Guide to Trashy Books

So yesterday I was over at Rassle’s place reading about her upcoming Cancun beach vacation. Lay on the beach, sip umbrella drinks, read trashy novels. Only Rass says she doesn’t read trashy novels, so I thought I’d help her out with my Personal Guide to Trashy Novels.

1. Vintage Trash–this includes anything by Jacqueline Susann or Judith Krantz–Valley of the Dolls or Princess Daisy are classic examples of Vintage Trash.

2. Historical Trash–The Wolf and the Dove is the gold standard here. Basically any book where a nobleman’s daughter is captured by the rival clan and held against her will until she subcombs to the captor’s wishes is Historical Trash. There’s really only one plot, they just move the characters around from country to country.

3. High Trash–this is trash with a bit of literary cred. Dominick Dunne perfected High Trash with The Two Mrs. Grenvilles and An Inconvenient Woman. You don’t have to feel completely guilty when reading High Trash.

4. Working Girl Trash–The Devil Wears Prada and The Nanny Diaries exemplify Working Girl Trash. Young middle class girls go to work for rich monsters in New York City. Girls win. Monsters lose.

5. Pink Rubbish (British trash)–Bridget Jones’ Diary is the uber Pink Rubbish and spawned an entire legion of pink-jacketed books about good women, evil men and righteous gay best friends.

6. Prehistoric Trash–anything by Jean Auel…Clan of the Cave Bear in particular.

Don’t get the impression that I’m bashing these books…not in the least. I’ve read them all…some of them several times. Seen most of the movies too. (But not Clan of the Cave Bear.) These books are entertaining, and, bottom line, isn’t that why we read in the first place? To be entertained.

12 Comments

Filed under At Home, General Frippery

12 responses to “Guide to Trashy Books

  1. I love those Philippa Gregory books set in and around Elizabethan England. So delightfully enjoyable and trashy.

  2. Kira–I love those! Half of my knowledge of English history is from books like that.

  3. Love your classification scheme! I recently had a lovely 5 days reading the Steig Larsson trilogy back to back (I’d somehow managed to be blissfully unaware of its existence until late this summer so had the joy of not having to wait until the next book was published), which I suppose would go in High Trash. But where would you put Harry Potter and offspring? Fantasy Trash?

    I love this kind of reading, and am comforted by Virginia Wolf herself, who famously said that it was important to rest the mind with trash (well, I’m sure she didn’t say trash, exactly, but her meaning was clear).

  4. Julie Fisher

    Might I suggest Ken Follett? The only thing I’ve read by him is that super famous one–“Pillars of Earth”, about the building of a cathedral.. From what everybody said, it was supposedly just this great book about a fictional medieval family involved in the building of a grand cathedral. Well, the author took every possible opportunity to describe in Penthouse-type detail the “coupling” of the main character and his “main squeeze”. Oh, I also remember a good rape scene or two, also done in super detail.
    So if bodice-ripping is one requirement here, try Ken Follett.

  5. This is great! Especially since I’ve become addicted to all ‘Clan of the Cave Bear’ and anything by that Phillippee woman who makes me want to tie an old British king to a post, whip him and then let him have sex with my sister or something. Horrible!

  6. Psst, thanks for the heads up on the cost of knitting. I can see it snowballing way too soon.

  7. I’ve got to admit a fondness for Helen Fielding. Actually a lot of the Pink Rubbish. Also “Valley of the Dolls.” But don’t tell anyone, OK?

  8. I recall a long coach journey of several hours during a soiree to Greece some years back. My fellow passengers consisted entirely of born again Christians, steam railway enthusiasts, and a dog eared Jackie Collins novel entitled ‘Lucky’.

    It’s surprising just how interesting those old engines can be.

  9. Denise–OK, you got me…I don’t know Steig Larrson…I’ll have to check it out.
    Julie–“C0upling” is a great word, very medeival.
    MG–But horrible in a good way, right?
    Mrs B.–You’re welcome and good luck with the new hobby.
    AFM–It’s ok, your secret is safe with me.
    Jimmy–Welcome to Franklin. Jackie Collins might deserve a category all her own–maybe Sub Trash.

  10. Niece Lash

    Sub Trash! That is a good one!

  11. Okay, so I’ve read Bridget Jones.

    I think I’m going to go with vintage trash. NO! Historical trash. NO! Prehistoric trash. NO! All of them.

    I’ve been missing out on so much.

  12. Historical trash will always be my favorite, and damn if I don’t love The Wolf and the Dove.

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