Friday, May 16, 2014

Discussion: Junk Food Books

I originally got this idea from hearing several people talk about their 'guilty pleasure' reads. Now, this is a foreign concept to me, because I just don't understand feeling guilty about books I read. Sure, there are some books I don't tell my family that I read - but that's more to keep out of the interrogation as to how I could read that than any shame I have over reading certain books.

That being said, I have what I commonly refer to as 'Junk Food Books'. I suppose you could call them 'comfort food books' as well, but I prefer my term (makes me think of gummy bears and jelly beans and soft caramels). These are books that I read to enjoy. If they were movies, they would be 'popcorn movies' - and occasionally 'B' movies. These are books I don't expect to learn anything from, nor do I expect these books to actually give me thoughtful storylines or anything to chew on long after the book is over.

In short, they are fun reads.

Books I consider 'Junk Food':

Pretty much any romance I read, but especially my all-time favorites: Gothic Romance Mysteries. Authors like Barbara Michaels, Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt. Pretty much any book that pictures a wide-eyed woman wearing a dress escaping from a gloomy looking manor. Or any book that should have that cover.

Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series. While this series is steampunk and urban fantasy at their finest, it owes most of its life to the bodice rippers. I remember calling the first book in this series a popcorn chick-flick when I first read it. Honestly, that does it some injustice, but is a fairly apt description.

Honestly, even though they are usually few and far between, pretty much any romance novel that I read that doesn't have a controlling, obsessive, creepy, possessive 'alpha' as the love interest (I won't even go into how much I hate those guys) and isn't a gothic mystery, I would be willing to consider 'Junk Food'. The ones with those so called 'alphas' are nothing but 'flame bait' to me.

I'm also currently putting all Middle Grade novels I've read on this list. While I do only have a handful that I've actually read, they've all been fun, light reads.

Honestly, all my reading is a little on the light side, but these stick out as some of the less groundbreaking books for a reader that seldom reads grounbreaking books.

So, how about you? Do you have any Junk Food books? Do you prefer a different term?