What We're Reading: Lady-Novels

Dudes, it's been getting kind of heavy in the Marie Claire books department lately, and we're not just talking about the piles upon piles of fall and winter review copies that have been rolling in. What with all the memoirs and the super-literary short stories and the feminist tomes we've been checking out lately (great as they all were), we're kinda ready to just, like, read a novel. Specifically, a lady-novel. You know what we mean: It's not necessarily chick lit, but you know your boyfriend probably isn't going to pick it up anytime soon. Lucky for us, the books world has brought us just that this week.

If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home By Now

Author: Claire LaZebnik, author of The Smart One and the Pretty One

Genre: Arrested-development mom lit (and no, we don't mean Lucille Bluth)

What Happens: Twenty-something mother Rickie moves back in with her parents and sends her son to the same private school she attended as a kid — which would be all well and good, except now she struggles to fit in with the perfect blond Stepford moms who can't help but wonder why the pierced, tattooed, young Rickie has a six-year-old and doesn't live on her own. Confusion, drama, and (of course) love ensue.

When to Read It: Whenever you're fed up with the "popular mommies" on the playground

Details: 5 Spot, $13.99, September 27


Author: Nicole Richie. Yes, that Nicole Richie.

Genre: Scandal-meets-soul-seeking

What Happens: When 22-year-old rich girl Charlotte Williams' Wall Street dad is arrested for embezzlement, her life becomes a living hell, and she flees to New Orleans where her childhood nanny takes her back in. Life in Nawlins is very different from what she's used to — she even has to wash dishes in a restaurant — but the new lifestyle leads to great changes in Charlotte's outlook on life and (yes) love.

When to Read It: Anytime you're wondering whether Nicole Richie can actually write (hint: it seems she can!) — or if you just want to be sucked in for a couple of hours.

Details: Atria, $24.99, September 28

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