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General > Do you have any guilty (or embarrassing) pleasures?

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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) So, Do you have any guilty pleasures or embarrassing pleasures in your comfort reads book piles?

Mine is the Jean Auel Earth's Children series that starts with The Clan of the Cave Bear. I actually thought much in the first book was good, but I've read them all and will read the final one when it's published. I guess I'm a bit embarrassed by how much I like them, although the first book is my favorite by far, and I've even reread that one.

(I'm sure I'll think of some more examples.)


message 2: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (hannahr) Hmmm. I think my guilty pleasure is reading those old circa 1970's Harlequin romances. I bought a big lot off eBay about 1 year ago and now and then I'll pull one out for a quick read! They were the first romances I read when I was a teenager, so I have a nostalgic fondness for them :)





message 3: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks I guess I'm a bit embarrassed by the fact that I really really like Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series. I also "used to" feel guilty about liking a lot of children's literature better than literature for adults, but I do not feel guilty about that anymore (no matter what others say).


message 4: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (hannahr) Gundula wrote: "I also "used to" feel guilty about liking a lot of children's literature better than litera..."

Glad you no longer feel guilty about reading children or YA literature. There's some really good stuff out there for young people; interesting, thought provoking and just plain entertaining. I enjoy it, too!



message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Hannahr wrote: "Gundula wrote: "I also "used to" feel guilty about liking a lot of children's literature better than litera..."

Glad you no longer feel guilty about reading children or YA literature. There's s..."


I read and enjoy a lot of juvenile and YA books. As Hannahr says, there is some really good stuff written for young people (and young a heart).




message 6: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks I remember sitting on the my bedroom floor (I was around 22 and back from university for the summer), reading one of my old German picture books. I guess I should have closed my bedroom door, because my father came in and had an absolute fit when he saw what I was reading (supposedly, I was killing my brain etc.). How absolutely ludicrous, and while it did not stop me from reading children's fiction, it made me feel guilty about it for a long time.


message 7: by Hannah (last edited Feb 17, 2010 08:20AM) (new)

Hannah (hannahr) Gundula wrote: "I remember sitting on the my bedroom floor (I was around 22 and back from university for the summer), reading one of my old German picture books. I guess I should have closed my bedroom door, beca..."

Aw, that's too bad your father took that attitude, but at least your understood it was not a logical attitude and it didn't deter you.

I *might* be inclined to think that a 100% steady diet of children/YA literature isn't the best use of an adult's reading time, but then again, who am I to judge what someone likes/enjoys anyway?





message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Gundula wrote: "I guess I'm a bit embarrassed by the fact that I really really like Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series. I also "used to" feel guilty about liking a lot of children's literature better than litera..."

I know a lot of people who love the Outlander books. Take that bag off of your head and be proud.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, I am seriously addicted to the Stephanie Plum books even though I know that they are fluff, and people always tell me that it's unlike me to read such crap. However, I will defend Stephanie to the death. :) I do wish that her titles weren't so embarrassing though. The latest one had me hiding the book jacket.


message 10: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (hannahr) Abigail wrote: "That's just as true with adult genres, I think. If all you're reading is romance, or mystery, or sci-fi, then you're probably missing out on some great stories... Or so I've always thought, anyway! ;)..."

No argument from me on that point! While we all have our own favorite genres that we tend to fall back on, it's never a bad thing to step outside our comfort zone and read some books we wouldn't normally pick up. Since joining GR, I've read several books I wouldn't have normally picked up due to the recommendations of GR friends I've come to respect. In addition, I've found it helps to have a teenage daughter around to keep me up to date with what's popular in the YA field!

I think it's great you're studying children's lit. That would be very interesting to delve into, I imagine.




message 11: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (hannahr) Christine wrote: "I do wish that her titles weren't so embarrassing though. The latest one had me hiding the book jacket...."


LOL! Try being a 46 year old reading "Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging"...
I sympathize!




message 12: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks Abigail wrote: "I know I'm always popping in and out, over here, but this conversation really touched a nerve! I too used to feel mildly guilty, as it concerns my love of children's literature. I worried that I wa..."

