Friday, January 05, 2007

What's Your Guilty Read ?

The Guardian reports that a survey carried out on behalf of the Costa Book Awards 2006 has revealed that Stephen King has beaten J K Rowling to the title of the UK's favourite literary guilty pleasure. 85% of those surveyed admitted to having an author they turn to for sheer gratification, but whom they might not admit to reading in public. Third place was tied between Dan Brown and John Grisham, whilst the fourth place was split between Catherine Cookson and Danielle Steel. Terry Pratchett was placed fifth.

Frankly, I'm bemused. I read whatever takes my fancy and I really don't give two hoots what anyone else thinks of my reading choices. I'll happily sit on the bus, publicly reading Harry Potter, Shakespeare, a biography of an actor I admire, or a book of poetry. People can think what they like of my choices because it's really none of their business... But perhaps others feel differently ? Do you have a guilty pleasure when it comes to books ? (Comments can be posted anonymously if you choose... *grins*)

10 comments:

© 2003-2007 M-mv said...

No "guilty pleasures" -- just mental M&Ms (e.g., yes, Stephen King, good YA fiction (MT Anderson's Feed, for example), mysteries (Giles Blunt's Forty Words for Sorrow, the Amanda Cross titles, Sue Grafton's early alphabet titles, etc.), and more).

I actually wrote about the uneasy neighbors on my shelves in my first few months at Mental multivitamin:

http://mentalmultivitamin.blogspot.com/2003/11/book-wars.html

Nancy said...

I hold my Stephen King novels proudly when I read them, as I'm a great admirer of the way he writes.

The only book I get squeamish about reading in public is Christy by Catherine Marshall. It's a bit sappy, but I still read parts of it at least a couple times a year.

Michele said...

I've actually got a Stephen King (The Eyes of the Dragon) on my to borrow list for when I'm back to reading novels again. I've never read one of his books before - not out of snobbishness, just because horror's never appealed to me !

Sheila said...

Michele, you should try Stephen King's The Stand. It's more SF/fantasy than horror and it's the only one of his books that I've read that I like.

And I'm with you on guilty pleasures; I don't care what people think of my reading choices. (I thought that I had posted this already, but for some reason it isn't showing up).

Nancy said...

Hmmm. I've not read Eyes of the Dragon, but if I were recommending good King to really get a sense of his writing without too much horror, I'd go with:

The Stand (!!)
Misery
Lisey's Story

Or Different Seasons, where you can read the short stories behind the movies Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption)

I absolutely love Stephen King, but I haven't read some of his more typical-horror type books like Pet Semetary and Christine.

Michele said...

Hmm... I will take a look at reviews for The Stand, and give it some consideration. He's one author I always swore I wouldn't read, since I don't like horror, but someone recommended The Eyes of the Dragon as a children's book...

Sheila said...

I haven't read The Eyes of the Dragon but it sounds interesting. I just looked at the reviews, and I see that it actually has the same evil character that is in The Stand.

The Stand is definitely NOT a children's book - besides its length, it's pretty intense in places. It's not horror, but King excells at vivid imagery and there are a couple of scary scenes, including one in New York's Lincoln Tunnel that still makes my heart race when I think about it.

The Stand is a combination of post-apocalyptic fiction with a classic battle between good and evil. I guess you can tell I like it. OK, maybe it's not great literature, but it's one of those books that I pick up and reread every few years, because I love the characters and because I can really lose myself in it.

Michele said...

Then I guess I'll have to read The Stand too (although I'm not so fond of post-apocalyptic fiction !

Nancy said...

Yes, if I had to take only one Stephen King book with me to my desert island exile, it would definitely be The Stand.

Michele said...

There we are then - I'll look for it when I'm at the library later this morning...