*claxon* FIRST THINGS FIRST I don’t believe in guilty pleasures so I don’t actually feel guilty AT ALL about the pleasure I get from reading any book.
Why write the post then, dumbass?
Well, since no one asked, I hate that some people feel like they can’t admit to liking some widely trashed novels. Ideas for the post actually began when Rebecca Mix asked Twitter if there was a book that made people want to be authors.
Yas M. replied saying the Sweet Valley High books, which really triggered memories. So many afternoons curled up on my bed reading about a supposedly middle-class family with A DAMN SWIMMING POOL IN THEIR BACK GARDEN.
So, here’s my list of guilty pleasure reads that I actually don’t feel guilty about at all (well, amybe one):
1 – Sweet Valley High (Francine Pascal)
Also Sweet Valley University, Sweet Valley Twins, and Sweet Valley Elementary.
Looking back, I realise how alien their lives were to tweenage me. I remember being shown a picture of a Fiat Spider (which is what the twins drove) and gasping. They never stopped complaining about that freaking car and it looked incredible!
My first car was a Daewoo Matiz – now that’s a small car. It may be a five-door, but unless you’re friends with/have birthed a family of squirrels, only two human people will actually fit in it. And the boot has room to store approximately one (small) shoebox.
I don’t feel guilty though. I learned a lot. About periods, senators, the sheer volume of leopard print mini skirts in Southern California…oh, and that the cool band the Droids was named to sound robot-like and cool, rather than to sound like naked, beardy people that ran around Stone Henge collecting sage.
2 – Twilight (Stephanie Meyer)
Yes, Bella’s annoying, Edward’s annoying, everyone’s annoying, but it was a wild ride. I mean, we can’t judge a book by its annoying characters.
It’s just being realistic – there’s a lot of annoying people out there. Remember Ron in The Prisoner of Azkaban? You wanted to slap his stupid face off, didn’t you? See also Harry in book 5 and Hermione in book 6. Oh, and all three of them in book 7. They’re still amazing books.
What stands out about Twilight is how much work Meyer puts into the backstories and minor characters etc. Nerds like me LOVE that crap.
Twilight is a great storyline and it’s extremely easy to read. Don’t let the haters stop you from enjoying it.
My only issue with it is the whole, erm, conception thing. Like…Edward’s hair doesn’t grow and he doesn’t age and he doesn’t need to eat or have a heartbeat but his sperm is absolutely fine and everything…works…as it should. CONVENIENT, STEPHANIE, CONVENIENT.
3 – The Cormoran Strike books (Robert Galbraith)
Ok, I kind of get why people don’t like these.
They kind of bridge the gap between ‘tame’ detective novels, like Agatha Christie and terrifying ones like Donato Carrisis, without being too much one way or the other.
Sure, someone gets a send a leg in one of them, but it’s during the day and it’s wrapped up and clean (unlike in The Whisperer by Carrisi, where there’s just a load of severed children’s arms found in the woods at night).
Galbraith (JK, we know it’s you) uses a bit of swearing, a bit of gore and alludes to hideous things, BUT after you’ve finished the chapter you can still sleep, even if it is with the light on.
Sure, I love to be scared silly by books sometimes, but I also like a whodunnit that’s a bit more middle of the road, a 12a or 15, if you will, rather than either an 18 or a PG.
Also, Robin’s from Masham which is 6 miles from my house which makes me practically famous.
God, it was exciting when I read that.
4 – The Moomin books (Tove Jansson)
I know what you’re thinking; er, those are kids books, Caroline – READ A GROWN UP BOOK.
And, yes, yes they are. Well, some of ’em. When I little (Ok, I was 16, but my little brother was little) my dad read us Comet in Moominland, then Finn Family Moomintroll, then Moominsummer Madness. Then he read us Moominpapa at Sea. Whoa. That was a different kettle of fish indeed.
Turns out Tove Jansson had depression when she wrote that one, and when I reread it after I found this out BOY you can tell. It’s an INCREDIBLE story about how depression can affect you.
I highly recommend these books to writers that don’t feel like their books are long enough. Comet in Moominland is a fantastic story and is only 29,870 words long.
Ok, even I’m shocked at how short that is.
Sure, it’s a kids book, but it’s entertaining as hell! And so much happens!
5 – The Discworld Books (Terry Pratchett)
Ok, these are the only ones on the list that actually make me feel guilty when I read them because I’ve read each one about five billion times.
Pratchett is both the man that inspired me to write my own stories and makes me want to throw my unfinished novel into the sea because it will never, ever be as funny, clever, informative and enjoyable to read.
When I’m not rereading them, I’m listening to them when I clean. Fun fact: the only book I have on my Audible account that’s not Discworld is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Although I’ve recently started subscribing again and I plan on branching out a bit. Maybe.
So, as my TBR pile looms every higher, I ignore it entirely and instead pick up Lords and Ladies, an incredible retelling of A Midsummer Nights Dream. It’s like comfort reading – imagine the level of relaxation you feel when reading Harry Potter, except this time Dobby doesn’t die.
I’m sure there are more books out there that I don’t broadcast about reading, but this post is plenty long enough. The next books I fancy trying are the Percy Jackson books; IN FACT, I shall purchase the first one on Audible after I’ve published this.
I’ll let you know how it goes.