Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fessin' Up

After yesterday’s Liar, Liar post, I started thinking. I’ve already listed for you the books I’m embarrassed I haven’t read. And I told you that, although I might stay really quiet during a conversation about a book I haven’t read and hope everyone just assumes I’ve read it, I don’t outright lie about it. But, like the preachers say, you can be guilty of the sin of omission.

When I was a young reader, I remember hiding a few books I was reading—Go Ask Alice, Mr. and Mrs. Bojo Jones, The Exorcist—feeling pretty sure my parents wouldn’t be happy with my choice. But maybe that’s something you don’t grow out of.

During the first semester of my doctoral studies at Ole Miss, I took a Studies in Romanticism class. It was great. We read classics from the British Romantic era and compared them with modern representations of that time—rewrites, movies, copy-cat genres, etc. The purpose was to compare actual representations, themes, and artistic intents of that era’s authors with modern perceptions of that time.

But one thing we were assigned to read was a historical romance novel set in that time period. And it was a real bodice ripper. The professor was even embarrassed. He admitted he’d committed the cardinal sin of teachers—assigning something he hadn’t read or previewed. He was searching for something in that genre, someone suggested this one, and since he had so much else to do, he just took their word for it.

The problem for me? It was part of a series. The heroine was a twin, and the novel ended with the twin’s romance beginning. And of course you know what I did. Yep, I read the whole series. It was embarrassing, but I just couldn’t help it. I bought them in secret and attempted to keep the covers hidden, but one day my husband saw one and said, “What in the world is that? It doesn’t look like what you usually read.”

He’s right. It wasn’t. But man, you can learn a lot in doctoral studies.


Sarah said...

Those were such great books--why don't we read more of those in doctoral studies?! As far as my guilty pleasures, I usually don't admit that I've read Confessions of a Shopaholic at last 25 times, that I keep Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason on my nightstand in case I have a nightmare, and that I can read Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood all the way through then immediately flip to the first page and start all over again.

Stephanie said...

Glad to know I'm not alone! And if I don't get to read something just for the fun of it soon, I'm gonna go crazy!

Ash said...

LOL! My current guilty pleasure - the Stephanie Plum novels.

Stephanie you'd be proud of me! First some background - a much beloved great-aunt of mine passed away last month (it was expected for some time - very long illness), and we've just started the task of going through her things. I wanted to look at her book collection, and I found and promptly snagged "The Complete Works of Jane Austen" faster than greased lightening.

I also found a diary of her mother's from the 30's, which was such fun to read, and one exerpt from 1938 said, "I finally sat down to a book Frances has been nagging me to read called Pride and Prejudice..."

Stephanie said...

You got a treasure! If you haven't read them yet, I'd be curious to know what you think as you do. And that diary entry! So neat! It's a shame she didn't write her opinion of the novel after she read it.

The Stephanie Plumb novels are on my to-read list. I've heard they're great. I feel a big pleasure-reading binge coming on. I'm trying to hold on to myself control and get this thing finished, but it's wearing thin.