Does your reading list embarrass you sometimes? (This category is for you.)

Does your reading list embarrass you sometimes? (This category is for you.)

The eighth category for the 2017 Reading Challenge—for those of you who want to put the “oomph” back in your reading life—is “a book you don’t want to admit you’re dying to read.”

Some readers may look at this category and think what are you talking about? They can’t imagine feeling embarrassed about important life decisions, like which books are on their To Be Read list.

Others of us, though, know exactly why this category is here. {{Raises hand}}

Sometimes we judge ourselves, like maybe we wish we weren’t the kind of person who wanted to read memoirs by former contestants on The Bachelor, but we totally do. Or maybe we wish we didn’t feel compelled to read the whole Anne of Green Gables series every year, but we do, and we do it. (I just made up those examples, but wouldn’t it be interesting if those described the same person? If that’s you, can we please talk books sometime?)

Sometimes we know what we love, and are fine with it—but we don’t necessarily want everyone else to know it, too.

When I asked MMD readers and readerly friends what they were reading for this category, the answers were fun, and diverse. You all are reading:

  • lots and lots of YA
  • or children’s literature
  • romance novels, especially racy ones, or anything with a bodice-ripping cover
  • celebrity memoirs
  • true crime (one reader specifically mentioned she loved reading books about serial killers, but was afraid what people would think if they knew how many she had read!)
  • books by and about politics and politicians, which you don’t feel comfortable discussing with your friends, neighbors, or family
  • Nicholas Sparks novels
  • anything you’re reading for health reasons—you don’t want to talk to people about your diet or headaches or diabetes or whatever
  • parenting books
  • business and productivity books
  • anything you perceive as “too popular”
  • any book with a terrible cover or a title that’s trying too hard to be clever

If you’re reading for fun this year, you can take this category in so many different directions. If you’re not sure what to read, imagine a book you wouldn’t necessarily want to read with the title on display in a public waiting room, or discuss with your grandmother.

This category is fun to read AND fun to discuss. What are YOU reading for this category?

P.S. Books I’m afraid to recommend, and you don’t want to go there.

a book you're dying to read

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88 comments

  1. Jo says:

    I just finished A Generation of Sociopaths, which I wanted to throw across the room a couple of times (being a Boomer myself). So I remembered I’ve wanted to read The Sociopath Next Door, so that is what I’m reading for this category. The cover itself is kind of creepy, 3 pairs of eyes looking at you, plus the subject!

  2. Rebekah McGee says:

    Bachelor memoirs and annually reading the anne of green gables series! That is ME! Ya books are my secret guilty pleasure. I feel like since I’m in my 30s and a pastor’s wife my reading list should be more refined than it is! Maybe that should be a resolution….

  3. Barbara says:

    I don’t regret a lot of what I read. I’m too old for it really care. That aside, I feel bit odd going to the ya section in the library as a 46 year old. And I don’t read certain things in public that might be too sexual. But, not a lot.

    My suggestions would be Valley of the Dolls and Sex Lives of the Hollywood Goddesses.

  4. Jayme says:

    I usually don’t hide what I’m reading even though I read a lot of middle grade and YA. But I’m in school to be certified as a middle grade LA teacher so it’s pretty reasonable for me to say it’s “research”. But it’s also a lot of fun. I’m currently reading the latest Serafina book by Robert Beatty. Well, listening to it. The narrator has the most amazing voice. She also did the audio for Bird Box and The Sparrow Sisters, both great.

    I read the whole “A Court of Thorns and Roses” trilogy in June. I avoided it forever because it’s so popular and I thought it would be overrated. Boy howdy I was wrong. I wouldn’t say it’s YA because it gets pretty racy. More like New Adult or regular adult, honestly. I’m 27 and the characters felt like my peers. But since it’s such a hyped series (seriously, booktubers and bookstagrammers are obsessed) I feel weird admitting I read and loved them. Especially when my very conservative mother in law said she might want to read them and I just about tackled her in an effort to convince her otherwise. There are just some scenes you don’t want your in laws to read.

    • Leigh Kramer says:

      I absolutely LOVED A Court Of Thorn And Roses!!! The way she developed it, particularly with what big things happened in each book, blew my mind. I’m thrilled she’s going to continue it as a series.

    • Aly Sharp says:

      I feel the same way! I LOVE them but am hesitant to recommend because I am afraid of what my conservative friends will think of me saying that they are fantastic. Ha!

  5. Andrea Methvin says:

    Should I be embarrassed to re-read Mary Stewart books? I still feel “too young” (49) for them, my mom likes them for heaven’s sake! But so do I! The Moonspinners, This Rough Magic, Thornyhold, etc. They feel so comforting to me. I like to read old hardback copies with yellowed pages and a slightly mildewed smell.

  6. Jamie says:

    I read Jenny Colgan’s latest book. At home. Voraciously. And enjoyed every minute of it. However…I don’t think I left the house with it for the very reason stated here – not wanting to be seen reading it. Haha!

  7. Katy says:

    When I was in high school, I was reading the Xanth fantasy series by Piers Anthony. But I got to somewhere in the teens, and the library didn’t have the next book, which was called The Color of Her Panties (it was a magic joke from in the book, not anything sexual, but I was absolutely too embarrassed to request it!). Now that we are in the age of kindles, I may have to revisit that series, because I was thoroughly enjoying it up to that point.

    • Jayme says:

      The Xanth books were some of my first adult fiction. I only ever got to Ogre Ogre, I think. But I’ve been wanting to reread them and finish the series for forever. I love the world Piers Anthony built. I think there’s like 30 books in the series now, so I’d have to set aside a full year of reading to do all that haha!

  8. Every fall, I pick up and re-read the Mitford Series by Jan Karon. I am not a Christian fiction reader at all, but something about these characters and her description of small town life grabs me every time.

  9. JB says:

    Because I live in such a religious community (and have extremely religious family members and friends…not to mention the most prudish husband ever) I have wanted forever to read Jenny Lawson’s “Let’s pretend this never happened” and “Furiously Happy” but haven’t because I’m avoiding how much I would be judged for reading books with so much foul language.

  10. Angela says:

    I’m reading The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings book 1). I didn’t want to admit that I’ve seen the movies but never read the books, I have a bracelet with a quote from it but never read the books, and that I want to read it but there’s 3 of them and if I don’t finish reading, I’d feel like a fake fangirl. LOL!

  11. Suzanne says:

    I look forward to re-reading Rosamunde Pilcher’s books every year. “September” in the Fall, “Winter Solstice” at “Christmas and Coming Home anytime really. People were so civilized back then and I just love being transported back.

  12. Meg says:

    I’ve read a couple books about Scientology (including Leah Remini’s Troublemaker) that I’ve put up on my Goodreads account but certainly did not share to my Facebook feed! The concept, history, and celebrity are so bonkers to me that I just wanted to learn more about it. I didn’t want to give anyone the impression that I wanted to pursue the ‘religion,’ so I kept those books to myself!

  13. Aly Sharp says:

    I read a wide variety of books, but some of my favorite “filler” books (lighter fluff in between anything more literary) are in the Proper Romance series. They are basically like my favorite BBC series in book form. I read them quickly, love the characters and setting, and know exactly how it will end up and love them all for it!

    • Aly Sharp says:

      I got distracted my children 🙂 It is somewhat embarrassing to admit how many of these I have read and how much I love them. I buy a new one the second they come out and reread them often! Sarah Ladd, Sarah M. Eden, Josi S. Kilpack, Julianne Donaldson. Love them all!

  14. Guest says:

    My “don’t want to admit I read” books are regency romances. People are shocked when the learn I love romances (and used to love soap operas as a teenager at home in the summer – ha!) because to them it seems counter intuitive to my personality. A few fantastic authors in this genre who are excellent writers – Julia Quinn (graduated from Harvard – start with her Bridgerton series), Eloisa James (an English Lit professor at Fordham), Mary Balogh (LOVE her survivors series), Tessa Dare, and several others I’m blanking on at the moment. I should share – these books DO have some racy scenes so you can either skip them or if you are really averse, don’t check them out.

    • Jo Yates says:

      Georgette Heyer was the best writer of Regency Romances, and her “racy” scenes were very unracy. Wonderful characters, sometimes crazy plots, and beautiful writing. Someone wrote in the foreward to one of the books, “You never forget your first Georgette Heyer.” Mine was Sprig Muslin, but I think my favorite is The Masqueraders, with Sir Anthony Fanshaw as one of the best heroes ever.

  15. Stephanie says:

    Every summer I reread Valley of the Dolls and the entire ouevre of Judith Krantz. I feel absolutely no shame in this. I adore them as much as I love any of my “proper” books 😀

  16. Kim says:

    I used to read a lot of Anne Rice when I was younger. I’ve outgrown that now. I still pick up a Stephen King although those may get abandoned part way through. My embarrassing list includes: any of the latest thriller/suspense novels (I keep a constant list at the library so I don’t waste money on something I will never read again), southern beachy or women’s lit (Karen White, Mary Alice Monroe – I live in the south now so I have an excuse and I love the atmosphere), young adult fantasy fiction (Harry Potter and Miss Peregrine – I’m 47 with no kids, but who cares, it’s good stuff!).

  17. Amy says:

    Hi, my name is A, and I read smut, lol. Okay, it’s not ALL smut, but there are a lot of R-rated books out there. But I do like for my smut to be well-written, so there’s that.

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