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Q and A > For a Bookmarks article: What are your guilty pleasures?

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Bookmarks Magazine (bookmarksmagazine) | 32 comments Hey there folks, Jon here.

We're working on an article for either the Nov/Dec 2009 or Jan/Feb 2010 issue on "Guilty Pleasures." You know, the books people love ... but don't brag about reading. You might cover it up on the subway, on the park bench, etc.

We wanted to put some constraints around this, or the article would be hundreds of pages (we've all got a lot of guilt). So we're saying "no crime, no science fiction, no fantasy (including vampire novels!), no young adult." What does that leave? Things like romance, chick lit, sex, drugs, rock and roll, true crime ... and whatever else you're guilty about that we don't know!

So, we'd love to tap into your collective guilt for the article. Come clean! Would you be willing to let the Bookmarks staff know your shame so that we can include it in the article? Post below! We'd be grateful.

Jon (editor/publisher guy)


message 2: by Barb (new)

Barb | 75 comments Jon,
What a fun article idea! I don't hide much of what I read, but I will occasionally read a romance novel and I do tend to hide those with obvious sex on the covers: books I call 'bodice rippers' with Fabio-type men and vulnerable women on the front. I also recently hid a book called Seven Nights of Sin.(I was reading it for my book group's February pick.) Good luck with your article!


message 3: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 986 comments Jon,

My guilty pleasure is cookbooks. I'm addicted to buying and reading cookbooks, especially those with lots of pictures of the prepared food. I pore through cookbooks, like some people read romance novels. I dream about the dinner parties I'll have and the entertaining I'll do. I imagine my family sitting down together for a meal and praising me for being such a fabulous cook. My guilt comes from the fact I much rather read and salivate over the recipes than actually concoct these dishes.


message 4: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Anything about people hitting rock bottom... and then profiting off of it. Or Hollywood tell-alls, etc. I am ashamed of reading them because I know I should be paying attention to my own life and not worrying out who is sleeping with who and who is blackmailing who. But real life is often better than fiction. (I also read a lot of lit bios, but I'm not ashamed of that).
Some cheesy bios and memoirs I have shamefully enjoyed:
Losing It (Valerie Bertinelli)
Wishful Drinking (Carrie Fisher)
Anything by Chelsea Handler because she makes being from Jersey more amusing than I am capable of.
Cash (Johnny Cash)
The Other Man (about JFK Jr and Caroline Bissett by Michael Bergin)
I'm thinking about reading Tommy Lee's bio. That's GOTTA be shameful!





message 5: by Jami (new)

Jami (thereedclan) | 8 comments well...

I'm not sure this qualifies but I enjoy my kids books. My kids are all readers, for that I'm truly grateful, and they've been turning me on to some of the books they like. I'm drawn primarily my son's stuff like;
The Captain Underpants books
The Dangerous Book for Boys
The Day my Butt Went Psycho - didn't care so much for that one.
and the lengthy Goosebumps series.

We've also been reading the books to some of the old movies we've watched like;
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
James and the Giant Peach
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlotte's Web and many others.

The funny thing is I really got into these stories and have amassed quite a library of books 'for the kids' although they're really for me as well. It's a secret pleasure as I don't generally tell many I enjoy them as much as I do.

Another secret, I look forward to storytime with the little ones as much as they do. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a favorite for all of us.




message 6: by Jaime (last edited Jun 17, 2009 08:29PM) (new)

Jaime | 216 comments Hmm.

When I was reading Diana Gabaldon's Outlander, I was slightly embarrassed. I don't usually read romance novels and I consider this romance. I really enjoyed it, though, and I plan on reading the rest of the series one day. I'm becoming more comfortable with the fact that it is a romance and I am allowed to enjoy it!

