Archive for October 9th, 2008

All Hail The Queen

I’m really in the mood for late ’80s/early ’90s hip hop at the moment, and I’ve been listening to A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul all the time, so I was delighted to see this excellent interview in the New York Times with one of that era’s most important performers – the one and only Queen Latifah. These days, it seems like the Queen is more known for her acting and her music business ventures, but I was intrigued to see that the first female MC to enjoy serious commercial and critical success is heading back to the studio to record her first hip-hop album in a decade. So let’s remember just how good she is, with a blast of her awesomely funky ode to female empowerment, ‘Ladies First’…

Ladies first, yes? Yes!

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I’m reading Jackie Collins’ latest novel Married Lovers and I don’t know what it is but I adore Jackie Collins. It’s hugely escapist fiction that is great fun to read, and there’s always plenty of sport guessing which Hollywood star she is describing, such as which 40-year-old actress is mixing Vicodin with Xanax and falling asleep at the dinner table? I wonder.

I haven’t finished reading yet, but I know I’m going to enjoy this book as much as I’ve enjoyed all the other Jackie Collins books I’ve read. This woman knows how to tell a story and once you pick up one of her books it’s hard to put it back down, not least because of all the wonderful sex everyone seems to be having on the sly.

Knowing all of this, I still had to fight the urge to conceal the book cover on the bus to work this morning. When I realised what I was doing, I was a little ashamed. Why would I try to hide a Jackie Collins book? Because people I don’t know might make a snap judgement? Why would I even care what people think of my book choices? I know I get as much enjoyment from Dostoevsky and Camus and Kafka and Austen and the rest as I do from Jackie Collins so what does it matter?

We’ve had crushes of shame, so now it’s time for books of shame. What are your literary guilty pleasures? And have you ever been guilty of hiding your book cover, or worse, judging someone on their reading material? I saw a guy reading David Sedaris on the Dart the other day and was instantly intrigued. But he might have been a big arsehole too. Shrug.


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