Welcome to Temptation, Jennifer Crusie
Chick lit at its' fluffiest. Two sisters move to Temptation, Ohio to film a documentary about an aging film star, but end up mired in scandal, secrets, and some racy scenarios. Bonus: the book is small enough to fit in the smallest messenger bag!
Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel
Whatever emotion Tita feels when cooking is magically transferred to her cooking, leaving its eaters full of the same. A savory book of longing, family obligation, and recipes.
The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides
A group of teenage boys spend a year lusting after the five beautiful Lisbon sisters. Macabre, yes, but also full of lyrical prose and the yearning you really only feel during adolescence.
High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
I have worn this book out! Rob's latest girlfriend has left him alone...yet again. He travels back through his relationships to find out why he can't keep a woman, while managing his record store and endless top five lists. Hugely quotable.
Bridget Jones' Diary, Helen Fielding
Don't let Renee Zellweger's film portrayal of Bridget keep you from the book. Yes, it's done to death, but hysterically funny account of a single woman's year trying to find love, stop smoking, and lose weight.
Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann
I felt so grown-up when Grandma in North Carolina bought this book for me. It follows three women trying to make it in the '60s, though everything they want is just out of reach. Riveting.
Three Junes, Julia Glass
Three novellas combined together for one breathtaking, emotionally spot-on book. Follows widowed Paul through a trip in Italy where he falls for a young American, onto Paul's eldest son in NYC who owns a book store and a parrot, then the story of the young American in the first story. Glass won the National book Award for this work.
Jemima J, Jane Green,
A large woman loses weight and finds love. Or does she? A fun book about how transformations aren't always what we expect.