Do fairy- tale re-tellings count as fantasy? I know there are some that are young adult, but several that are not. I often enjoy reading these, but, I have to say, walking around with a book with a picture of a mermaid, princess or enchanted animal on the front cover can be a bit humbling! The other day, I was at a park with my son (he's two). I was pushing him on the swing and reading The Bloody Chamber. It's an excellent book, but it has a picture of an ocean of blood and a tower with a woman flailing her arms on the front cover. It later occurred to me that it may have raised some interesting questions about me to the other stay-at-home mothers who were there that day! It actually makes me chuckle. I live in a very conservative, parochial area. One that I often don't fit into that well.





message 7: by Jason (new)

Jason I'm not sure we can have parameters on that kind of piece without its integrity and honesty being compromised to the point of being inauthentic. If our guilty pleasures aren't (or aren't permitted to be, for purposes of the article) this, this, this, this, this or this, a vast number of us have none we can think to include, leaving the resulting article skewed in terms of respondents if nothing else. Is it, then, within the boundaries set it, an article that should be written?


message 8: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie And with this, Jon, we introduce you to one of our newest members, Jason.

We talked about this topic in Busy as a Bee Books. One of the guilty pleasures I mentioned are the books by VC Andrews. Not the ones written now using her notes, but the original, gritty, dirty family sagas from the 70s and 80s. Many members commented on their secret love for hunkering down with Flowers in the Attic and the like. Such garbage, but I have to admit, I will pick up a series every once in a while...


message 9: by Jenn (new)

Jenn OMG I love VC Andrews. Good call Steph! And I enjoyed the old cover art they used to have with the overlay. Not sure what the newer ones look like but the Flowers in the Attic series is classic! The Heaven series was pretty trashy too.
I applaud you.


message 10: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Oh yes, the Heaven series. And the Dawn series. I remember reading these in middle school/early high school and devouring them.


message 11: by Patti (new)

Patti | 137 comments This is a great idea Jon. I can't believe I'm going to say this but....my guilty pleasure is Nora Roberts. There I said it. I read all genres except SF, After I ahve read a book that has challenged me to really think or has been a slow read, I like to have something fun and silly to kind of enjoy. I believe that reading is for the person holding the book and is nobody's business. There are millions of books to choose from and when I see someone reading I am just grateful that they have a book in their hands. So with that said, I also read J.R Ward and Julie Garwood. Thanks Jon you do such an excellent job.


message 12: by Bookmarks Magazine (last edited Jun 18, 2009 08:26AM) (new)

Bookmarks Magazine (bookmarksmagazine) | 32 comments Jason wrote: "I'm not sure we can have parameters on that kind of piece without its integrity and honesty being compromised to the point of being inauthentic."

Ah Jason, I remember you from our Eclectic Shade Tree book group feature, which I liked for it's style and attitude. Now it's coming my way! :-) A few thoughts:

1) We've had some good crime features in the past and a recent sci-fi feature, and these often make people's list of guilty pleasures. So we're making an effort not to be redundant and not to be twenty pages long. We originally started including fantasy stuff on the list ... but once you include this, gosh you've got to include that ... and that other one ... and don't forget about that one. Soon we've got four pages on fantasy books, which isn't right for us. We'll save Jedi Apprentice and the Xanth books for another article. :-)
2) I'm sure we'll mention, say, the Twilight series, the VC Andrews books, so feel free to keep those coming ... but we're trying to go a different direction with the bulk of the article.
3) Creativity loves constraints!
4) I know from the book group profile that you've got a great sense of humor, so you've got to laugh at the notion of a "Guilty Pleasures" list that lacks integrity. Perhaps it does by definition :-).
5) All that said, I think we'll know more about the direction we should go after this kind of feedback ... we'll look at the article and get a sense of whether it has something for everyone or not. If not, we'll change it! Many thanks for the thoughts.

Jon

P.S. When in doubt in the publishing biz, we can just add "PART I" to the article to give us some wiggle room. Oh we left that out? It's coming in PART II!





Bookmarks Magazine (bookmarksmagazine) | 32 comments GREAT ideas guys, keep 'em coming! Many thanks for taking the time.

Jon


message 14: by Cherylann (new)

Cherylann | 55 comments Nicholas Sparks and Janet Evanovich are my guilty pleasures. I also will cover up books that have been turned into movies, and I'm reading the version with the movie poster on the cover. Somehow that movie poster cover makes the book less literary. I also usually avoid Oprah books, but should I happen to read one, I'm usually hiding it. Again, it's the lit snob thing I have going on.


message 15: by Jaime (new)

Jaime | 216 comments Cherylann wrote: "Nicholas Sparks and Janet Evanovich are my guilty pleasures. I also will cover up books that have been turned into movies, and I'm reading the version with the movie poster on the cover. Somehow ..."