One of the reasons I got back into children's literature (academically as well, I'd actually like to do another degree, but having a graduate degree already makes a lot of people ask "why" etc.), was that I was sick and tired of depressing modern German literature, it really gets to you after a while. I think that's one of the main problems with colleges and universities, especially once you get to graduate school. You have to choose your major, and suddenly, all your time, all your reading, all your courses are supposed to be geared to that one subject. I like to read other things than literature, I like children's fiction, history, philosophy, biology etc., but often, colleges and university are not very accepting or conducive to those of us who have eclectic reading tastes.




message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Fortunately, I don't have any University professors telling me what to read. I read strictly for my own pleasure! So, I don't feel guilty about it (well, 99% of the time), but I really don't feel like I measure up to some people's standards. I will never read Homer in the original! lol

It helps me, too, that I have been reading with my daughter for years. All the Harry Potter books, fairy tales, fantasy and now manga romances. That's one genre that not too many people understand my reading -- must be my guilty pleasure! :)


message 14: by Katri (new)

Katri (Valancy) | 68 comments I can't really think of any reading pleasures I feel guilty about. Of course it might be that I'm not letting myself reading something I would enjoy and not even realising it, but I don't really think so... Over the years I seem to have overcome the self-pressure to only read books that are intelligent and of literary value. There's nothing wrong with reading for the fun and enjoyment of it - we all need light-hearted entertainment sometimes! I guess my dislike of the literary establishment that determines what is valuable literature has something to do with this...

But if I discover any guilty pleasure books I do have, I'll report on them here. :D


message 15: by Darkpool (new)

Darkpool | 222 comments Abigail wrote: "That's just as true with adult genres, I think. If all you're reading is romance, or mystery, or sci-fi, then you're probably missing out on some great stories... "
I would also contend that the reverse is true - those people who think that romance, mystery or sci-fi is 'beneath them' or something are quite probably missing out on some really excellent books.



message 16: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) Lisa wrote: "So, Do you have any guilty pleasures or embarrassing pleasures in your comfort reads book piles?

Mine is the Jean Auel Earth's Children series that starts with [book:The Clan of..."


Lisa, I really liked the first one, too, and read the others. I think it was so empowering to see a female character who could survive on her own in the wild. It made me want to study natural remedies and learn to use a sling. Who doesn't want to be strong and self-sufficient?


message 17: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) I have The Clan of the Cave Bear in my TBRs at home. Now I really want to read it!

I'm with Ryan, my guilty pleasure for sure is Twilight series!


message 18: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Scout, Yes, learning about the medicinal herbs was one of my favorite parts of the book.

Diane, I hope that you enjoy it.


message 19: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Scout, Yes, learning about the medicinal herbs was one of my favorite parts of the book. (The first book is definitely the best.)

Diane, I hope that you enjoy it.


message 20: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Unfortunately, Lisa, it's going to be awhile before I get to it :(


message 21: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Diane D. wrote: "Unfortunately, Lisa, it's going to be awhile before I get to it :("

Oh, I understand completely. Take a look at the size of my to-read shelf, which grows nearly daily, thanks to Goodreads.


message 22: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Lisa, I had a much smaller TBR shelf pre-goodreads too!


message 23: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (literaryfeline) My guilty pleasure reading that I confess feeling embarrassed about reading (at least in public) includes graphic novels. My husband is into comics and graphic novels and opened an entire new world of books to me. I don't read them all of the time like my husband does, but occasionally I find one that interests me and give it a try. I am particularly fond of crime fiction graphic novels (not superheroes) and memoirs written and drawn in that format.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

On the subject of graphic novels...I am trying to get my hands on a copy of Chicken with Plums because I loved her other graphic novels. Embroideries was a hoot. (I know that it makes me sound about 117 years old when I say "hoot", but it was indeed a hoot)


message 25: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (literaryfeline) It's okay, Christine. I use "hoot" all the time. :-) I haven't yet read Embroideries, but I do want to.


message 26: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Oh and Christine, don't forget the phrase "woot woot" ;)


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Diane D. wrote: "Oh and Christine, don't forget the phrase "woot woot" ;)"

She uses that one, too! lol


message 28: by Barb (new)

Barb What's wrong with a little woot-ing?


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Barb wrote: "What's wrong with a little woot-ing?"

