Alleged "Guilty Pleasure" Books...

So in terms of books, what are your “guilty pleasures” that shouldn’t be “guilty pleasures”?

Now for me, I think they’re murder mysteries. Or just plain mysteries, but murders are the best, aren’t they? Anyway…I don’t know if it’s just me, but people don’t exactly tend to look at mysteries as “good” literature. When’s the last time your high school/college English class assigned one? But personally, I think there are some great books out there. Obviously Sherlock Holmes and all…but modern people, like Scott Turow, or P.D. James, or Ruth Rendall. Novels like these force you to think outside the box, rely on logic, and keep track of all the different clues… I think they’ve gotten a bad rap…

The other is Stephen King, because I find him a really good writer but others think he’s just a bestseller type guy. Anyway, the whole thing has been discussed ad nauseum on other threads, so…

Et tu, dopers?

Well, my guilty pleasures are anything by Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffrey. And I think they should stay guilty pleasures. To have these author’s works elevated to the status of “great literature” would, for me, ruin my pleasure, and give me serious doubts about the nature of literature.

Looks like no one else wants to fess up, ya wussies!

Ok, since I’m using a screen name, I like bad fantasy like Terry Brooks. It’s a great way to unwind at night and you don’t have to think too hard.

ps Mercutio I noticed you didn’t mention any. :slight_smile:

I’ve read my old garfield collections so many times they’re falling apart, even now, when I’m 28, I read cartoon anthologies…that’s kind of odd.

I also read books like “Let’s Go Play At The Adams” which claim to be “thrillers” but are really just thinly disgused bondage literature.


I read Raymond Chandler at Yale, in an overview course on the 20th Century American Novel. And THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES in a course on the influence of the Symbolist/Decadent Movement on late 19th Century European Literature. And I happen to think Hammett is a better writer than Hemingway, and could drink him under the table to boot. So nyahhhhh.

This is really a sore point with me…there are GOOD BOOKS, and there are BAD BOOKS. We might not agree are which the best ones are, but can’t we at LEAST agree not to stigmatize entire REALMS OF FICTION?

Sure, there are lots of crappy mystery novels out there…and crappy SF, and crappy fantasy, and crappy romances, and LOTS of crappy “serious literary fiction.”

A good mystery novel is a GOOD NOVEL.

(I don’t agree with you that Turow is any great shakes as a writer, but Ruth Rendell is terrific…and HEARTSTONES or THE BRIDESMAID could stand up to anything by some schmuck who happens to get published in THE NEW YORKER.)

Me too. And is Terry Brooks ever bad. but he’s like heroin. You just can’t stop reading him, even though he writes the exact same plot over and over and over again. And then there’s Stephen Brust who’s a bit better but still in the schlocky mindless fantasy genre.

[sub] There are those who have claimed to see me reading bad romance novels like The Thornbirds and Scarlett but you’ll never get me to admit it.[/sub]

I love psychological thrillers…Jeffery Deaver, AJ Holt, Dean Koontz, William Diehl. And I devour true crime books, too. None of these are great literature, I know, but so much fun to read.

I don’t feel guilty about it though. I don’t have TV, so I regard these books as my escapist mind candy. However I do make myself read things that are a bit more subtle & challenging, too, so I don’t get too mentally lazy.

Ahem. Embarrassing admission ahead.

[whispering]I like Judith Krantz novels.[/whispering]

They are not well written books, I admit. But, I don’t care – I like them. They’re fun to read and very sexy. My husband loves it when there’s a new Judith Krantz out, or when I’m rereading an old one. He knows that he will be getting rather more action than usual and with rather more enthusiam than usual.

Ike: you’re right, I guess an entire genre can’t be considered good or bad…
Anyway I too noticed that you failed to mention books of your own, Merc. Let’s have at it, man. :slight_smile:

The Red Dwarf and Robotech novels - I love both TV series, and in both cases the novels are as good, and add new aspects. (Both also seem to be alternate universes - this is much more clear with the RD books than the RT ones which are only subtly different.)

‘Kid’s’ books - namely the Harry Potter and Redwall series. (I’d add Worst Witch to that list if I could actually find the novels.)

Jack Chalker novels. They’re like salted peanuts – once you start reading them, you can’t stop.

I love Nora Roberts novels - my most embarassing guilty pleasure. But, in my defense, the hardcovers ones usually have interesting mysteries. PLus the sex scenes are really steamy. :slight_smile:

I’m eagerly awaiting a copy of her new one, "The Villa,
for my birthday. And “Honest Illusions,” my first Nora Roberts, my most favorite, and the sexiest of them all, will always hold a special place in my heart. I re-read it once a year or so.

I also like Tami Hoag. Sex, crime, and the steamy bayous of Looooosiana. Works fine for me.

I enjoy Steven King and Dean Koontz, but this does not make me guilty at all. I think they’re both terrific, especially some of Koontz’s newest work, which is much more in depth and introspective. Awesome characterization, too. “Lighting” is an excellent book that involves some time travel and Nazi criminals, but other than that, it’s practically a classic.

“The Talisman” and “Insomnia,” my fave Kings, are works of art as well. No one else combines the whole fate/destiny/destruction of the balance of the world/noble death/cancer/love story/wolf people/coming of age story lines quite like King does.

I like to read Patricia Cornwell’s crime series revolving around Kay Scarpetta. I’ve read all of them now excep the most recent (The Last Precinct) which isn’t in paperback yet.

I also have a weakness for Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer. I don’t care for her other stuff, but this one particular book really touched me for some reason. I think it’s because it was about some seriously ordinary people…no bodice ripping and breathless women, no hunky, rippling muscles, primal, flowing-hair guy. I just liked it.

[sub]Slinking back into the corner with the serious literature now…[/sub]

I like Westerns.

Some of them are actually very good.

And then you get your Louis L’amour. Approximately 5,000 novels in print. 5 plots. 2 main characters, with 15 names apiece. :rolleyes:

The greatest part is how the hero can take fifteen bullets and survive in the woods for a week and a half.

The second greatest part is how the hero magically finds himself carrying guns that, according to the previous paragraph, he left somewhere.

Bad Military SF , most of which usually rip off Heinlein’s “Starship Troopers” or Dickson’s early entries in the Dorsai series. Guys like, IIRC, Simon Green and Steve Perry and the late Rick Shelley. Also like Mike McQuay’s old fashioned space opera–“Ivory” and the one about the galactic gunslinger who couldn’t lose a fast draw (title escapes me at the moment).

Sir Rhosis

Oh, man…

Any of those wild and wicked bodice-ripper books. You know, the kind in which Innocent Virgin is carried off by Wicked Pirate Man and ravaged? Or where Innocent Virign is carried off by Evil Villainous Prince Man and ravaged? Or the kind in which Innocent Virgin is carried off by Dark Sexy Vampire Man and ravaged? Or the kind in which…

(beginning to perspire)

Excuse me, I have to go now…! :wink:

Carl Hiaasen novels. They’re not Great Literature. But I don’t feel at all guilty about reading and enjoying the heck out of them. Also, most everyone I’ve met likes them, too. Hiaasen is hilarious.

PLEASE don’t think the less of me, but sometimes, when I know that nobody is watching, I go into the front closet where I hide my… umm…well, Im trying to say I read…Barbara Cartland novels. Hey, I read real books as well, but sometimes I get tired and don’t want to tackle something new or difficult.