Booking Through Thursday asks this week,
"What’s your guilty pleasure, reading-wise?"
Well, it has been a very long time since I took part in the BTT meme -- so long that "meme" actually has a different meaning than it did then. Good heavens! (It used to have, of course, more the "activity" part of Wikipedia's definition, questions that would get passed along from blogger to blogger (or the platform's equivalent), whereas now my fourteen-year-old rolls her eyes when I use the word in that sense, since to her it means something like the infamous "what are those?" video. This makes me feel quite decrepit. Sheesh, it was only, what, less than ten years ago! But I digress.) I got distracted from the regular Thursday question, and skipped a few, then I fell out of the habit, then ... who knows? But I thought of it again this morning, and it's still going on -- hurray, Deb! -- so I'll try to get back into taking part regularly.
Guilty pleasures? I'm afraid that reading itself has been my guilty pleasure the last few years. I should be doing housework, gardening, exercising, spending quality time with my rapidly-growing-independent children, etc. etc. etc., and however much I laugh and say, "oh, goodness, yes, I'd rather be reading than doing housework any day!" it still does make me feel guilty when I do. Just this morning, I was lingering over breakfast and The Return of the King -- Merry is wandering around an evening camp of the Rohirrim feeling useless, and lonely without Pippin -- instead of addressing Christmas cards or starting a load of laundry or picking out yet more of that dratted false garlic from our so-called garden, with the excuse that I was still sitting at the breakfast table and that means I'm still having breakfast, right?!
But I have the feeling that this wasn't quite what the question meant, so --
When I had lots of time to read whatever I liked, and thus the luxury to "waste" time on guilty pleasures, I think that Barbara Michaels was one of my chief purveyors of such. I know she isn't as trashy as some -- well, not by a long shot! -- but I have given up sticking with a badly-written book, so my definition of "trash" is now more along the lines of the plotline or degree of melodrama! Michaels wrote well, of course, and had an excellent ear for dialogue, so her books are unquestionably intelligent and readable -- it's just perhaps the glee with which she spins off reams of gothic suspense and supernatural elements and romance and glamorous international settings (or murky domestic ones!) that makes her books so enjoyable and yet so firmly in the "guilty pleasures" category!