Thursday, June 24, 2010

Literary Guilty Pleasures

NPR's All Things Considered has an ongoing series that features authors' confessions about their own literary guilty pleasures. These potentially embarrassing reads include the risque Peyton Place and the taboo (and so bad it's good) Flowers in the Attic. Additionally, some male authors admit to liking books that are considered feminine reads, such as Twilight and the Rosemary Rogers' bodice-ripper Sweet Savage Love. If I didn't love Jack Murnighan before, I love him for admitting his affection for this book.

That said, I have a number of guilty pleasure books hidden away in the confines of my bookshelves. While I wouldn't be caught dead with some of these books in public, they are some of my closet favorites. Besides some romance novels (I'm a picky romance reader, and tend to be stuck on ones from my younger days), I also love children's books. My absolute favorites may be Beverly Cleary's Ramona series. Yes, I know that these books are for children, but I probably read the entire Ramona series (or at least the books that I have) once a year. Cleary perfectly portrays the misadventures of Ramona Quimby, a girl who tends to be too imaginative for her own good. I particularly love Cleary's portrayal of a child's feelings of being misunderstood and helpless. However, it never gets too dark; in a world of depressing children's stories, Ramona is a happy (but not too happy) respite.

Do you have any books that you secretly love (even though you would rather die a thousand deaths before reading them in public)? Please feel free to list some of your guilty pleasures in the comments section!