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Thread: Which books are your guilty pleasures?

  1. #1
    Registered User Satine's Avatar
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    Wink Which books are your guilty pleasures?

    Ok, so I enjoy great literature as much as the next person, but on occasion I'll pick up a book that is nothing but brain candy, just for fun. A while back, I picked up "Confessions of a Shopaholic" and "Shopaholic Takes Manhattan" by Sophie Kinesella and found myself cracking up throughout both books. Great pieces of literature they are NOT...but still fun to read.

    Just wondering what kinds of 'junk' fiction other people read on occasion.

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    I feel ashamed of myself, but I have read almost everything Stephen King has ever published...I even got the very obscure "On Writing", as if King as an author whose reflections of literature I cared for.

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    Registered User Satine's Avatar
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    *pats nocturnal on the back* It's ok, buddy. The first step is admitting you have a problem...

    See, I knew there were others out there. I'm not the only one!

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    Come on people, don't be shy
    Although, on my defense, I would like to state that when I am done with "The Dark Tower" series I will call it quits regarding Mr. King.

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    Registered User Satine's Avatar
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    You know, in all honestly, Noc...I don't think there's anything wrong with it at all. I mean, that's part of the reason I read magazines. I have a subscription to US weekly, my parents get it for me every Christmas. Dumb as you can imagine. Bunch of celebrity crapola. Waste of time to read. And I love it. I sit down every Friday and in about 30 minutes, I've read it cover to cover. I've seen which celebs are hooking up, breaking up...(I mean, Brangelina? HELLO!)...and I can pretty much guarantee that I'm DUMBER for having wasted my time. But hey, that's me. I think we all need to have that freedom to read whatever stupid trash we want sometimes. Am I right, or am I right? Or...am I right?

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    Heh, as long as it doesn't become one's exclusive literary diet, so to speak, it is quite alright and harmless
    But over the years I've grown seriously annoyed with Stephen King. I still think that some of his earlier works were quite decent but it simply is no longer my coup of tea. It's not that I have out-grown horror fiction, on the contrary, it's just that my standarts of "good horror lit" are now richer and higher.
    Still, I actually found about T.S Eliot and Robert Browning because King quoted them at some point, and have learnt to love those authors much more than I ever cared for King. So it was not a waste of time

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    It would have to be the Harry Potter books. Never have I been so taken by a series/books. They're too incredible and I really think if others around here tried them, they'd agree they're pretty tempting and riveting, though I doubt is they'll ever achieve the literary stature of say an E. Nesbit book or a Roald Dahl creation. It seems their stupendous commercial success, particularly in the era of computer games and snazzy technology, will never let them ever get close to being branded classics. A classic for most people is a book that's read by a few chosen "classy" readers, not every Tom, Dick and Harry!!

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    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    I do read type of books what Satine calls 'brain candy'. I enjoy reading books by Agatha Christie and Janet Evanovich, books by Wendy Holden, which are similar to those of Sophie Kinsella. Recently I have been reading some books by Jacquiline Wilson, who mainly writes early teen books. Soon I will be reading some of Roald Dahl's books. Oh, I have read all the Harry potter books, too (apart from the last one).

    However, I don't feel guilty about it. I love reading and, at the right time, I will read anything. I said this somewhere else in this Forum, I think (there has been a discussion about the type of reading we do etc.): It is healthy and advisable for us to eat healthy food but a constant diet of steamed vegetables and boiled rice would make life rather boring. I don't think any of us neither can nor should say no to an occasional burger or pizza or a slice of double chocolate gateau or...

    I am glad that I can read and enjoy Crime and Punishment and then move on to something by John Grisham. And I hope I will never be well-read enough to lose that ability!
    Last edited by Scheherazade; 09-15-2005 at 08:29 PM.
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    Registered User Satine's Avatar
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    Very well said, Scheherazade! I couldn't agree more. That's why the 'brain candy' term applies. Heck, there's nothing better than reading a classic novel that makes you really THINK about things, analyze the characters, revel in the writing style and storyline, etc. That's your 'meat and potatos' so to speak. Then, to pick up something totally 'frivolous' and love it just as much, but in a different way completely...it makes reading fun and interesting. I don't cross paths with very many people who truly love to read like I do, but the few that I DO come across tend to think that reading anything other than Dickens or Tolstoy is completely beneath them and a waste. I don't agree. Thanks for your input, I loved reading it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satine
    I don't cross paths with very many people who truly love to read like I do, but the few that I DO come across tend to think that reading anything other than Dickens or Tolstoy is completely beneath them and a waste. I don't agree.
    I know where you're coming from and I agree but I sort of understand those people. I think they are just trying to react against what they feel is the degeneration and loss of quality of the literary medium, and like most reactions they tend to be somewhat fierce.
    I am not approving that kind of attitude, just pointing out that there is a reason for that kind of behaviour aside from intellectual elitism or plain old snobbism.

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    Registered User Satine's Avatar
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    I understand what you're saying, Nocturnal...but the thing is, times are changing. Writing styles are changing and evolving. I'm a teacher, so I'm surrounded with a lot of the 'new' stuff that's out there. The way I see it, whether we like it or not, that kind of thing is our future. The Harry Potter series, for example, is so widely debated as to its validity as real 'literature'...and yet, millions upon millions of kids are reading these books. Those kids who are reading them are going to grow up and pass that kind of thing on to future generations. So, I try to teach my kids about a healthy balance between the two. Here's an example of what I mean:

    I teach music, and I focus a lot on music history. My kids learn about Mozart and Haydn and Beethoven, and I KNOW they get frustrated with me because they hear the music and say "What does THIS have to do with Usher? 50 cent?" Now, do I LIKE Usher? 50 Cent? Nope. Can't stand them. But the reality is that my KIDS are going to listen to it whether I like it or not. It's my job to make them understand that without people like Beethoven and Haydn and Mozart, there would never BE and Usher or 50 Cent. When you make those kinds of connections, they are much more willing to accept the past as it ties into the future.

    Same kind of thing applies to literature. Does that make any sense? I think more people need to have an open mind and be a little more accepting of mainstream lit, because fighting it often turns people off to the 'classics.'

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    That's why I shall never have kids :P Seriously now, I know what you're saying and it is quite true. All I am saying is that there is always a reaction, a certain feeling of...Academia to be preserved, so to speak.
    I know some people around my age (early twenties) who are great writers and one of the things that bothers them the most is the awful feeling that they are writing "for the great voids to be", as a friend put it.

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    Registered User Padan Fain's Avatar
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    Guilty pleasure? Michael Savage. I know he is a bit over the top, but I get a kick out of him.....
    ok then.

  14. #14
    avatar by John Pickman Wendigo_49's Avatar
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    My guilty pleasure would have to be Atlantis series by Greg Donegan. It's so bad that he put a quote which says "You'll wonder if it is real" on the cover from another pseudonym(Robert Doherty) he uses. Even so, I still pull them out every once in a while to read.
    If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.

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    Wow, this thread makes me feel like an all-work-and-no-play type of reader.
    As a child, I had a fairly decent balance of reading children's classics, but also some comics now and then. Nowadays, it seems that I restrict my play in literature, and I have never noticed it; perhaps I have picked and critiqued my taste too sharply.
    In recent years, I have indulged myself in easy reading like Stephen King, but could not really call myself a big fan. Otherwise, I often get a brain-candy-like pleasure from reading certain poets, like E.E. Cummings, Arthur Rimaud, Charles Bukowski, and many other contemporaries, finding Romanticism (perhaps my favorite era of poetry) more difficult to read, but beautiful.

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