7.31.2006

Name that guilty pleasure

I’m due for a long Proust blog, but as I’m only 16 pages into the second volume, “In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower” (the cumbersome title makes me grumpy), I will cheat with a Monday poll: Dear reader, do you have the literary equivalent to a Big Mac? What is the junky book you’ve perused more than once, the one you revisit when you’re simultaneously dipping into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey and checking out MTV’s Real World?

I’d have to admit to more than one, but as for lowbrow lit, my secret indulgence would have to be “Gone With the Wind.” While not total trash, it isn’t exactly great literature, and I’ve read it so many times, I can recite whole passages by heart. For utter, total, unequivocal trash: “Lucifer’s Hammer,” Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle. Brimming with misogyny, rife with stereotypes, and dangerously dated, this end-of-the-world novel has reeled me in on more than one occasion (nope, I won’t say how many times I’ve actually read it).

Anyone else out there ready to ‘fess up? Which guilty pleasure do you indulge in that you’d be embarrassed to be caught reading by anyone with a legitimate library card?

9 comments:

bloglily said...

Okay: I sometimes find it very relaxing to read books that tell you how to clean up your house, or organize the contents of your linen closet, or make Christmas presents for people out of dried herbs. I know, when I'm reading these books, that none of this is actually possible, but I read them anyway, and let myself feel as though my life has become orderly and gracious and sane.

Jessica said...

You can shoot me, but hear me out first. Whenever I become overburdened by this quest of mine to become a published writer, I pause and read a book by that insipid Plum Sykes and then realize that it will all be okay. It only takes an hour out of my day, forty-five minutes if I’ve had a Red Bull. I figure, if she can get a book deal, even my cat can.

LK said...

Ha, Jessica, that is pretty funny. I read a lot of those inspirational how-to writing books (such as Brenda Ueland) when I'm wearing the Struggling Author's hat.

Bloglily, I do have a few of those how-to do something books myself, pristine and unopened as the day I purchased them! :)

bloglily said...

What a wonderful antidote to writer's anxiety -- just read the books of crappy writers! I can think of a few right now. (To be checked out from the library, of course.) And you know, LK, that reminds me, you could probably just give those books away and save yourself the trouble of having to buy a glue gun to make those dried herb wreaths.

The Traveller said...

My book junk food is anything from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series! (People will either love me or hate me for that...) But hear me out: I find his writing and his characters very funny, he has created the best fictional Library I have ever come across, and actually, each time I re-read a book of his, I discover a reference to something new and I realise just how much Pratchett knows. Plus, concentration while reading is optional.

LK said...

Traveller, there is no judgment here! It's junk food for the brain. Sometimes, we all need the literary equivalent of a Big Mac.

litlove said...

Ah I'm an Agatha Christie fan when the going gets tough. It's like taking my mind out of gear and allowing it to coast effortlessly. Really lovely, and I don't mind who knows about it!

Lesley said...

Hmmm, I can't really think of a literary guilty pleasure, but my tastes aren't too highbrow anyway, and probably a lot of what I read would be considered fluff by 'serious' readers.

Lesley said...

Hmmm, I can't really think of a literary guilty pleasure, but my tastes aren't too highbrow anyway, and probably a lot of what I read would be considered fluff by 'serious' readers.