Being a writer, I tend to analyze everything I read, even the books I enjoy. I’ve learned a lot by studying the writers I admire. Sometimes, though, my brain just needs to shut down. To be completely laid back and relaxed.
That’s where the books I call “brain candy” come in. Sometimes your body just craves a treat, like ice-cream (and not the cheap-o Wal-Mart brand either, but the good stuff), and sometimes your brain craves a treat too. Brain candy might be different for every person—my husband watches Mystery Science Theater or plays video games when his brain needs a break—but my favorite brain candy are a certain type of book.
It doesn’t need to be a particular genre, though I seem to gravitate toward detective novels. There’s just a certain type of book that doesn’t make me think at all—and while I usually shy away from that, sometimes I love it. It doesn’t matter if it’s well written or not—I’m not reading to analyze or learn.
My favorite brain candy books?
Probably the ones I’ve read the longest for brain candy are Agatha Christie’sHercule Poirot novels. Well-written, yes. She’s my favorite murder mystery author. These I count as brain candy only if they’re re-reads, because the first time reading through, I always have to see if I can beat Poirot to the murderer. (And I’m been sooo close sometimes!)
The Tea Shop Mysteries are others that I love. Not the most well-written, but I enjoy the atmosphere of the books. They’re really cozy mysteries, so they don’t focus so much on the mystery. True brain candy!
Anything by Erynn Mangum.
“What?!?” you say. “I thought you didn’t like romance novels!”
The Lucky Starr novels by Isaac Asimov. Yes, I know—he was the father of modern-day science fiction and a genius in his writing. I love his stuff. However, these books are slightly campy. In fact, Asimov didn’t even write them under his own name as first—he used the pseudonym Paul French.
The Redwall series by Brian Jacques. Again, not particularly well-written. And some might laugh when they see that I still read oversized novels about mice and otters. But I love them still.
So, I’m curious—what are your brain candy reads?