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June 13, 2010

Sunday Book Thread: Guilty Pleasures

Difficulty: No Twilight or Harry Potter books.

When I was in college, I made it a point to read only "the classics" and expunge modern popular fiction from my sight. But alas, the cravings inevitably returned: horror novels, thrillers, sci-fi, even westerns. I took a special pleasure in sitting out on the grassy quad on a warm autumn day and blowing through some cheap paperback in a couple of hours.

Several of these "guilty pleasure" books still remain in my memory -- more than many of the so-called "classics" did, truth to tell. Clive Barker's Books of Blood is one. Peter Straub's Koko is another. But probably the most embarassing one, the one that wild horses would not have dragged out of me in my Modern American Lit class, was Alan's Moore's comic book The Watchmen. (This was before "graphic novels" had gained a patina of legitimacy; back then, it was just a thick comic book.) Moore's story actually struck me as being more fundamentally literature than many of the so-called "serious" novels I was reading at the time. I still have my original copy of The Watchmen; the turgid opuses by Updike and Mailer have fallen away. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns was another such revelation -- it rescued poor Bats from his long exile in Super Friends and 60's-era Adam West silliness. That comic book made Batman a badass again. (How badass? Badass enough to beat the shit out of frigging Superman, that's how badass.)

I worry much less about my reading tastes these days; I read whatever catches my fancy. I went through a period not long ago when I was reading bodice-ripper romances like this one (hilarious, I must say, though probably unintentionally so). I have an interest in medieval history, and much of the fiction dealing with this period is in the romance genre. Thrillers are my current interest: I'm working my way through the "Pendergast" novels of Lincoln Preston and Douglas Child.

So come on, Morons. I've fessed up my embarassing reading habits. What's your guilty pleasure?

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posted by Monty at 08:05 AM

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