I'm a book snob. You know the type. I pooh-pooh book recommendations from people who choose their reading from the bestseller list. I ignore authors who have made a mint. I look for the obscure, the long-lost, the small and little-known books.
Every now and then, I run across a book that has been overhyped. I falter in my will. I start to read. Suddenly I find I have fallen in love with a book that has been around the block. And back.
I just can't help myself.
Here are a few of my guilty pleasures:
Me Before You
This is the book that prompted this little essay. I'd seen this red cover all over the place here in the blogosphere and that's usually a warning to me to Put the Book Back on the Shelf and Walk Away. I didn't listen to that inner voice this time and I'm glad I didn't. A good story, thoughtful without being heavy-handed, with real characters. Just right for a cold January evening.
I had no idea what I was in for when I picked up this book. It was early on, before the HG was all over the universe. What a great read. Action. Adventure. Life and death struggles. Loved it.
Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum Mysteries
No one on the planet would call this good literature yet I can't seem to stop myself from buying the next mystery in the series. What is it about this series, with Stephanie Plum attempting to bring in bad guys when she can't even seem to hold a gun or keep her car from being blown up, with Stephanie's two dark bad-boy boyfriends, with zany Grandma Mazur who likes to get in on the action and loves to visit the dead at funeral homes? None of this really explains Stephanie Plum appeal, yet it is there.
Game of Thrones
I should have hated this book. Violence. Cruelty. Lust. Revenge. Everything I loathe in real life is here. Yet it seemed perfectly suited for this story, set in some sort of awful alternative universe to Earth where the Middle Ages still reigns. It was wicked and terrible and magnificent. Go figure.
The Fault in Our Stars
I had read a John Green a long time and I missed somehow that Something that everyone else seemed to find in his writing. Then I picked up Fault in Our Stars and, oh my! Forgive me, John Green, for judging you harshly, based on a single bad experience. I'm so glad I didn't set Fault in Our Stars aside.
Eleanor & Park
The misfits who find each other. I could have so easily passed on this one. It had all the earmarks of a Lost Teen Story and, of course, it was (aren't all teens pretty lost?) but it was so much more, too. So nice to see a chubby girl find love.
This is a generic category. I can read anything Paris and forgive it all its faults. Paris casts a rosy glow over any awful book, somehow. I've yet to read a single book set in Paris that I've hated. Yet I know in my heart that most of the Paris books I've read are using Paris to stoke up the book.
Are you a little bit of a book snob, too? Do you find, like me, that you have your soft spots for less-than-literary books? What are your guilty pleasures?