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Is 'mummy lit' done now? Or are there still good ones out there?

(36 Posts)
Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 26-Jun-14 01:53:35

Seems like about ten years after the first Bridget Jones book, there was an explosion of what the media insisted on calling 'Mummy Lit' - I Don't Know How She Does It, Secret Diary of a Slummy Mummy, etc.

And I know there's a bunch still out there, but I haven't read a good one since the above. Are there any you'd recommend? I'm a big fan of Christina Hopkinson's The Pile of Stuff at the Bottom of the Stairs - some quality ranting about the way that women get shafted in motherhood, in there. Stuff with a good vein of anger but is genuinely actually funny and well written? Anyone?

MrsWinnibago Thu 26-Jun-14 10:59:14

I HATE the term "Mummy Lit" as much as I do "Chick Lit". They're so demeaning to women.

MrsWinnibago Thu 26-Jun-14 11:07:13

You don't get men's literature being belittled in the same way do you? "Daddy Lit" or "Knob Novel".

DuchessofMalfi Thu 26-Jun-14 11:24:39

Knob novel grin or as someone else on Adult Fiction said - dick lit grin

Mummy lit indeed. Whatever next? I may be a mum but I have a brain and I read all kinds of novels. The term is despicable. I know that's not what you want to hear, but I'd hate to be confined to a tiny little genre such as that. I read to escape the frequent drudgery that is parenthood and dislike books that moan about it. Rant done smile

MrsWinnibago Thu 26-Jun-14 11:29:02

It's just another way of confining women to "their place".

Oh look dear...your books are here! They're light and fluffy so your little head doesn't get too addled!


MrsWinnibago Thu 26-Jun-14 11:30:09

As you said Tortoise some of it is quality writing...modern fiction...not "Mummy Lit" or "Clit Lit"....but modern fiction aimed at women.

Kikaninchen Thu 26-Jun-14 11:40:49

I thought it was called "Baby sick lit".

mum2jakie Thu 26-Jun-14 13:26:14

If you have a Kindle, Amanda Egan's 'Diary of a Mummy Misfit' is a very entertaining read - Kindle only though. Currently £1.91. There is also a sequel available.

I don't mind the term Mummy lit. It's just shorthand for a genre of books...

kazzawazzawoo Thu 26-Jun-14 15:39:47

I don't have a problem with the term mummy lit. It's just a way of saying they're books about mums, possibly for mums. What's wrong with that!? And sometimes I fancy reading stuff like that. Thankfully we all have different taste.

Sorry, I can't think of any new ones at the moment though.

BristolRover Thu 26-Jun-14 15:44:59

Try Andrew Clover's "Dad Rules"

Sylviecat Sun 29-Jun-14 19:21:32

I too loved 'the pile of stuff at the bottom of the stairs.' Would love any similar recommendations?
Have you read 'night watch' by Sarah moss? I enjoyed that. For lighter reads, but not as fluffy or predictable as the covers make out, try any Fiona Gibson books.

BeerTricksPotter Sun 29-Jun-14 19:38:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsWinnibago Sun 29-Jun-14 20:19:09

It's funny how only women's fiction needs shorthand which alludes to our sex though. What fiction aimed at men can you think of which has a similarly pathetic nickname?

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Tue 01-Jul-14 01:26:19

Oh, look, I hate the term as well. But the particular genre I'm talking about is narrower than just 'books written by women who have children', it's books written about the experience of new motherhood, generally. Most of which is, yes, fairly dire. Another book whereby the new mum dresses up in nice-ish clothes to meet a girlfriend 6 weeks after the birth and then gets projectile shit all over her, the world does not need.

Good ones, though, have a nice vein of barely-concealed fury running through them, which I like. Thanks for the recommendations above.

DuchessofMalfi Tue 01-Jul-14 06:43:42

Well, putting aside the mummy lit tag, try Night Waking by Sarah Moss. Definitely not chick lit, but deals honestly with the difficulties of child rearing whilst living on a remote Scottish island. I liked it. It's bleak at times but there's some humour too.

Cantdothisagain Tue 01-Jul-14 08:50:15

Wounding by Heidi James. More than a faint line of fury there and not what I would call mummy lit but definitely fits your description of mother struggling with young kids beyond the superficial dross about leaky breast pads etc. Really thought provoking.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 02-Jul-14 03:03:00

Thank you all!

Jenbob80 Thu 03-Jul-14 21:52:57

There's some lovely mums lit! Some better than others. I really hated the latest Bridget Jones - don't know why I bought it really as the reviews were poor. I really liked Surviving Planet Baby (very funny) on Kindle and also Never Google Heartbreak (light-hearted romance). I read Love Virtually last year which was entirely written in emails, but very clever (sold really well across Europe I think in different languages, but I was bored of it during the sequel) . I would recommend any of those.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 04-Jul-14 02:22:23

Oh, goodness, the Bridget Jones was DIRE, wasn't it? I hated it. And also I couldn't stop myself thinking about her age the entire way through. I mean 'so if her daughter is 5...she had her at what, 46? Really?'

Duchess, I read Night Waking and LOVED IT, thank you ever so. And she's written other books; how very exciting. Although I am amused that it was you upthread that said that you read to escape the drudgery of parenthood and avoided books that moan about it - that's what Night Waking IS!

Thumbwitch Fri 04-Jul-14 02:47:47

Just marking my place for new books to read! I don't have any recommendations though, sorry.

DuchessofMalfi Fri 04-Jul-14 04:19:54

I know Tortoise grin . It was a MN Bookclub read and so I took a chance on it, as it was free. Although she does "moan" about her children I thought the writing elevated it beyond the normal moany stuff, making it both intelligent and readable. What I dislike is trashy writing, but I do appreciate quality writing, and clever humour and was prepared to make an exception here.

I did quite like the Bridget Jones - Mad about the Boy also. It didn't take itself seriously and appealed to my sense of humour.

But my absolute favourite genre is crime. I'm working my way through Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler books atm. They have a lot of family talk. Simon's GP sister features a lot, and she has three children, struggles to cope with childcare (new baby in book 2) and being a doctor.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 04-Jul-14 04:23:26

Completely agree. I also get annoyed at the labelling, because it's so hard to tell a good book from a bad one when they all get packaged the same way, in a certain genre mould. And there is SO MUCH bad writing out there.

I'm trying to write one, which is part of why I asked the original question.

Shall check out Susan Hill as well.

DuchessofMalfi Fri 04-Jul-14 04:26:55

Oh and re Bridget's age - IIRC Helen Fielding had her children around that age too, so possibly writing from experience. And I had DS at 44 (wasn't planned grin ).

Thumbwitch Fri 04-Jul-14 06:41:59

Come to that, I had DS2 at 45, so yes, not that unbelievable. smile

Greenstone Fri 04-Jul-14 06:54:23

Anne Enright's short stories.

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