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Topic books: guilty pleasures Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By lizzz On 02/21/04  

I just started thinking about my favorite trash books. My two faves are

gone with the wind
valley of the dolls

What are yours? I need to get some ideas for this summers reading

By Melynn On 02/21/04  

Any Stephen King book-feaky stuff, I love it.
I think the most brainless book I ever read that I really enjoyed(the gossip part of me took over) was The Amy Fisher Story, by Amy Fisher.
Wow I feel like hanging my head! Ha!


By whywhyzee On 02/21/04  

Flowers in the Attic. My Sweet Audrina.

By heathertea On 02/21/04  

My favorite trash books are anything by Nora Roberts or Linda Howard. I am SUCH a sucker for their romance novels!!!

By jeansweasel On 02/21/04  

Any garden-variety,airport-purchased,so-so mystery novel.Some are so bad I can't finish them- but they're sorta like reading Agatha Christie or Ian fleming. I think it's hereditary- my grandfather constantly used to read all the spy/espionage novels that came out in paperback.

By BloodRedRose On 02/21/04  

Ooooh, it's been years since I read Valley of the Dolls, but I loved that book.

I like Regency romances - that's about as trashy as I get. :)

By Elf_Chick On 02/21/04  

how is a pulitzer prize winning book trash reading?
just wondering from an Eng. major and future librarian perspective (and hoping this won't blow up into some monster debate....)


By Jesser On 02/21/04  

These aren't trashy, but they qualify as my guilty pleasures ... I like The Princess Diaries series and the Georgia Nicholson series ... pre-teen books! Haha :)


By Xuli On 02/21/04  

John Irving. Hells yeah.

By moon_lemming On 02/21/04  

My trashy reads are novels based on tv series, like the Angel and Buffy ones, although I am very picky about them because I read one that had so many atrocious spelling/grammar/misnamed character errors that I almost tore it to shreds and sent the pieces to the "editors." It may only be a trashy read, but damn, it doesn't have to have THAT little thought put into it. For fluff, I also like novels where the main characters are supernatural teenager types. And I used to LOVE Ann Rinaldi's books, although I haven't read one in a while. So I guess it's safe to say most of my trashy reading comes from the YA section, mostly because I don't really count anything else I read as trashy, even though some of it probably is. (Although I picked up an RL Stine book from the thrift shop to read, just for quick kicks, and ended up throwing it away just to save anyone else who might accidentally pick it up. Holy shit, was I really *jealous* of the kids whose moms let them read those things?)

[eta stuff I forgot about]

By quietriot On 02/22/04  

my guitly book pleasures tend to be those written for teenage girls. i'm a big fan of young adult and kiddie lit in general, but things like "the gossip girls" series make are so trashy, but such fun. others include a variety of chick lit offerings. oh, and things by elizabeth wurtzel, not to mention your garden variety mass-market "thrillers" that others have mentioned.

By lizzz On 02/22/04  

Elf Chick,

The value of art in general is in the eye of the beholder. Just because a piece of work won a prestigious award does not make it the best thing ever written (I personaly don't think Shakespeare is God's gift to literature). A Pulitzer does not take away from the fact that Gone With The Wind is a racist romance novel (among many other great things).

By Elf_Chick On 02/22/04  

Regarding issues of racism and romance, i will freely agree that they exist there. but it also captures the problems of a turbulent time period in american history which saw a lot of changes, many for the better (the end of slavery at the top of the list) in a very precise and detailed writing style. That (the writing) is why i assume it won the pulitzer and is an enduring piece of writing. most things that last beyond their generation are controversial in some way. and anyone's welcome to read them or not, and think what they will. I agree that it isn't the best thing written ever, though it does have its merits.

again, i'm not trying to provoke and don't want to argue with anyone about this so i hope no one will jump all over me for presenting this point of view (which, just given the issue of racism in the book [though i myself am not racist] may be an unpopular one if people can't separate the writing itself from the setting/time period etc). in general it just interests me to see what various people consider to be worthy lit or not and especially WHY they do/don't, as i think it will be a useful tool as a librarian, which is why i asked. Your response was something i would want to know as a librarian so i was glad to see it.


By geekychic On 02/22/04  

i cannot get *enough* murder mysteries...but they apparently have to be funny and have a female lead because i've tried some others and got a little bored. maybe i picked the wrong ones.

i *heart* the series by diane mott davidson about the caterer..there are recipes in the book!!! wee!!

and my newly discovered love of the stephanie plum books (by glitter rec.).

and if i read a harry potter book one more time, my head will explode.

oh and silly sci fi/ fantasy ala terry pratchett.

come to think of it, that's the bulk of my reading lately. and i say it's just a pleasure. i don't feel guilty.

By lastduchess On 02/22/04  

Yeah, Diane Mott Davidson is great! And i love Tom, the caterer's husband too! And i've also started reading Stephanie Plum books as well.