I'm the same way about books that have been made into movies. I don't like the movie cover versions and try to go out of my way to find a copy of the book from before the movie was made. I guess it is a little strange, but I would say it was one of the more common hangups, if you will, that customers had when I worked at a bookstore. I remember some customers would have me try to order older copies of the book all the time even if we had a movie cover version in-stock.



message 16: by Janice (new)

Janice | 5 comments Jaime wrote: "I'm the same way about books that have been made into movies. I don't like the movie cover versions and try to go out of my way to find a copy of the book from before the movie was made...
"
Wow. I always thought I was the only one that did this. If a movie comes out and I haven't already read the book, I generally will seek out and read the book instead of seeing the movie - and it must not have the movie cover. Call ma a snob about that. Besides, I rarely spend my limited resources of time and money on the movie.




message 17: by Cherylann (new)

Cherylann | 55 comments Janice wrote: "Jaime wrote: "I'm the same way about books that have been made into movies. I don't like the movie cover versions and try to go out of my way to find a copy of the book from before the movie was ma..."

If you're a snob, then so am I. I do the same thing. I would much rather read than watch a movie - although Up in 3D was pretty amazing. I'm not sure if it was worth the price of a book.




message 18: by Quiltgranny (new)

Quiltgranny My guilty pleasure in reading are any of the quilting world related books that have started appearing out there in the last few years. Since I am a avid quilter, it's fun to see how they twist that into each of the plots. Some of them are the Jennifer Chiaverini Elm Creek Quilt series books, or Sandra Dallas (Persian Pickle Club), Earlene Fowler (Sunshine and Shadows), Terri Thayer (Ocean Waves) or Arlene Sachitano (Quit as Desired). I suppose if there are ever any other authors of quilt-related novels, I pick them up, too, without ever questioning it! These are the type of books that I take with me on vacation and then leave them and then leave them behind rather than pass them on. AND these are the only books that I put a cover sleeve on when I travel - silly, I know, but they seem so silly and light that I would prefer to have people think I am reading something more "important" somehow.


message 19: by Cherylann (new)

Cherylann | 55 comments Jami wrote: "well...

I'm not sure this qualifies but I enjoy my kids books. My kids are all readers, for that I'm truly grateful, and they've been turning me on to some of the books they like. I'm drawn prim..."


I LOVE the Captain Underpants books. I was introduced to the series in a doctoral course on reader response theory. I don't know if I love the books for the silly potty humor or that reading Pilke was SUCH A RELIEF after reading Iser and Britton and Rosenblatt and well the list is long and boring and currently part of my reading for comps (so not a guilty pleasure). Thanks for reminding me of a fun memory!




message 20: by Cherylann (new)

Cherylann | 55 comments Quiltgranny wrote: "My guilty pleasure in reading are any of the quilting world related books that have started appearing out there in the last few years. Since I am a avid quilter, it's fun to see how they twist tha..."

Did you read Prayers for Sale? I am not a quilter, yet enjoyed the role of quilting in the story. I'm a knitter, and I do the same thing with novels featuring knitting.



message 21: by Jami (new)

Jami (thereedclan) | 8 comments Cherylann wrote: "I LOVE the Captain Underpants books. I was introduced to the series in a doctoral course on reader response theory. I don't know if I love the books for the silly potty humor or that reading Pilke was SUCH A RELIEF..."

You should have seen us when we found out there was a fourth 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' book coming out. We went to B/N ASAP.

I read many of the books my older daughter reads as well but they fall under the YA genre that Jon doesn't want to include. Books like Devil's Arthmetic, City of Ember, etc.


message 22: by Cherylann (new)

Cherylann | 55 comments Jami wrote: "Cherylann wrote: "I LOVE the Captain Underpants books. I was introduced to the series in a doctoral course on reader response theory. I don't know if I love the books for the silly potty humor or t..."
I teach 8th grade. Much of my reading is YA. Some of it I like better than adult reading - take the Book Thief for example. . .




message 23: by Jami (new)

Jami (thereedclan) | 8 comments Cherylann wrote: "I teach 8th grade. Much of my reading is YA. Some of it I like better than adult reading - take the Book Thief for example..."