We are referring to Christine's post #27 and her use of phrases that she feels show her "advanced" age! :)


message 30: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (leekat) | 3959 comments Mod
I love woot! I guess I'm old too. :-)


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Jeepers! Are you whipper snappers implying that I talk un-hip? I think I am groovy. :)


Kelly H. (Maybedog) (maybedog) | 14 comments Christine, my step-mom and I both joke about how much we enjoy the Plum books. As for embarrassing titles, are you referring to "Finger-lickin' Fifteen" or "Sizzling Sixteen"? I think they're funny. In a similar vein for me are the Bubbles books by Sarah Strohmeyer, like Bubbles A Broad.

I think I am most uncomfortable to admit that I read Dean Koontz. They're violent and formulaic and I don't agree with his politics at all. But they can be a good diversion and they usually have a dog. I also get a tad embarrassed when someone asks what I'm reading and it's some pointless space opera which has frequently been the case. I know I shouldn't feel bad but I feel lesser somehow because I'm reading "trash." I know I need to get over this.

But it goes the other way, too. I was reading in my car one hot afternoon while waiting for my daughter and a drunk guy came up to me just making conversation. He started talking about cars and I had no idea what he was talking about. He then said it was because it was a Black thing (he was African American and I'm white). I said I thought it was just a guy thing. But then he asked what I was reading and it was Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. I told him what it was about and it made him really happy that I was reading it. And he told me I was wonderful and he walked away.

I have no idea why it made any difference to him that a white woman was reading a book about Black experiences but I felt like I had Proven I Am Not A Racist which of course it didn't do, either. I could have been reading it for a class, or thinking all kinds of nasty thoughts. But at least it alleviated my white guilt for the day. (My daughter, who is of mixed race, made fun of me for the incident anyway.) Anyhow, now when I'm embarrassed by what I'm reading I can remember that at least once someone was impressed by what I was reading.


message 33: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (literaryfeline) It's always bugged me that genre books carry such a stigma as to make people feel embarrassed to be reading them. There are some real treasures in genre fiction and people miss out when they don't give it a chance. I think someone else said something similar earlier so I'm preaching to the choir here. LOL

I've only had the chance to read two Dean Koontz books so far and I loved his writing style. I hope to read more in the future. I subscribe to his announcements and I love the ones that come out from his dog.

That's a neat story about the drunk man and his reaction to your reading Morrison. It's really interesting the type of reactions a person can get about the book he or she is reading. Most of the time, the reactions I get are quite positive. I haven't had too many people look down on my reading choices.

The one time that sticks out in my mind is the time I had a pretty little cloth book cover on my book. The amount of times my book goes in and out of my purse, I figured the cover would be good protection. Plus, it was really cute. A guy at work saw the cover and gave me a knowing look along with a wink. I can't remember anymore his exact words but he basically asked me if the good guy or bad buy would get the girl in the end and then made some comment about his wife getting all hot and heavy over books like that. It just so happened the book I was reading was about a Drug Enforcement Agent (male) who was on the trail of a major gun runner. Not exactly your sweet and romantic type of book. There's nothing wrong with reading romance novels, of course, but I was a bit offended that he would make such a presumption (not to mention the comment about his wife was totally uncalled for and inappropriate). I haven't used a book cover again. Such a shame too because I had bought two (different sizes) and now they're collecting dust.

(Oops! Now I really must get out the door or I'll be late!)


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

I assumed that everyone knew it, but I'll say it in case...I love Stephanie Plum. My nickname on PBS is Plumfan...my screen name for my grocery site is PlumLover...


message 35: by Barb (new)

Barb Someone I work with was telling me that she was going to start reading that series because some everyone kept telling her how good / funny it was. I put the first one on my TBR, I'll see how it goes from there. I love me a good funny book.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Christine wrote: "I assumed that everyone knew it, but I'll say it in case...I love Stephanie Plum. My nickname on PBS is Plumfan...my screen name for my grocery site is PlumLover..."

How may bags do you already have on your head, Christine???


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

Barb wrote: "Someone I work with was telling me that she was going to start reading that series because some everyone kept telling her how good / funny it was. I put the first one on my TBR, I'll see how it go..."

