Sunday Lit Meme: Guilty Pleasures

Some authors get a lot of respect for their work. Some authors get a lot of money for their work. A few (precious few) manage to do both. This week, I’m interested in the latter more than the former. With that in mind:

What author’s work is your favorite “guilty pleasure” — the one you love to read when you have a moment free but would never, ever want your favorite English professor to know about?

Mine would have to be Tony Hillerman. I love gorgeous Southwestern scenery, strong women, and intelligent men, and Hillerman’s novels have all of the above in spades. Yes, they go over the top once in a while. Yes, the last three or four he published bordered on silly. No, those later books probably wouldn’t stand up to logical scrutiny by the Legendary Lieutenant if he were a real book critic instead of a fictional detective. But dammit, Hillerman’s characters are just so engaging, his use of Navajo lore so intriguing, and his setting so enchanting that I can’t help loving his work anyway. Picking up a Hillerman novel is like taking a road trip to New Mexico to visit old friends, and there’s something charming in the way Hillerman himself became so attached to some of his characters that even after more or less committing to a chronological sequence, he sort of lost the stomach for writing in real time and just couldn’t quite bring himself to age his characters into irrelevance or oblivion. As an erstwhile fiction writer myself, I completely empathize.

So … who is your guilty pleasure?


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