nine-year role as the wife of a semifamous Hollywood studio executive often left her dry and she never fully embraced the "status" (according to Kenny), Gracie has grown accustomed to the unique privileges afforded by Tinseltown's brand of power and wealth: reservations at Spago on a Friday night; beauty treatments by dermatologists (Arnie), manicurists (Jessica), and colorists (Cristophe) to the stars; line-jumping at Disneyland with her daughter and Ugg-wearing celebrity offspring. And despite the fact she had consented to name their daughter Jaden in a (failed) attempt to lure Will Smith to one of Kenny's productions, Gracie believed she and Kenny were different from other Hollywood couples. She never thought she'd be a "starter wife." But now that her marriage is over, her phone isn't ringing, her mailbox is empty, and it's only through a faux pas by her world-class florist that she learns her husband has upgraded: Kenny is dating a pop tartlet.With images of Kenny's 'tween queen everywhere she turns, Gracie seeks refuge at her best friend's Malibu mansion for some much-needed divorce therapy. Soon she's associating with all the wrong people, including a mysterious hunk who saves her from drowning, the security guard at hergated community, and -- God forbid -- Kenny's boss, one of Hollywood's better-known Lotharios.With her signature wit, sassy style, and cameos of the rich and famous -- and wannabe rich and famous -- Gigi Grazer tackles the most delicious and dastardly details of a divorce and recovery, Hollywood style.

Lipstick Jungle


Candace Bushnell - 2005
    This time around, the ladies are a bit older, a lot richer, but not particularly wiser nor more endearing than Bushnell's earlier heroines. Lipstick Jungle weaves the stories of Nico O'Neilly, Wendy Healy, and Victory Ford, numbers 8, 12, and 17 on The New York Post's list of "New York's 50 Most Powerful Women." But this is 21st Century New York, and to get ahead and stay ahead, these women will do anything, including jeopardizing their personal and professional relationships. Take for example Nico, editor-in-chief of Bonfire magazine, who betrays her boss to rise to the top of the entire magazine division at media mega-giant Splatch-Verner. As president of Paradour Pictures, Wendy may be poised to win an Oscar for her 10-year labor-of-love, Ragged Pilgrims, but her marriage is in shambles and her children care more about a $50,000 pony than their mother. And for single, 43-year-old fashion designer Victory, pleasing tough critics may be more important than ever finding the real relationship she's convinced herself she doesn't need. This racy tale of women behaving badly manages to shrewdly flip the tables to show us how gender roles are essentially interchangeable, given the right circumstances. Whether that was Bushnell's intent when crafting this wicked tale is another story. --Gisele Toueg Q: Were Victory, Wendy, and Nico inspired by any real-life women? A: The characters and situations in Lipstick Jungle were inspired by the real-life women I know and admire in New York City. As with Sex and the City, I spent a lot of time thinking about where women were today, and what I noticed was that there was a fascinating group of women in their forties who were leading non-traditional lives. They were highly successful and motivated, they often had children, and usually were the providers for their families, and yet, they didn't fit the old stereotype of the witchy businesswoman. Indeed, so many of these women were the girls next door, the girls who reminded me of my best friends when I was a kid and we used to fantasize about the great things we were going to do in life. Like the women in Sex and the City, the Lipstick Jungle women are charting new lives for themselves, redefining what it means to be a woman when you really are as powerful, or more powerful, than a man. Of course, you probably want specifics, so I will say that there was a moment when it all clicked. Tina Brown used to write a terrific column in the Washington Post, and one of the things she was always mentioning was how there was a group of powerful women who were meeting and lunching at Michael's restaurant. They'd been working for over twenty years, their children were now in their early teens and didn't need them every minute, and now, in their forties or early fifties, they had time to strive for new career goals and to spend more time with their girlfriends. I thought, "Aha--that's the Lipstick Jungle." Q: What kind of research did you do to cover fashion, film, and publishing in one book? A: To research fashion, film and publishing, I did what I always do--I talked to my girlfriends! Of course, it helps that I've worked in magazine publishing and have had my share of experience with Hollywood. I'm also lucky enough to have a couple of girlfriends who are top designers, who offered to help me out with the specific details. I still remember the afternoon when one of my girlfriends and I sat down to talk--she was over eight months pregnant, and I was worried that we were going to have to run to the hospital!

