Guilty pleasuresWe all have them. We might like to pretend that we only read great literature. But who among us has a Jane Austen or Charles Dickens novel on the nightstand? I love to read science...

Guilty pleasures

We all have them. We might like to pretend that we only read great literature. But who among us has a Jane Austen or Charles Dickens novel on the nightstand? I love to read science fiction, especially books about time travel or the big "what if..." Right now at home I'm reading Crichton's Next. I also love historical fiction and am reading Ken Follett's World Without End during breaks at school.

What's on your nightstand?

Expert Answers
linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I stick my poor seniors with British monarchy research papers every year, too.  I usually pick the fun ones, then let them random draw their king/queen unless they have an interest in one of them (not surprisingly, I always have at least ten kids try to claim Henry VIII immediately which, of course, leads to a rousing rendition of a catchy tune by Herman's Hermits).

Funny how William Wallace sticks in the kids' heads because of that movie.  Ever since Braveheart came out, I hear the same question from every senior class during every history lecture.  We study our Brit lit as a sort of "history of the language" class which includes brief country history (because I can!).  Throughout the entire year, after any king is mentioned, someone will ask, "Is that the one that killed William Wallace?"  The best part about this question is that there is usually no rational thought behind the asking of it.  The two favorite times I said no sounded something like this: "No, Edward VI didn't kill William Wallace," and "No. William I didn't kill William Wallace."

Does anybody else have a heck of time convincing their students that Edward II wasn't the prance-about that Braveheart made him out to be?  Plays and films can do some good things for literature, but, boy, can they mess up history too (I'm talking to you Macbeth!).

Oh, but he was. In fact, he was probably much worse than the movie makes him out to be. You're probably thinking of his son, Edward III. (But some scholars think Edward III was the son of Mortimer.) Edward II was so much in love with Piers Gaveston that when he returned from his honeymoon:

Gaveston met them toting so much jewelry he "quite eclipsed the king." The king ditched his bride and ran to Gaveston, embracing him tightly, crying, "Brother, brother!" Isabella's father, King Philip IV of France, had given Edward some fancy jewelry which was found to be hanging on Gaveston's neck the very next day. (www.historyhouse.com)

 

But Edward I didn't throw him out a window as the movie has it. The barons were so fed up with him that they chopped his head off. Another of Edward's "favorites" was Hugh le Despenser, an ancestor of Princess Diana.

malibrarian eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I stick my poor seniors with British monarchy research papers every year, too.  I usually pick the fun ones, then let them random draw their king/queen unless they have an interest in one of them (not surprisingly, I always have at least ten kids try to claim Henry VIII immediately which, of course, leads to a rousing rendition of a catchy tune by Herman's Hermits).

Funny how William Wallace sticks in the kids' heads because of that movie.  Ever since Braveheart came out, I hear the same question from every senior class during every history lecture.  We study our Brit lit as a sort of "history of the language" class which includes brief country history (because I can!).  Throughout the entire year, after any king is mentioned, someone will ask, "Is that the one that killed William Wallace?"  The best part about this question is that there is usually no rational thought behind the asking of it.  The two favorite times I said no sounded something like this: "No, Edward VI didn't kill William Wallace," and "No. William I didn't kill William Wallace."

Does anybody else have a heck of time convincing their students that Edward II wasn't the prance-about that Braveheart made him out to be?  Plays and films can do some good things for literature, but, boy, can they mess up history too (I'm talking to you Macbeth!).

I, too, cover a great deal of British history in Brit Lit...because I CAN! :)

I typically have a difficult time convincing the students that there is no way Wallace could have had an affair with the French princess, as she was really only around 8 at the time and didn't come to England until several years after Wallace was executed. Hmmm...No, kids, I'm not making this stuff up!!! :)

William I????  LOL! :)

mrerick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I stick my poor seniors with British monarchy research papers every year, too.  I usually pick the fun ones, then let them random draw their king/queen unless they have an interest in one of them (not surprisingly, I always have at least ten kids try to claim Henry VIII immediately which, of course, leads to a rousing rendition of a catchy tune by Herman's Hermits).

Funny how William Wallace sticks in the kids' heads because of that movie.  Ever since Braveheart came out, I hear the same question from every senior class during every history lecture.  We study our Brit lit as a sort of "history of the language" class which includes brief country history (because I can!).  Throughout the entire year, after any king is mentioned, someone will ask, "Is that the one that killed William Wallace?"  The best part about this question is that there is usually no rational thought behind the asking of it.  The two favorite times I said no sounded something like this: "No, Edward VI didn't kill William Wallace," and "No. William I didn't kill William Wallace."

