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Top five guilty pleasures
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Joined: 22 Nov 2008
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Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:53 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

I haven't got specific books I think of as guilty pleasures, though there are some books I prefer to be seen reading to others.  Sometimes, though, I will take into public defiantly books I know won't be thought highly of.  

I suppose my guilty reading secret is my preference for slushy romance rather than the gritter forms of writing.  So even though I know The Other Boleyn Girl is pretty poor history I did enjoy a lot the romance between Mary and William (or was it Thomas?).  And although Anne of Green Gables is considered the best of LM Montgomery's series it is Anne of the Island and Anne's House of Dreams I like most.  And in the days when I did read the Hardy Boys (never again - appalling stuff!) I liked the little tiny romantic bit at the end and was disappointed if it wasn't there.  

And while some of those queens of crime writers haven't appealed to me on modern rereads, I still really enjoy an Agatha Christie when I read one.  

I don't think Georgette Heyer has to be considered a guilty pleasure though even with her I like the frothy romance more than the historically accurate account of the battle of Waterloo.

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Joined: 21 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure that I can muster five guilty pleasures but one book that did obsess me in the 1980s was Jackie Collins's "Hollywood Wives."  I loved it and would constantly re-read it.

This insider's look at the Hollywood elite was packed with lots of bitchy one-liners and put-downs.  There was also the thrill of working out who was who in this roman a clef; who can be the revered Hollywood film star renowned for playing the "good guy" with a highly-regarded French wife, harbouring a secret past as  a callgirl?  I think I can hazard a guess but the board's administrator probably wouldn't thank me if I did so here.  Easier to work out was Doris Andrews (or was it Julie Day?), the star who plays goody-goody parts but has a life not quite so pristine.

I think what I enjoyed was the depiction of "ladies who lunch" and how insecure many of them are.  They are prepared to put up with their husbands' infidelities and neglect as their status rests on being the wife of a famous man.  

For decades my parents lived in an affluent part of the Home Counties, which had many TV and pop stars as residents.  When my mother did Citizens Advice Bureau work, she was astonished by how many women came to the bureau who lived in mansions worth several millions.  They were desperate to leave their husbands but had no money in their own right and feared that it would take years of wrangling with their husbands' accountants and lawyers to get a financial deal.  Also, they were so used to being seen as X's wife that they lacked a sense of identity and self-worth.

"Hollywood Wives" is trashy but it has a ring of truth about it and captures the wife trapped in a gilded cage syndrome well, IMO.  I went on to read "Hollywood Husbands" but that was trash with no merit in it.

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Joined: 24 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Green Jay wrote:
I'm trying to think, too. I'm not very good at compiling lists.
Thank you for posting this, Apple. When people don't respond quickly it's not for lack of interest - this is the first time I've been around to see this since you posted, which is not that long ago. Even when I can't think up lists I like to read others'.

I'm not quite sure what this section means. Is 'guilty pleasure' crap we've loved aginst our better judgement, or books we return to guiltily? Or just something we think we "shouldn't" be reading? Like others, I'm pretty guilt free when it comes to books. Now, if it was chocolate and red wine.... I've been feeling very guilty over the last couple of weeks!  Very Happy
Very Happy There should NEVER be any guilt involved when it comes to Red wine & Chocolate!!!

Anyway, this one was one of Ann's suggestions back on the "back to our roots" thread when I suggested this, the way I took it was a mixture of two of them - crap I have read and against my better judgement enjoyed (ie. 50 shades darker & 50 shades freed) AND stuff which I have enjoyed which has been almost universally slated as complete rubbish but I thought was good (ie. Angels and demons).  I don't reel guilty about anything I read, but there is a lot of stuff I read which I wouldn't dream of talking about on here, as nobody would be interested, for example my Catherine Cookson books.

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." Sir Winston Churchill, British politician (1874 - 1965)
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Green Jay

Joined: 13 Jan 2009
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Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy There should NEVER be any guilt involved when it comes to Red wine & Chocolate!!!


Thank you, I'll take your advice, Dr Apple!   Laughing

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