The Devil Wears Prada


Lauren Weisberger - 2003
    Andrea Sachs, a small-town girl fresh out of college, lands the job “a million girls would die for.” Hired as the assistant to Miranda Priestly, the high-profile, fabulously successful editor of "Runway "magazine, Andrea finds herself in an office that shouts "Prada! Armani! Versace!" at every turn, a world populated by impossibly thin, heart-wrenchingly stylish women and beautiful men clad in fine-ribbed turtlenecks and tight leather pants that show off their lifelong dedication to the gym. With breathtaking ease, Miranda can turn each and every one of these hip sophisticates into a scared, whimpering child. THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA gives a rich and hilarious new meaning to complaints about “The Boss from Hell.” Narrated in Andrea’s smart, refreshingly disarming voice, it traces a deep, dark, devilish view of life at the top only hinted at in gossip columns and over Cosmopolitans at the trendiest cocktail parties. From sending the latest, not-yet-in-stores Harry Potter to Miranda’s children in Paris by private jet, to locating an unnamed antique store where Miranda had at some point admired a vintage dresser, to serving lattes to Miranda at precisely the piping hot temperature she prefers, Andrea is sorely tested each and every day—and often late into the night with orders barked over the phone. She puts up with it all by keeping her eyes on the prize: a recommendation from Miranda that will get Andrea a top job at any magazine of her choosing. As things escalate from the merely unacceptable to the downright outrageous, however, Andrea begins to realize that the job a million girls would die for may just kill her. And even if she survives, she has to decide whether or not the job is worth the price of her soul.

Confessions of a Shopaholic


Sophie Kinsella - 2000
    The only trouble is that she can't actually afford it–not any of it.Her job writing at Successful Savings not only bores her to tears, it doesn't pay much at all. And lately Becky's been chased by dismal letters from the bank –letters with large red sums she can't bear to read–and they're getting ever harder to ignore.She tries cutting back. But none of her efforts succeeds. Becky's only consolation is to buy herself something ... just a little something....Finally a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life–and the lives of those around her–forever.

Mr. Maybe


Jane Green - 1999
    Right has always meant Mr. Rich. A twenty seven-year-old publicist, she's barely able to afford her fashionable and fabulous lifestyle and often has to foot the bill for dates with Struggling Writer Nick, a sexy but perpetually strapped-for-cash guy she's dating (no commitments – really). So when Ed, Britain's wealthiest but stodgiest bachelor, enters the picture, her idea of the fairy tale romance is turned on it's head. Mr. Maybe is the tale of her heartfelt but hilarious deliberation, irresistibly chronicled by bestselling author Jane Green. On one hand, Nick makes up for his low bank-account balance by his performance in the sack, or in the bathtub, as the case may be. But life with him means little more than nightly trips to the bar, a dark and grungy apartment, and plenty of dull political tirades to boot. But those blue eyes, and that tender heart...On the other hand, there's Ed, whose luxurious house and gargantuan bank account are quite tempting to the starving Libby. But his unsavory mustache and bumbling ways make Libby wonder if the platinum AMEX and unlimited "retail therapy" are worth it. He may have fallen in love with her at first sight, but nothing seems to solve his lackluster performance in the sack – even speed reading The Joy of Sex. When the diamond shopping commences, Libby is forced to realize that the time for "maybe" is up. Taking romantic comedy to a hip, sparkling new level, Mr. Maybe is a classic tale of what happens to one girl when her heart and her head aren't looking for the same thing. With a laugh and minute and a heroine whose struggles in the dating jungle will remind you of your own, Mr. Maybe is a story that all will leave you smitten.