Does anybody else have a heck of time convincing their students that Edward II wasn't the prance-about that Braveheart made him out to be?  Plays and films can do some good things for literature, but, boy, can they mess up history too (I'm talking to you Macbeth!).

malibrarian eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Guilt, schmilt...I revel in trashy novels!!! :)  Just kidding...maybe revel is too strong a word...but not by much! :)

Just started "Charleston" by John Jakes - I LOVE his books, especially the Kent Family Chronicles (remember those from ages ago?).  Also adore Bernard Cornwell's stuff, especially his Anglo-Saxon series and his King Arthur series.

Time-travel...YES!  I love the Diana Gabaldon "Outlander" series - Fabulous historical stuff and GREAT sex...I mean, Romance! :)

malibrarian eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I give a Monarchs of England test as extra credit to my Brit Lit students. I had 2 kids last year memorize all of them - Boy, was I impressed as I can't do it myself! :)

Oh, yes, don't get me started on the inaccuracies of "Braveheart" - Even though it's one of my favorite movies, I still can't watch it without numbering them in my head as I watch. And if my husband's in the room during the Battle of Stirling??? I have to hear, from across the room, "I don't see NO BRIDGE!!!!" :)

linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I must admit I'm a big fan of Patricia Cornwell (and really any other murder mystery).  I started reading her Scarpetta series when my 3 year old was born and have come back to it time and time again.  I don't have much time for pleasure reading so the familiar characters are like a warm cozy blanket :)

I like her books too, but the last couple have bothered me for some reason. All of a sudden, the point of view just jumps out and makes the reading difficult for me.

linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Stephen King, British monarchy, and sports stuff!  In my three reading places right now, I have King's new novel, Duma Key, a book about college football recruiting called Meat Market, and coach Tony Dungy's book Quiet Strength.

Can you name the monarchs of England in order? I love to see kids' faces when I tell them what really happened to William Wallace and how Edward II, who was the prince in the movie, died.

jeff-hauge eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My first year I taught 9th graders grammar (diagramming sentences) every Wednesday. We would spin a wheel to decide if we would listen to 70's disco, 80's New Wave and banjo music the whole period as we went through our exercises. Those were fun days.

guilty pleasure....

TV- Real World/Road Rules Challenge.  

Book- "I am America" Stephen Colbert

Film- Dumb and Dumber - snowball scene. 

clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I've been guilty of reading the occasional trashy Romance novel and I like it! I love Sandra Brown's Envy and The Switch, they are really very good stories. :) I also like to read Updike, Lahayne and Jenkins, Joel Rosenberg, and Buchanan's Death of the West. It sounds like I've got quite a variety of guilt in my nightstand! :)

Susan Woodward eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I LOVE murder mysteries!  Hercule Poirot and Agatha Raisin are my favorite detectives, and I love trying to figure out "who dunnit" before getting to the end.  The Murder, She Wrote series is also great reading on a chilly night with a steaming cup of tea snuggled up in a blanket!

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

OK - I do love reading fantasy and sci-fi novels where I can lose myself in an alternate universe. The Robet Jordan Wheel of Time series is a bit of a favourite. Requires very little brain power. I do feel guilty for it though! To be honest, I do read Austen to relax sometimes though....

mrerick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Stephen King, British monarchy, and sports stuff!  In my three reading places right now, I have King's new novel, Duma Key, a book about college football recruiting called Meat Market, and coach Tony Dungy's book Quiet Strength.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I also LOVE Diana Gabaldon's stuff and Phillippa Gregory's books about Elizabeth I.  Excellent stuff and lots of guilty pleasure.  :)  Alison Weir's books about the Tudors are excellent as well.

sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Stephen King all the way!  But a guilty pleasure that is actually quite literary is The Thirteenth Tale.  Clever, well-worded, engaging -- highly recommend!!!!

malibrarian eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Oh yes, I forgot about Phillippa Gregory...Did you know they're making a movie of "The Other Boelyn Girl"???  I can't wait!

mrou03 | Student

In reply to 15, I definitely agree.  I'm just finishing the most recent book and  I'm also not sure I'm a fan of the way the character's have been developing.  The seem to grow less likable as each book passes.  Hopefully they'l take a turn in another direction.  (Though I'll admit... I'll probably keep reading either way! :)

mrou03 | Student

I must admit I'm a big fan of Patricia Cornwell (and really any other murder mystery).  I started reading her Scarpetta series when my 3 year old was born and have come back to it time and time again.  I don't have much time for pleasure reading so the familiar characters are like a warm cozy blanket :)