In praise of potboilers

A long time ago when the beach urchins were very young, The Commander and Grandroobly were visiting here and The Comm was deep into a book. I think it was a historical novel. She called it a potboiler and of course we all cracked up. At least the adults did.

What the heck is a potboiler? I never got an exact definition of what The Comm thought was a potboiler but I think it basically meant she was reading a historical novel in which there was a bunch of romance and non-explicit sex, etc. The Comm at one time subscribed somehow to a lifetime reading list. This was before those intertubes so she must have gotten the list from the library. I don’t know if she ever finished all of the books on that list. I’m guessing not. I’m sure she read some of them maybe long before she encountered the list. I also bet there were a few on that list that (in her heart of hearts) she wasn’t interested in reading. I’m not sure I’d’ve read them either. One of the good things that happened was that The Comm bought the complete works of Shakespeare and one of her granddaughters (a frequent Shakespearean actress) read that book and likely owns it now.

I finished what I’m calling a “potboiler around the edges” novel today. Tidelands. It’s the first in a series of three books. I have already signed on to read the second in the series. I won’t go into what started me on this series. Why I’m continuing it is because it’s an easy read, with some history that I don’t totally understand (I keep confusing the king with the Outlander series king, don’t ask).

I started writing this, then we ate dinner. Chicken shwarma, American style. I have TOTALLY lost my train of thought. Do you like potboilers? Or not? If you do, name one you like!

One Response to “In praise of potboilers”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I always thought that potboilers were full of drama. I associate them with mysteries but now I need to look up the word. I like well-written books, either literary, mysteries, some YA and sci-fi. I’m not so hot on non-fiction (although I LOVED “Boys in the Boat” and some of the Timothy Egan and Erik Larsen books we read in BC) or romance.