Runners Who Read

Who knew? A bunch of runners who enjoy reading and discussing what they read.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Reading books that are... less than classics

We've all admitted some pretty lofty reading habits, naming books that are well written and well regarded. I'm wondering, though, about the other side of reading. The side that comes out in mass-market paperback with no hardcover edition. The side that isn't reviewed by the New York Times.

Maybe I'm taking a mental break since I feel like I'm on summer vacation, but my reading choices lately have been of the less-than-lofty variety. Ranging from the slightly tawdry (Alexandra Robbins' Pledged, an expose about sororities), to the slightly tawdrier (Plum Sykes' Bergdorf Blondes), to the downright no-holds barred just plain tawdry (Jessica Cutler's The Washingtonienne*). Right now I'm beginning Nedjma's The Almond, which I really really hope is tawdry.

My reading habits are usually very snobby. I don't like mysteries and I avoid romance novels. That said, I have to confess that I enjoy some good chick lit from time to time. I resent the formulaic, no woman is complete unless she's engaged to be married to a perfect man plots. I can't relate to it at all. Yet I eat it up. I try to intersperse my heavy reading with some light reading, although it usually ends up being like 2 to 1 in favor of the light reading. I think it's something in my head about keeping my numbers up: I can feel like I've read a book a week or so if most of those books are remarkably quick.

What are your reading habits? Poetry for some, nonfiction for others. But what about the, um, lesser well-written tomes?

* The Washingtonienne did receive a favorable review from the New York Times.


Blogger Jonas said...

Murder mysteries do it for me. Elmore Leonard, Pat Cornwall (sp?), any random novel that I may first pick up at an airport and then I'll devour the rest of the series.

Stupid comedies work well, too.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

For me it is Robert Parker's Spencer novels -- I really find him (Spencer) dreamy and the books incredibly readable.....

I have also been known to pick up a Susan Isaac's book - Compromising Positions is, to this day, one of the funniest books I've read.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

I've always enjoyed collections of classic comic strips -- Prince Valiant, Dick Tracy, Popeye, Peanuts, Gasoline Alley, etc. I also enjoy some of the "graphic novels" (not extremely explicit novels, but novels in the form of a comic book) by some of the newer graphic artists such as Dan Clowe (writer and illustrator of "Ghost Story," among others).

And Tony Millionaire's anarchic comic strip "Maakies" is one of the wittiest examples of puerile humor around, but be forewarned -- it can be incredibly offensive to those who are offendable.

I also read police procedurals when I need a break ... no favorite authors; just about any of them will do in a pinch.

8:40 AM  
Blogger bct said...

I escape with memoirs--the perfect combination of voyeurism and less taxing structure. Ann Padgett's "Truth and Beauty," Augusten Burroughs, and currently Francine DuPlessix Gray's "Them," her memoir of life with 2 remarkable (and remarkably self-absorbed) parents.


8:22 AM  
Blogger Michele said...

I am with Tracy in that I love to get lost in a real tawdry bit of "chic lit", especially in the summer.

That and getting lost in Harry Potter.....

- michele

3:28 PM  

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