It's Monday, I'm currently rejuvenated by delicious delicious coffee, and I want to talk about bad books.
Or rather, books you love that aren't the ones you immediately mention to people. I've done two posts on fanfiction and why it makes me maybe the happiest of all the things I read, but in terms of actual, published works, what are the books you love but maybe possibly hide from view? I feel like this could be touchy in the book blog world, because rather than elevating ourselves by the fantastic works we've read that Suburban Housewives wouldn't touch because they weren't sanctioned by Oprah (thank God I don't have a wider readership or I'd get lambasted for that), these would be books that could and probably are loved by millions -- books that appeal, oh dear I'm going to do it, to our sensibilities rather than to our sense (sorry, had to).
Here are some of my favorite shitty books:
Percy Jackson - I LOVE PERCY JACKSON. This is a less embarrassing choice, because a few respected book bloggers readily admit they read it. But is Rick Riordan the most intellectually esteemed of authors? Well, no. But his stories are well-paced, and they've helped me keep my Greek and Roman gods straight. And my gosh, he's imaginative. I've read everything he's written for kids now, except Son of Neptune, but that's sitting on my shelf waiting.
Water for Elephants - Okay, I had a few issues with this book (mainly the fact that Jacob is ALWAYS EMO), but I feel like it's one of the more embarrassing choices because 1) super-popular, and 2) they made a movie out of it starring Robert Pattinson. But I seriously loved Sara Gruen's writing. I have The Ape House on my shelf and WILL get to it. I will.
The Fear Street Saga - OMG. You guys. Not everyone remembers these, but back when Fear Street was The Thing to Read for 11-year-olds, there was a three part series that came out, with the titles The Betrayal, The Secret, and The Burning. A reviewer on Amazon summarizes the first one with:
Living in 1692 Massachusetts, Susannah Goode was an innocent, naive young girl. Her only mistake: loving the son of her family's bitter rivals, the Fiers. A young man whose angry father sentenced Susannah and her mother to burn at the stake, leaving Susannah's father so devastated that he turns to the black arts and curses the Fiers for all eternity.
And the rest of the series deals with them and their cursedness! I would re-read that series right now if I had it. It's got historical crap AND intense drama. Like every scene. I think one of the Fiers laughs himself to death, and someone else gets walled into a room. Actually I think that might be the same person. So he dies of the laughing and the..the walling. If someone said "Here, you can read this Edith Wharton novel, or The Secret by R.L. Stine," I would totally choose R.L. Stine.
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood - Yeah, I said it. I read this book, and not only enjoyed it but loved it. LOVED. This is partially because I was reading it while visiting my best friend in Houston, and it has a lot of meditations on friendship, which I of course applied to us as we got drunk and watched reruns of Designing Women, and that trip was just fantastic, so the feelings of the trip are intertwined with the book for me now. But beyond that, I do love the characters, and I think the writing, while not A.S. Byatt, is good enough to merit a re-read.
The Historian - It seems popular to hate on The Historian, but suck it, I have a Paul/Helen playlist on my iPod. I mean, ok, is the last fourth perfect? No, it is not. But the vampire librarian scared me so much I couldn't read the book at night, and her descriptions of landscape and language are wonderfully done. AND a ridiculous amount of time in the book is spent in libraries. And yes, Paul/Helen. I love them. When I read a certain pivotal scene with them, I had to pause, put the book down, and bury my face in my arm out of happiness. This is making me want to re-read it.
I know I have much, much more embarrassing books I love, but I didn't list them on goodreads, and I don't have my shelves in front of me right now, so ALAS! And to conclude, here's a baby hugging some puppies:
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