I'm reading that now. I'm about 100 pages in and I'm amazed this is considered a YA book. It seems more advanced than your typical YA book. So far, I'm really, really liking this book.


message 24: by Cherylann (new)

Cherylann | 55 comments Jami wrote: "Cherylann wrote: "I teach 8th grade. Much of my reading is YA. Some of it I like better than adult reading - take the Book Thief for example..."

I'm reading that now. I'm about 100 pages in and ..."


I really liked the way that the author played around with format. There are multiple layers to this text. YA has come a long way since I was a middle schooler.



message 25: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (littlemel64) | 45 comments Stephanie wrote: "And with this, Jon, we introduce you to one of our newest members, Jason.

We talked about this topic in Busy as a Bee Books. One of the guilty pleasures I mentioned are the books by VC Andrews. N..."


It was hard for me when first started working in bookstores, and parents would ask for recommendations for their teens. I read the V.C. Andrews books and a lot of Stephen King when I was that age. Some parents would be scandalized if you recommended stuff like that to their little jewels. My parents didn't believe in censoring. I guess they were smart enough to know if they said "No", I'd sneak and read.





message 26: by LynnB (new)

LynnB I'd have to say my guilty pleasure are mysteries, like those by JA Jance, Nevada Barr, Claudia Bishop, Rita Mae Brown, Deborah Crombie, Diane Mott Davidson, Jo Dereske, Aaron Elkins, Earl Emerson, Earlene Fowler, Elizabeth George, Sue Grafton, Martha Grimes, Carolyn Hart, Joan Hess, Faye Kellerman, Margaret Maron, Rett MacPherson, Marcia Muller, Sara Paretsky, Thomas Perry, Nancy Pickard (I could go on, but guess that's enough!). And, of course, those of Janet Evanovich which make me laugh so hard....


message 27: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Melissa wrote: It was hard for me when first started working in bookstores, and parents would ask for recommendations for their teens. I read the V.C. Andrews books and a lot of Stephen King when I was that age. Some parents would be scandalized if you recommended stuff like that to their little jewels.

That is so true!! When I was 12, my dad gave me a copy of Thinner by Stephen King. Yeah, it was a little racy and scary for a 12 yr old, but I loved it and it started me on the road to more adult books. I had read a lot of Lois Duncan and wanted something harder. After King I read VC Andrews, and most of my friends got into the Flowers in the Attic series around that time. It might have been when the movie came out (87 or 88?). But these days... I can't imagine recommending them to other kids. I'm sure I'd get a lot of flack from my brother if I told my neice to read them, she's 13! Maybe that's why parents seem to like Twilight... it's rather wholesome is some ways, depsite the blood drinking. :-)




message 28: by Cherylann (new)

Cherylann | 55 comments So here's my real guilty pleasure. I'm probably going to trek to B&N today - even though I was there last night for a book signing - to get the new Janet Evanovich. I will probably park my butt on the couch today, my first day of summer vacation, and read the entire novel in one sitting. (But hey, what else can I do today. It's NJ. It's raining. Again.)


message 29: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 986 comments Cherylann wrote: "So here's my real guilty pleasure. I'm probably going to trek to B&N today - even though I was there last night for a book signing - to get the new Janet Evanovich. I will probably park my butt o..."

Are you sure we weren't separated at birth, lol?


message 30: by Cherylann (new)

Cherylann | 55 comments Lisa wrote: "Cherylann wrote: "So here's my real guilty pleasure. I'm probably going to trek to B&N today - even though I was there last night for a book signing - to get the new Janet Evanovich. I will proba..."