Another author that I love is Elizabeth Peters! Romance/suspense/comedy books about an egyptologist in the 18th/19th century. I got all my friends hooked on her. Can't recommend her highly enough! The author's real name, I believe, is Barbara Michaels, and she's also written other great romance/suspense/comedy books under that name as well. But do read the Elizabeth Peter books first.
Geekychic, you should check her out!!

Have you all been to www.chicklit.com?? I hang out there a lot. I thought I was a bibliophile, but these girls take it to a whole new level.

Harry Potter also rocks my boat!

By moon_lemming On 02/22/04  

Oh my god, I haven't read an Elizabeth Peters book in so long, but they are most excellent and I thought I was the only one in the world who read them anymore! Now I want to go check out a few of them again.

Chicklit is awesome, but I always leave the site with 20 books to add to my To Be Read list . . . I will have to live three lifetimes to finish that list.

Back on-topic: I second Peters. Heh.

By kari-star On 02/23/04  

I'd like to make a little distinction between guilty pleasures and trash... I've got a bunch of guilty pleasures, including my gigantic victorian gothic romance collection, but I think that even if we use the word trash lovingly (and I do, all the time!) it still has a very negative connotation. I am all for reading terrible awful poorly written books, but a lot of the things we've listed here have a lot of literary worth, even if they won't make a 20th century lit class.

and with that, my really guilty pleasures are my fantasy books from middle school. Mercedes Lackey especially. Also any romance/adventure book written in the late 40s through the mid 60s.

By crazybones On 02/23/04  

Last Dutchess - Elizabeth Peters is my -guiltiest- reading pleasure. Every time I pck up a book, I nearly want to step into a confessional and tell my sins. They're so bad, they're good, and they are even better if you listen to the tapes. The only thing I don't like is that they're kind of condescending to the people in that area...but I can't stop listening to the tapes!

My other guilty pleasures are the trashy epic romances, like the ones by Kathleen Woodiwess. Or, the Chick Lit books, where the journalist/publisher/ad exec with the entry level job and the amazing wardrobe gets the guy after some wierd and totally contrived set of circumstances. Although, I did not feel guilty rading Bridget Jones' Diary, because that book just rocks.

By eixmi On 02/23/04  

I love a good murder mystery (but I, too, am picky, and I like a female lead). My absolute favourite comfort books are Patricia Cornwall or Sue Grafton books.

I also revisit the Baby-Sitters Club periodically. Man, they're so bad, but so good... (And they taught me everything I know about American food.)

And I feel a bit embarrassed about them, because the covers are *so* "chick lit", but I actually think Jenny Colgan novels are really good.

By stanny On 02/23/04  

terry pratchett rocks!!! i love the discworld series...i've read almost every one by now. i'll be so sad when i'm done...

By aplusgoldstar On 02/23/04  

"again, i'm not trying to provoke and don't want to argue with anyone about this so i hope no one will jump all over me for presenting this point of view (which, just given the issue of racism in the book [though i myself am not racist] may be an unpopular one if people can't separate the writing itself from the setting/time period etc)."

well, having rocked the english major quite hard myself, i'm curious about your comment about "people [who] can't separate the writing itself from the setting/time period etc)." i know of many schools of literary theory that can't, and indeed won't, separate historical context from writing--charging that aesthetic excellence is closely tied to context. for the most part i think i agree. now, i haven't read gone with the wind, but here's another example: some of the short stories of bernard malamud are racist, too. and i like bernard malamud, but i think that the fact that the stories are pretty obviously racist lowers their quality.

i would say that both works--malamud and mitchell--are historically important, and that their context should be understood. but how i judge things historically and aesthetically are obviously different; their historical merit, in these cases, and to me, is greater than their aesthetic merit.

okay. back to your regularly scheduled fluff.


eta: i forgot that margaret mitchell is the author and vivien leigh is the actress. i'm smrt.

By guttergrrl On 02/23/04  

Any Olivia Goldsmith novel. (Bestseller is probably my favorite)

I'm also a fan of Jonathon Kellerman murder mysteries (the Alex Delaware Series).

By CraftinFool On 02/23/04  

I'm also a fan of Steven King, Diane Mott Davidson, and Agatha Christie.

Ooh - I just thought of an awesome fluffy series - anyone ready the Sparkle Hayter books about Robin, the reporter? Awesome fluff!

Also Elinor Lipman. And I second the teenage girls series...I loved the "Girls of Canby Hall" series and the "Caitlin" series . . .

By righteous On 02/23/04  

I love reading those British novels following the lives of women (who almost always work for a trendy fashion magazine). I find most of the story lines to be suprisingly similar, but they are usually so fast and easy to get through. An example are the writers Cathy Kelly or Marian Keyes. Mushy and simple, but cute and great for long stretches of touring.

By khimegirl On 02/23/04  

When I am stressed, I am an avid romance novel reader. I'll read any writer but I prefer historical romances. I'm not keen on the modern/pregnancy ones.

One of my favorites is The Gift by Julie Harwood (or Garwood).

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