Wednesday, 19 August 2009

I come in peace! First contact with Marie Claire

Since starting my investigation into how Marie Claire may improve running up to the big 30, I have noticed that the cultural side of things (Books, Films, Music and TV) has been fairly successful.

I've been introduced to 4 weddings which is bloody awesome! 4 brides slagging off each other’s wedding - genius. It's so cutting, husband regularly develops TV tourettes at 9pm on a Monday shrieking "Bitch" and "Cow" at the nastier contestants on the show. I've been exposed to the wondrous Florence and the Machine, who is lyrically one of the best song writers I've heard in a very long time and a welcome break from my usual genre of choice. I’ve read Cold Comfort Farm that for a while, made me want to drive around English country lanes in an open top car, wearing inappropriately large dresses, bonnet and gloves - finishing sentences with "What What!"

This month, the book recommended for the "Best Books Ever" read is the Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wild, which again is a novel I would have never have picked up. So far it is brilliant. I've forced a copy onto Evil Jody and demanded she read it before the end of August for our 2 person book club. The only problem is, reading makes her eyes tired so she keeps falling asleep, she isn't make masses of progress. I may have to start reading it to her...

September's issue of Marie Claire has had a face lift. A new editor is in the driving seat and is making their mark by a subtle relaunch of the title. This has thrown all my rules of play out of the window, I was just settling into a routine and they have gone and bloody changed it all. The "Best Books Ever" recommendation has gone. It's been replaced by a double page spread of new books and their reviews. I don't want to choose from all these new books, I liked it when it was simple... there was a "Best Book Ever" - so it was the natural one to pick out of all the reviews and also a means to discover some classics that I otherwise wouldn’t have in my life.

I'm shit at reading! I like safe trash about celebrities or vampires or wizards or China. Carrying around books by Oscar Wild in public was great as it gave people (the wrong) impression I was a slight culture vulture. I imagined (rightly or wrongly) that if I was single, carrying books like this made me slightly more attractive to posh boys that wear scarves and have names like Olli and Ed - who may have previously prejudged me when I was carting around Jordan's Autobiography.

So - I thought this may be the perfect subject for me to write my suckey letter to the editor.

Dear Trish

I’m writing to congratulate you on September’s new look Marie Claire, the layout and new features are great. However, I noticed Marie Claire’s “Best Books Ever” recommendation was not in the new issue. This has inspired me to discover some great books I may never have picked up in the past, and it was recently the means in which our book club (another inspiration from Marie Claire) were deciding on our monthly read. It would be really sad if this has gone for good!

Yours truly,

To my surprise I got a response to this today.


Thank you for your email, it’s great to hear that you like the new format and features. With regards to books if you turn to page 274 within the Spotlight section there is a two page book review which I’m hoping will inspire you further and work for your book club. Please let me know if you have any more comments and I’ll pass them on to the Editor.

Kind regards,

Caroline Garland
PA to Editor-In-Chief

Oh Caroline – I don’t care about all these new books. I like the old books that make me look infinitely better read that I actually am. I need you guys to say “READ THIS BOOK” not give me 12 to chose from.. now I’m back to square one, because I’m only ever going to chose the books that are about celebrities, Wizards, Vampires or China! Arrrggggg!

Due to my aim being getting published on the letters page one day – I figured it was best not to write back with any more comments at this stage. So far all Caroline thinks is I'm someone that doesn't ever get to page 274 of the magazine. Probably best I keep it that way!