I'm thinking my mom might have some explaining to do. . .



message 31: by Jen (new)

Jen (jeninseattle) Maeve Binchy is totally my guilty pleasure. I think I've read everything that she's ever written, and when a new one comes out, I usually jump right on them. After about a dozen of her books, they all end up being basically the same, but they're like a nice warm blanket - familiar and comfy.


message 32: by Cherylann (new)

Cherylann | 55 comments Audra wrote: "A couple years ago Danielle Steel was my guilty pleasure. Now I think I'll go with Chick Lit in general. I cannot get enough of Sophie Kinsella."

I'd have to agree with you. Sophie Kinsella, Helen Fielding, et al. Reading them is like wearing pink and sparkles. You know you shouldn't, but you just can't resist. Love 'em.


message 33: by Peyton (new)

Peyton | 2 comments I have to say I agree with Jason. For many literary fiction, and some biography and non-fiction histories readers I know, slumming it in Sci-Fi or Fantasy is a common and sole guilty pleasure.Having said that, however, I am so full of guilt as to be able to contribute within your boundaries. When I was young straight-A college-bound student I used to read novels by Gwen Bristow (Jubilee Road comes to mind) and as an adult I have read, re-read and re-read again everything by Rosamunde Pilcher. Sometimes I just want that predictable happy ending. Sigh.


message 34: by Jami (new)

Jami (thereedclan) | 8 comments So, Jon,

What have you learned with this thread? Anything useful?


message 35: by Dawn (& Ron) (new)

Dawn (& Ron) (furryreaders) | 1 comments Although when I need a light read after a hard thought provoking read, I tend to go to fantasy praranormal. But for purposes of this article and when I really need an easy, fun read I go to chick-lit, like the Shopaholic series, Mary Janice Davidson's Undead comic series or mystery chick-lit series. I don't know if this next one qualifies since I'm not embarrased by them, but have learned that some are, the new fiction sub-genre of Austen prequel/sequels. I find these books, when written well to be as comfortable as visiting old friends.


message 36: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sunn_flower) Chick-lit, young adult, and vampire books are easy reads for me. I have alot of kids running around when I'm reading, and these types of books are easy to still get the story when I'm surrounded by chaos!!


message 37: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenzin) I think my guilty pleasure would have to be Sue Grafton's alphabet series with Kinsey Millhone. They are books that I don't have to engage many brain cells to read, unlike other tomes I read. I can just open a book and get lost in Kinsey's world for an afternoon or so.


message 38: by Betsy (new)

Betsy (ebburtis) | 1266 comments Cherylann wrote: "Jami wrote: "Cherylann wrote: "I teach 8th grade. Much of my reading is YA. Some of it I like better than adult reading - take the Book Thief for example..."

I'm reading that now. I'm about 100 ..."


My book group has a woman who works at Candlewick Publishing (kids books). She told us that Book Thief was actually an adult book when it first came out in Australia (where the author lives), it's only marketed as a YA book in the US.


message 39: by Alison (last edited Jul 04, 2009 11:27AM) (new)

Alison (alisons_bookmarks) | 2 comments Guilty pleasures? Right now, it has to be Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series. It is the book series that inspired HBO's True Blood. I've been through the Twilight series, the House of Night series, and was a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer back in the day, so this wasn't out of my comfort zone. I find myself hesitating to review them on my blog, though. I'm afraid that the literature police are going to black ball me!

I also blame my sons for reading some of the Children's books that I can't help myself from picking up. Rick Riordan is a genius when it comes to children's writing. I initially picked up The Lightning Thief (the first in his Percy Jackson series) to see if it was appropriate for my son, who, as it turns out, is too young yet. Still, that didn't stop me from purchasing the rest of the series, and from picking up Maze of Bones (book #1, 39 Clues) to, you know, "check it out for my 7 year-old".
Dead Until Dark
The Lightning Thief
Twilight


message 40: by Betsy (new)

Betsy (ebburtis) | 1266 comments Janice wrote: "Jaime wrote: "I'm the same way about books that have been made into movies. I don't like the movie cover versions and try to go out of my way to find a copy of the book from before the movie was ma..."

I do the same thing with Oprah books. I've read many of them before they got to her group, but if I happen to pick one after it's become an "Oprah Book", I try to buy a non-Oprah-fied copy.


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