Wallflower in Bloom


Claire Cook - 2012
    (Book club questions included.)Deirdre Griffin has a great life; it’s just not her own. She’s the around-the-clock personal assistant to her charismatic, high-maintenance, New Age guru brother Tag. As the family wallflower, her only worth seems to be as gatekeeper to Tag at his New England seaside compound.Then Deirdre’s sometime boyfriend informs her that he is marrying another woman, who just happens to be having the baby he told Deirdre he never wanted. While drowning her sorrows in Tag’s expensive vodka, Deirdre decides to use his massive online following to get herself voted on as a last-minute Dancing with the Stars replacement. It’ll get her back in shape, mentally and physically. It might even get her a life of her own. Deirdre’s fifteen minutes of fame have begun.Irresistible and offbeat, Wallflower in Bloom is an original and deeply satisfying story of having the courage to take a leap into the spotlight, no matter where you land.

Standard Deviation


Katherine Heiny - 2017
    Simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking, this sensational debut will appeal to fans of David Nicholls, Nick Hornby, Nora Ephron and Lorrie MooreGraham Cavanaugh’s second wife, Audra, is everything his first wife was not. She considers herself privileged to live in the age of the hair towel, talks non-stop through her epidural, labour and delivery, invites the doorman to move in and the eccentric members of their son’s Origami Club to Thanksgiving. She is charming and spontaneous and fun but life with her can be exhausting.In the midst of the day-to-day difficulties and delights of marriage and raising a child with Asperger’s, his first wife, Elspeth, reenters Graham’s life. Former spouses are hard to categorize – are they friends, enemies, old flames, or just people who know you really, really well? Graham starts to wonder: How can anyone love two such different women? Did he make the right choice? Is there a right choice?

The Knockoff


Lucy Sykes - 2015
    Eve, fresh out of Harvard Business School, has fired “the gray hairs,” put the managing editor in a supply closet, stopped using the landlines, and hired a bevy of manicured and questionably attired underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings. Imogen, darling of the fashion world, may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she can’t tell Facebook from Foursquare and once got her iPhone stuck in Japanese for two days. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to Beyoncé. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career. A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities, The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age.

The Devil in the Junior League


Linda Francis Lee - 2006
    Fredericka Mercedes Hildebrand Ware (Frede to her friends) is a member beyond reproach...until her life begins to unravel. When her husband betrays her, steals her money, and runs off to places unknown, it's something Frede would rather keep under wraps. The last thing she needs is to become fodder for the JLWC gossip mill. And to make matters worse, there's only one person in town who stands a chance at helping her get revenge: Howard Grout, a tasteless, gold-chain-wearing lawyer who has bought his way into Frede's tony neighborhood. But here's a price: She has to get his tacky, four-inch-stiletto-and-pink-spandex-wearing wife Nikki into the Junior League.Linda Francis Lee has written an hysterical novel about the creme de la creme of Texas society, the lengths to which one woman goes to bring her cheating husband to justice, and how taking on what seems like a Mission Impossible can change you in ways you could never have imagined.

The Last Time I Saw You


Elizabeth Berg - 2010
    To each of the men and women in The Last Time I Saw You, this reunion means something different--a last opportunity to say something long left unsaid, an escape from the bleaker realities of everyday life, a means to save a marriage on the rocks, or an opportunity to bond with a slightly estranged daughter, if only over what her mother should wear. As the onetime classmates meet up over the course of a weekend, they discover things that will irrevocably affect the rest of their lives. For newly divorced Dorothy Shauman, the reunion brings with it the possibility of finally attracting the attention of the class heartthrob, Pete Decker. For the ever self-reliant, ever left-out Mary Alice Mayhew, it's a chance to reexamine a painful past. For Lester Heseenpfeffer, a veterinarian and widower, it is the hope of talking shop with a fellow vet--or at least that's what he tells himself. For Candy Armstrong, the class beauty, it's the hope of finding friendship before it is too late. As Dorothy, Mary Alice, Lester, Candy, and the other classmates converge for the reunion dinner, four decades melt away: Desires and personalities from their youth reemerge, and new discoveries are made. For so much has happened to them all. And so much can still happen. In this beautiful novel, Elizabeth Berg deftly weaves together stories of roads taken and not taken, choices made and opportunities missed, and the possibilities of second chances.