This Book Is Not Smut

True story.  I was reading a book that was, in fact, just a little bit smutty.  My coworker, we’ll call her Genius, short for Genius, made a book cover for me, pictured above.  As you can imagine, this did not convince anyone that said book was truly good clean fun.   People are so skeptical nowadays.  But it does bring up a topic I find immensely interesting-shame books.  These are the kinds of books that we-and by we, I mean me and anyone else courageous enough to admit it-read on the sly, shameful like, hoping against hope that no one ever discovers our filthy little secret.  I am convinced ebook readers were invented by someone with a secret love for Barbara Cartland books.  (please note, I certainly…have…never…read…her….stuff…not…even…when I was…a curious 8th grader…completely and totally….interested in…smut-and if you just got that inside joke, you are so busted!!)

Now, I’ve read plenty of what qualifies as literary classics.  I feel like I should mention that before I continue.  However, they say confession is good for the soul, so in the interest of my eternal salvation, I figured I would confide in you, Interwebs friends.  Please read and absolve as I share some smutty books I have at one time or another read in full, even after reading the book blurb:

  • Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer (it’s cleaner smut, but still…)
  • Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews (if this brings back good memories from your childhood, sneaking your copy of FitA along with your slambooks, please allow me to recommend this readalong which includes a good drinking game and an honest, funny approach to what is arguably the trashiest, most poorly written young adult book of all time)
  • The Sleeping Beauty series by Anne Rice (by all that is holy, DON’T FOLLOW MY EXAMPLE with this one)
  • The Mayfair Witches series by Anne Rice (ghost sex is so very wrong)
  • Interview With a Vampire by Anne Rice (I had an Anne Rice thing going there for a while…)
  • Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins (in my defense, I was 13 and my stepmother had an entire shelf dedicated to trashy romance, which speaking of…)
  • The entire collection of Harlequin “States of Romance” (this was a 50 book collection written back in the late 70s featuring a heroine from every single state in the U.S.A.  I read it over the same summer I finished Jackie Colllins.  My particular favorite was one featuring Abby-short for Abra-from Eureka Springs, AK and her sexy preacher boyfriend.)
  • The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
  • The Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader (I actually kept in my bathroom for a while)
  • Just about everything by Phyllis Whitney
  • The unedited edition of The Stand by Stephen King (dude can be trashy…)
  • Needful Things by Stephen King (so, so trashy…)

Are you appalled?  Because I am.  But this confession is quite refreshing.  I feel like we actually know one another better now.  🙂  Have I mentioned a book you personally love?  Well, that’s okay, because while it’s certainly admirable to read for edification and enlightenment, the fact is that reading is for entertainment too and there is nothing wrong with that.  Let me give an example: William Shakespeare.  William Shakespeare was considered a hack who wrote for the masses back in his day.  Let’s sum up his most well-known works.  First, there’s the one about the star-crossed lovers who totally sex it up, followed by one fake suicide and two gross over-reactions.  Then there’s the one where this dude’s mom is sleeping with his uncle and his dad was murdered and he doesn’t know who to trust, plus he’s a jerky boyfriend who calls his girlfriend a ‘ho and drives her to madness.  Next we have the one where the wanna-be social climber kills the king so her husband can get the big promotion and these three witches instill false confidence in the king so he doesn’t see his downfall when it shows up at the castle gates.  I’m just saying.  If you love the smut, love it with pride.  Stop the shame!!!

Or at least invest in a Kindle or Nook.

How about you?  Any shameful reading you want to own up to?  You know you want to share!!

…And just to satisfy any curiosity, the book that Genius covered for me was Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

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About izzybella

Just trying to figure it all out.
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20 Responses to This Book Is Not Smut

  1. Hmmm … you read the 50 book collection of Harlequin romances + Jackie Collins books over just ONE summer?! Lol – that must have been one interesting summer 🙂 And for me, Eric Jerome Dickey – pure smut, trashy & can only be read at home 🙂

    • izzybella says:

      It was a VERY interesting summer. I am a fast reader, anyway, but I think I read the smut faster because deep down inside I was incredibly embarrassed. Also, Harlequin (at least then, I confess I’m not up-to-date on current Harlequin books) had a pretty standard formula for success back in the day. Made it easier to zoom through.

  2. MWK says:

    FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC. Absolutely. Not about the smut in the book, but: I still talk about how red and purple are supposed to well together, because the oldest sister said that when they were decorating the attic. Also, my step-sister went through and Anne Rice phase and she was so worried that someone would know how smutty it was that she ripped off each page of the book after she finished it (and recycled them, I guess?)

  3. Emma says:

    Twilight, yes love that book and not ashamed to take this book on public transport 🙂 I think I was about 12 when I stole my older sister’s copy of Flowers in the Attic and then went to read every other Virginia Andrews book I could get my hands on. I loved Interview with the Vampire and then “accidentally” bought The Mayfair Witches not realising it was erotica.
    I never considered the uncut edition of The Stand to be smut?

    • izzybella says:

      I was pretty young when I read that, but I my mom told it me it was trash. I liked it a lot actually.

  4. Flowers in the Attic, check. Harlequins I never cared too much for, although every now and then I would pick one up at the used book store and read the same few pages over and over. Blushing now. And one or two Jackie Collins. And by all that’s holy the Beauty series (of which I read one and a third) by Anne Rice–ugh, incredibly smutty and gross. (Why did I read one and a third? I plead the Fifth.)

    I never considered Phyllis Whitney smut.

    And I am not going to tell you about some of the books I have on my nook and kindle. Nope. Not going to say a word.

  5. Sarah says:

    I think you are 100% the e-readers being made for those with a love of the romance genre, so they can read at will without carrying around books with scantily clad people on the cover. Plus the price point of all the romance genre ebooks. Its always odd looking at the $5 and under Nook book page and seeing the smuttier side of the romance genre side by side with the Christian fiction

    Hmm, I don’t remember a smutty aspect to The Nanny Diaries. It must be mildly smutty or how you describe smut?

    The closest I get to the smutty books are those that are historical fiction with a side of smut- Outlander series, Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati and Phillipa Gregory’s books

  6. izzybella says:

    Mea culpa!! I may just be mixing up trashy with smutty. 🙂 Historical fiction is smut is good fun!!

  7. fondofsnape says:

    I loved The Stand!!! I was a teen when it came out and I remember sitting on my porch, reading, reading, reading!

    • izzybella says:

      Isn’t it awesome? I clearly liked it enough to read both editions of it. 🙂 Trashcan Man is kinda wrong yet nifty.

  8. thebumbles says:

    Andy just informed me of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy that apparently his sister is now reading. Perhaps I shall make her one of Genius’ book covers and present it to her for Easter ;0)

    • izzybella says:

      I heard about this one! Apparently it started out as Twililght fan-fiction and really took off, so the author changed the character’s name and published. There’s an article about it in last week’s Entertainment Weekly. Knowing it started off as Twilight fanfiction I doubt I’d be able to read it without cringing. But who knows? Maybe I’ll be in just the right smutty book mood one day. 😀

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  10. rita845 says:

    you should read the “hollows” books by Kim Harrison , I loved the outlander series would love to know of others

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