Books or book series most consider "guilty pleasures"

Do you like to read certain authors, or types of books, that you are afraid others would look down at you for? Harlequin romances, genre mysteries(lots of cooks!), you name it. We’re all anonymous here, c’mon, fess up.

I’ll go first. For brain candy, when I’m too tired to tackle something serious, I like to read Clive Cussler thrillers. Dirk Pitt, Kurt Austin, Sam and Remi Fargo, all of them. Seems like history or science gets turned on it’s head every time you turn around.

Sci-fi and fantasy. Alas, there isn’t much “heroic fantasy” (e.g. Conan the Barbarian) being published these days, but, doggone, I love those “sandals and short-swords” or “chainmail bikini” low fantasy books, and collections of stories even more.

(I actually had a story published in an anthology of Heroic Fantasy stories, back in '78 or so! The fact that I could sell a story in that genre tells you how low the standards were! I miss those days terribly!)

Not quite the same thing, but the great comic books “black and white explosion” of the 80’s. That’s where Cerebus the Aardvark and ElfQuest got started…and tons of furry stuff, much of which was really trash. I loved that stuff!

I’ll second Clive Cussler’s novels, which I read in audiobook form on my commutes (I’ved only read a couple of them in print). For some reason the local libraries are very well supplied with these books, which Cussler seems to crank out by the metric ton. They’re incredibly overblown and silly, more like comic books I print than real novels. And, although he and his legion of co-authors can come up with some excellent turns of phrase, he can, neverheless, also say things like “his lips curled back like liverwurst on a hot skillet.” (I just listened to that on tonight’s commute).
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs (Relic, the Agent Prendergast series, Gideon’s whatever) are in the same category

Life is way too short to worry about what anyone else thinks about the stuff you like. I’m always pleased when Lee Child releases a new Jack Reacher novel, if we are confessing here

I read a bunch of those after hearing about them here. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed them, since I’m definitely not the target audience.

I’ve also kept up with a number of the type of mystery series that have recipes in the back, most notably the ones by Diane Mott Davidson.

I would almost put Alexander McCall Smith into this category, since everything always turns out well in the end, but Precious Ramotswe is who I really want to be.

John Ringo, but not *those *John Ringo books. Pretty much anything put out by Baen Books is my go-to light reading.

Any “plucky submarine captain prevents World War III” book can keep me quiet and peaceful for hours.

And Dale Brown aviation thrillers.

Mack Bolan/Stony Man teams.

I was chagrined when I opened a Goodreads account a few years ago and added all the books I’ve read, to find Dean Koontz and Patricia Cornwell both in my top 5 most read authors (I believe Cornwell has since been pushed out by my Second Great Stephen King Binge [2011-2012]). But then I thought, “Eh, why be embarrassed? All of them were enjoyable and at least a few were memorable.”

David Edding’s Belgeriad and Mallorean have a prominent place on my shelf and always will.

I’ve read and enjoyed countless books that were neither great art nor highly respected… but I don’t think I’ve read anything in the past 25 years that I’d be embarrassed to be seen with or to have spotted on my bookshelves.

I read plenty of stuff that other people would roll their eyes at. I have no shame.

Within the past week, I’ve rediscovered a very long-lost love of Regency romance novels. That was… unexpected. It’s a little hypocritical since I often complain about too much romance in fantasy novels. Okay, I’m really complaining about too much vampire sex, but it’s probably still hypocritical. Apparently I’m okay with sex so long as everyone is human. And alive.

I read Donald Hamilton’s* Matt Helm* series periodically, and Patrick O’Brian’s naval fiction.

That’s not something that is remotely a guilty pleasure, sir!

I fell into the “culinary mystery” genre after picking up nine of Diane Mott Davidson’s books at a library book sale. They are half mystery and half romance novel, with a few recipes thrown in like prizes in a Cracker Jack box.

I really enjoyed Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books for a while, but about 7 or 8 in I got a little tired of the repetitive nature of the hijinks in the story. But they can be funny as hell on occasion.

Seconded on McCall Smith…love Mma Ramotswe. The HBO adaptation was fabulous and made me long for more. His other series are pretty good, too

The Outlander books. Initially they were a guilty pleasure, but oh what a pleasure. When I finished reading through them–the second time–I started to write my own adventure/romance novels to fill the gap. Nearly a year later, and now knowing a thing or two about the construction of a novel (though you wouldn’t know it, if you read mine…), I’m even more abashed by how much I enjoy Outlander. Man, she really did break all the rules, and yet it’s woooonderful.

I feel no guilt at all about the Helm novels. Ian Fleming’s best work might have been better than Donald Hamilton’s best, but I think Hamilton’s average was better than Fleming’s average.

I was going to post that at least Helm didn’t get amnesia and go diving with ducks.
At least Helm didn’t go diving with ducks. :slight_smile:

If I dig in the library a bit, I can find the first 60 or so of The Destroyer by Sapir and Murphy, plus other authors. True pulp fiction. I also read Clive Cussler, and John Ringo books, Including those John Ringo books.