Skip the first one, Barb. It was suckish, and you will catch up on the backstory very easily with the second (she retells the relationship history, you will miss nothing).


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Jeannette wrote:How may bags do you already have on your head, Christine???


This morning, or over the last week? I think it's only 3 for today, but if you want a grand total I will need my calculator.


message 39: by Barb (new)

Barb Christine wrote: "Skip the first one, Barb. It was suckish, and you will catch up on the backstory very easily with the second (she retells the relationship history, you will miss nothing)."

Good to know ... Thanks for the heads up.


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

I might even put these books on my tbr, especially now that I know to skip the first one.


message 41: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 27, 2010 08:33AM) (new)

Christine wrote: "Jeannette wrote:How may bags do you already have on your head, Christine???


This morning, or over the last week? I think it's only 3 for today, but if you want a grand total I will need my ..."


Does it help to keep your brain warm? :)


message 42: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (leekat) | 3959 comments Mod
Jeannette wrote: "I might even put these books on my tbr, especially now that I know to skip the first one."

I started at number eight and didn't have a problem catching up. :-)


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

Lee wrote:

I started at number eight and didn't have a problem catching up. :-)"


You missed #6? That was so funny that I pulled a stomach muscle laughing that took months to heal. It was my first reading related injury. :)


message 44: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (hannahr) Amelia wrote: "I am not a romance reader but Thornyhold and Herself are two I keep coming back to."

Hi Amelia,
I adore Thornyhold too. It's my favorite Stewart book and a real comfort book.


message 45: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (leekat) | 3959 comments Mod
Christine wrote: "Lee wrote:

I started at number eight and didn't have a problem catching up. :-)"

You missed #6? That was so funny that I pulled a stomach muscle laughing that took months to heal. It was my..."


Yeah, I missed six but I don't think I want to go back and start again. :-)
I'm hoping the Spellman series is going to give me the same amount of laughs.


message 46: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks Hannahr wrote: "Amelia wrote: "I am not a romance reader but Thornyhold and Herself are two I keep coming back to."

Hi Amelia,
I adore Thornyhold too. It's my favorite Stewart book..."


I honestly don't think that "Thornyhold" should be considered a guilty or an embarrassing pleasure. I think that Mary Stewart is a great writer, my favourites are her novels about King Arthur.


message 47: by Hannah (last edited Apr 29, 2010 09:38AM) (new)

Hannah (hannahr) Amelia wrote: "I have yet to read any of her other books but I have them on my list."

Stewart wrote three distinct types of books:

1. Her romantic suspense
The Moon-Spinners by Mary Stewart
Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart Touch Not the Cat by Mary Stewart
And numerous others!

2. Her Arthurian series
The Crystal Cave (Merlin, #1) (Arthurian Saga, #1) by Mary Stewart
The Hollow Hills (Merlin, #2) (Arthurian Saga, #2) by Mary Stewart
The Last Enchantment (Merlin, #3) (Arthurian Saga, #3) by Mary Stewart

3. Her "cottage" books
Thornyhold by Mary Stewart
Rose Cottage A Novel by Mary Stewart The Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart

As you can tell, I love Mary Stewart :^)


message 48: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) Barb wrote: "Someone I work with was telling me that she was going to start reading that series because some everyone kept telling her how good / funny it was. I put the first one on my TBR, I'll see how it go..."

Not long ago, I read Finger Lickin' Fifteen and laughed out loud several times. An author who can make me do that is one I'll keep coming back to. I'm not sure how many books you can skip and still understand the character-driven humor. I'd suggest reading them all. Just pick one up any time you need a break from serious reading - something fast and fun.


message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

I think you can pick up any of them because she always gives the backstory on the relationships (which is a little obnoxious if you've read them all, like me). The only ones I didn't like too much were the first one, and some of the between-the-numbers books.


message 50: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Fiona wrote: "I run a YA group here on GR which I started because I was getting fed up at the ignoramus snobs who didn't think it counted as reading because it was for children."

Fiona, I'm constantly tempted to join your group but by the time I noticed it/by the time it was started, I was already having a hard time keeping up with group reads for my current book groups. (I have already read and enjoyed the two books currently showing on your group's home page.)


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