Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but last week was the first I’d heard of NPR’s “My Guilty Pleasure” series on All Things Considered, in which “writers talk about the books they love but are embarrassed to be seen reading.” The series has been airing since May 27, 2009, and you can listen to archives here.
A few highlights: Kate Christensen (author of Trouble) likens reading Janet Evanovich to eating Twinkies. Lizzie Skurnick (author of Shelf Discovery) loves Peter Benchley’s Jaws, which she calls “Peyton Place by the sea.” David Sax (author of Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen) can’t get enough of Eat, Pray, Love—also known as “a scented candle of new age wisdom.”
No surprise here, but “My Guilty Pleasure” has me thinking about my own guilty reading pleasure. My philosophy is that reading should never inspire guilt, but a particular series does come to mind: Anyone ever race through Jean M. Auel’s 1980 novel Clan of the Cave Bear? What about under your desk during chemistry class? Let’s just say that, in the words of my grandmother, this pre-historical novel includes a lot of “R.” And as a high-schooler, I loved it—although I’d blush if anyone asked what I was reading.
What book do you love, but you’re embarrassed to be seen reading? Spill all in the comments.
Related in BookPage: Read an interview with Evanovich, a hand-written Q&A with Benchley, an interview with Skurnick or an interview with Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert.