My Guilty Pleasure
Feb 23, 2014 — Who doesn't like to curl up with a good murder mystery? Author Louise Doughty recommends her favorite collection of such tales, and muses about why we're drawn to stories about homicides.
Feb 17, 2014 — Fantômas — even his name is mysterious! The French criminal mastermind starred in a series of 19 deliciously pulpy novels beginning in 1911. Author Rachel Cantor says the series is "part police procedural, part gothic horror story, part courtroom drama, part Sherlockian mystery, part existential potboiler."
Jan 12, 2014 — Author Kim Fu has always loved Batman — at least, one form of him. Her Batman was moral, principled, triumphant: never cheesy or brutish. But Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns cast a guilty shadow over her love for the character, because Miller's bloodthirsty madman shares an awful lot with Fu's favorite version of her hero.
Nov 17, 2013 — When humor writer Tom Ruprecht decided in high school to read Ian Frazier's Dating Your Mom, he faced a conundrum that most teens would find terrifying: How do you ask your mom to buy you a book with a title like that? And — again, like most teenagers — his solution wasn't exactly graceful. But at least the book of essays was worth it.
Oct 27, 2013 — Rita Mae Brown, author of Rubyfruit Jungle and several mystery series, first read Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars in college. It's hardly a staid Latin history book — in fact, it's Brown's favorite guilty pleasure. An academic-looking cover hides a raunchy, violent, thrilling book, she says, full of "around-the-clock degradation."
Aug 4, 2013 — Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni first read Wilkie Collins' classic detective novel The Moonstone when she came across it in her grandfather's trunk on a rainy Bengali afternoon. When she rediscovered it years later, she realized it is even better than she remembered.
Jul 14, 2013 — When crime writer Karin Slaughter was struggling to find a good literary relationship, she turned to the Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsey Davis. She learned about togas and scrolls and came away with a new template for a happy marriage.
Feb 3, 2013 — Guns N' Roses epitomized all of the glamour of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. But, author Alex Stone writes, Duff McKagan's memoir shows the ugly underside of the legendary rock group. What's your favorite music memoir? Tell us in the comments.
Jan 14, 2013 — Though former MI5 director Stella Rimington knows better than anyone that Ian Fleming's From Russia With Love is not a realistic portrayal of life in the intelligence services, she still loves this tale of sex and violence. Which is your favorite Bond book? Tell us in the comments.
Nov 19, 2012 — The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec by Jaques Tardi features a beautiful, gun-wielding detective and a horrifying prehistoric monster. Author Rosecrans Baldwin explains why this is no ordinary comic book. Do you have a favorite graphic novel? Tell us in the comments.