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7 Books That Are Guilty Pleasures 

Because even smart women need a break sometimes


By Anna Saunders

You know the books that you’re proud to have on your bookshelf? The ones that make you look intelligent and informed, and well-read? 

These are the opposite of those books. 

These are the books that you hide behind the other, more impressive books – or that you pick up in the airport on your way to a beach holiday and then leave behind in the hotel. Fun, easy, completely untaxing.

We all need those books. 

So, we asked five of our favourite bookstagrammers to share their favourite guilty pleasures. Enjoy! 

(And tell us your faves in the comments below! Don’t be scared! Or embarrassed!)

Mad About The Boy, Maggie Alderson

A book I have read a thousand times over is Mad About The Boy by Maggie Alderson. I don’t know why I love it so much, I just do! It’s not all that well known, I can’t even remember how or when I stumbled across it, but it’s a fun romp through the life of a woman whose husband has left her after coming out, and her affair with a gym trainer-slash-private eye. Sheree (our reviewer) from Keeping Up With The Penguins

Anything by Gillian Flynn or Liane Moriarty

My reading has seriously stalled since I had children, and whenever I go on holiday I always need a light book to ease me back into it. Anything by Liane Moriarty does the trick – or a great of-the-moment crime read from someone like Gillian Flynn. I also love Maggie O’Farrell – who has such a lovely, easy writing style that you can polish off a book in a couple of sessions. To be clear: none of these writers are sub-par; O’Farrell in particular is a beautiful and elegant writer. But these authors make reading effortless – you never have to read a sentence twice (no matter how sleep-deprived you are) – and that’s always a pleasure. Anna, co-founder of PRIMER

The Kiss Quotient Helen Hoang 

When I need a feel-good read I always turn to Romance novels with a satisfying happily-ever-after. The Kiss Quotient is my most recent obsession; it’s the steamy end of the Romance genre embracing diversity and consent wholeheartedly. And the pay-off is a love story I was cheering for with every turn of the page. Essentially a gender swapped Pretty Woman retelling, it features an Autistic female protagonist and swoon-worthy biracial love interest. Between the hot romance (seriously, not one for reading on the tram!), Hoang tells a heartwarming story of connection, and learning to embrace yourself unashamedly. Tamsien of Babbling Books

The Maze Runner by James Dashner 

Reading The Maze Runner is like holding a well shaken coke can. Packed full of mystery and tension, Dashner manages to keep readers guessing well past this book and into the third. Sounds frustrating? Somehow it’s not. You will not be able to put this dystopian, science fiction novel down. Bek from SomeBookSpam

Still Me, Jojo Moyes

This is the third instalment after the blockbuster novel Me Before You (later made into a film), and as far as guilty pleasures go, it can’t be beaten (unless you count pyjamas and milo on the couch). Louisa Clark returns with her endearing spunk and honest awkwardness, keeping you glued to the couch – possibly only absconding to make that second cup of milo! Sarah of Se5pe

The Break by Marian Keyes

Reading is like eating – too much of any one food group (even leafy greens/literary fiction) can ruin the experience. So I like to alternate more high-brow titles with lighter bites like Marian Keyes. I love her. She’s properly funny (some moments in her most recent book, The Break, made me laugh out loud) and her characters’ dialogue zips and sings in a way you don’t often find in literary fiction, more’s the pity. In The Break, she departs from the usual chick-lit plot line by writing about a marriage in crisis, when forty-something husband Hugh decides he needs to ‘find himself’ by taking off to South-East Asia for six months. His wife, Amy, left at home with teenage kids, decides she might do a bit of ‘finding herself’, too. Felicity, co-founder of PRIMER

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus

This pacey YA thriller will meet all your guilty pleasure needs. Five students go to detention, only four walk out. Think Breakfast Club with social media scandals and murder. There are secrets, lies and a misfit cast of characters. Try not to feel guilty as you neglect your responsibilities to devour this book. Tash of TashReads2ManyBooks

 

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BY Anna Saunders

Anna is the co-founder of PRIMER. One of her career highlights is speaking to Jilly Cooper.

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