The Sunday Salon: Guilty Pleasures

I spend a lot of time denigrating the Twilight saga. While I think Twilight itself is decent, New Moon and Eclipse are simply pointless. (I’m going to do a Sunday Salon in the future about series- these will definitely come into play.) I’m not fond of the treatment of romance, Bella’s passive character, or the bizarre bastardization of vampire mythology. While I’m more than happy it gets the wee lasses reading, they need to move to better stuff very quickly.

And yet… Breaking Dawn was one of the funnest books I’ve ever read. Not because it was good, but because it was just so silly that it turned into the ultimate game of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Stephanie Meyer twisting her own vampire mythology? An anticlimax for the ages? Bella turning into the Queen of Mary Sues? I have several stories I love to trot out to amuse friends and acquaintances with, and I have to admit, retelling Breaking Dawn is one of my favorites, especially to people who’ve never read the book itself. Most of the time, I have to stop right after the birthing scene. It’s simply too much for them to handle. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, quite frankly! I can’t wait for the film, since I can’t imagine how this marvelous mess will be committed to the screen. It’s just enough to know that Taylor Lautner will, one day, have to look at a CGI vampire baby with love shining in his eyes.

This reaction does not simply occur when I encounter a bad book. The joy I derive from detailing the failings is more of an eye for an eye situation with the book itself than a guilty pleasure. While I gleefully detail the failings of The Historian to anyone who will listen, reading it was ultimately frustrating. Guilty pleasure occurs when a book is completely over the top and unbelievable. For instance, I’ll easily and joyfully eat up a Gossip Girl novel. It’s ridiculous and scandalous. I can’t take it seriously, and when I can’t take it seriously, I start laughing at it. This explains my bizarre fondness for Breaking Dawn completely. The series finally vaulted into the territory that makes it a guilty pleasure for me.

In other news, I’ve been trying to get through King Hereafter all week, but I’ve been so busy with school. I have an audition in the next few weeks, so I’m trying to prepare for that, so reading time is scant! I also have been playing some old-school Oregon Trail when I could have been reading, I must confess, but can you really blame me? I should have a review of the miniseries version of Mists of Avalon up next week, but that might be it, I’m afraid!

What are your guilty pleasure books?

16 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: Guilty Pleasures

  1. I’m excited to hear your thoughts on The Mists of Avalon – I’ve always wanted to read that book! It’s actually sitting, untouched, on my bookshelf.

    Guilty pleasure? Well, I could read the Harry Potter series over and over again and never get sick of them. Does that count? There are many “chick lit” books that I could easily read and be entertained by and fill up hours, but I tend to avoid them because I like to spend my time reading other things… I guess that’s probably my guilty pleasure. 🙂

    And I like the blog redesign, by the way!

  2. I feel the same way about Breaking Dawn. I’ve horrified many of my friends with it, and also use it as a weapon when people who’ve only seen the movies/read the first book tell me, “Hey, Stephanie Meyer isn’t too bad…”


  3. I don’t think I have that many “guilty pleasure books” that are actually bad books. I read Elizabeth Peters when I’m in the mood for something light, but she’s a very good writer and her books always make me laugh. I’m sure I must read some bad books but I can’t think of them!

  4. I like the new look!

    I’m pretty sure I lost several thousand functioning brain cells after reading the Twilight series. They were just so awful. I don’t see why people love them. It’s baffling. The characters are annoying, trite, and Bella is so self-absorbed and broody I wanted to toss the book out the window. And the writing, well, I won’t go there…

    A comfort read for me is Harry Potter. Yes, the books are silly but they’re just so much fun. 🙂

  5. Romance novels. They’re like a good round of binge-drinking; light and pleasurable while reading but too much of them causes me to lose brain-cells, especially the euphemisms.

  6. I loved the Twilight movie, because it was just so terrible it was actually good…because I couldn’t stop giggling. And the funniest part was that it wasn’t *meant* to be funny, I just found it so ridiculous that it ended up being fantastic.

    I have to say, mysteries/thrillers are a guilty pleasure of mine. I love them and eat them up so fast, much faster than any lit fic. 🙂

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