Tag Archives: erotica

‘Fifty Shades’ vs. Library Battle Continues

Last month, I told you about a library in Florida that decided not to offer the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. And it’s certainly not the only one. But now according to The New York Times, more and more libraries are changing their policies to start offering the series.

For example, the collections manager for a library in Greensboro, NC has begun offering them because of the demand from readers, despite his opinions on the books. Julie Bosman explains.

But despite misgivings about the subject matter — the books tell the tale of a dominant-submissive affair between a manipulative millionaire and a naïve younger woman — library officials feel that they need to make it available.

“This is the ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ of 2012,” Mr. Cole said. “Demand is a big issue with us, because we want to be able to provide popular best-selling material to our patrons.”

There are still those libraries who are keeping the books out. And that’s causing a First Amendment uproar across the country.

Joan Bertin, the executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship, said in an interview that it was unusual for a library to remove a book from its section for adults.

“The vast majority of cases that we deal with have to do with removing books to keep kids from seeing them,” she said. “That’s what makes this so egregious. There are some possible arguments for trying to keep kids away from certain kinds of content, but in the case of adults, other than the restrictions on obscenity and child pornography, there’s simply no excuse. This is really very much against the norms in the profession.”

So which side are you on? Make it available or not?

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50 Shades of ‘Fifty Shades’

Since Fifty Shades of Grey continues to be the biggest chatter in the world of book news, I thought I’d fill you in on a whole bunch of Fifty Shades news stories, or as I like to call it, the 50 Shades of Fifty Shades. Enjoy!

**Fifty Shades penthouses for sale: Penthouses in the Escala building, where most of the kinky sex in the Fifty Shades books takes place, are now up for sale. That’s right; the Escala building in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, WA is real. According to Huffington Post, penthouses typically cost between $4 million and $6 million. About a year ago, the building and its condos started to become a tourist attraction for the book’s avid fans. It caused so much chaos that the penthouses are now only being shown to those who are serious about purchasing; those interested must be pre-approved and pre-qualified. But hey, there are pictures to look at. A girl can dream, right?

**Fifty Shades merchandise on the way: With each big book series comes a massive market for merchandise. Think of all the Harry Potter and Twilight products you’ve seen in the past few years. Well according to The Hollywood Reporter, Fifty Shades of Grey is about to do the same, offering Fifty Shades perfume, lingerie, beauty products and adult products aimed at women. (Feel free to let your brain run wild with that one.) No specifics on products yet, but there’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll sell well no matter what they are.

**Synonyms that would make Fifty Shades of Grey better: Whether you like the series or not, there’s one thing we can all agree on: the writing is definitely not elite. So here’s a list, compiled by Vulture, of the book’s worst synonyms. This isn’t necessarily newsworthy, but it will certainly make you smile.

Okay. I’m Fifty Shaded out. You’re welcome.

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New Books From ‘Fifty Shades’ Author E.L. James

After taking the country and general female population by storm, Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James told USA Today recently that she’s got two other novels stashed away. One is erotic, the other young adult paranormal. Not much more is known about the books other than E.L. James’ thoughts that they won’t be able to live up to the hype of Fifty Shades, as Carol Memmett explains.

“I’ve got several more good ideas but how do you follow this?” she says referring to Fifty Shades. “I’ve set the bar quite high in terms of storytelling.”

Will you read her other books? Even a young adult paranormal one?

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Review: Fifty Shades Darker

****Spoilers are included in this post, with the assumption that you’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey and probably already have a good idea about what happens in the second book. Consider yourself warned.

Recap: The second book in the Fifty Shades of Grey series, Fifty Shades Darker delivers just that — a certain darkness not seen in the first book. Darker picks up right where the first book ends. The differences have become too great for Ana Steele and Christian Grey. But their break doesn’t last long, and once again, we’re caught up in the whirlwind romance — and mindblowing sex — that is their relationship. But Darker introduces new characters.

There’s Ana’s boss, Jack, yet another man who clearly has a thing for Ana. He gets creepier and creepier as the book goes on, proving that maybe Christian Grey has a point with his absurd overprotection. There’s also Elena — or as Ana refers to her, Mrs. Robinson. Elena is the woman who corrupted Grey when he was just a teenager, the woman who Christian refuses to acknowledge molested him. She also predictably becomes Ana’s mortal enemy and a persistent force to be reckoned with. There’s also Leila, a woman from Christian’s past who has some serious psychological issues.

And though these challenges make the progression of Ana and Christian’s relationship difficult, the two overcome many of their issues as best as they can, and look toward a permanent future together.

Analysis: Finally some depth! Fifty Shades of Grey gets the readers engrossed with oodles of sex. Darker doesn’t disappoint either, but the new characters add a new layer coldness and some action to an otherwise romantic novel. Jack makes inappropriate advances on Ana! Leila breaks into Ana’s apartment! Mrs. Robinson still wants Christian! Though the Leila storyline is particularly outlandish, it makes the story and the relationship between the two protagonists more serious.

As the book goes on, we also learn more about Christian’s childhood and why he is the way he is. Again, we’re getting deeper and darker, which both answers a lot of questions for readers and leaves us wondering more. In Darker, author E.L. James pulls us into the story with more than just sex.

That’s not to say there aren’t some truly ridiculous sequences of events — like the predictable and eye-roll-worthy marriage proposal or that Ana now wants to be treated more harshly during sex. The writing also continues to be poor. But again, if you’re looking to read a book for its literary wonder, this is the wrong book. If you like dirty, scandalous, and romantic, this is the book for you.

MVP: Elena. She’s one of the novel’s biggest villains, but she’s an interesting character and certainly keeps the reader guessing. With Ana so adamantly against her, and Christian so convinced that there are no lingering romantic feelings between the two, it’s hard to pick sides. And Elena’s insistence on becoming friends with Ana is equally as confusing to the reader as it is to Ana. There’s no greater moment of satisfaction than a particular party scene between Ana and Elena toward the end.

Get Fifty Shades Darker for just $9.57 in paperback.

Or on your Kindle for $9.99.

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Libraries Removing Fifty Shades of Grey from Shelves

Libraries and bookstores across the country are having a tough time keep E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy on the shelves. More and more women –and now men– are flocking to pick up the erotica bestseller that’s taking the nation by storm. But some library shelves are missing the books by choice.

Because of the explicitly sexy content of the books, a number of libraries have removed the books from stock. According to The New York Times, the public library in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin didn’t order the books because of a “no-erotica” police. Meanwhile, officials at the Brevard County Public Library in east Florida decided the content was inappropriate and pulled the books, as Julie Bosman explains.

“We view this as pornographic material,” Don Walker, a spokesman for the Brevard County government, said in an interview on Friday. “I have not read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ but I’ve read reviews of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ From what I understand, it’s a lot about male dominance and female submissiveness.”

He’s right about the storyline. The books tell the story of a virginal college student who enters into a dominant-submissive relationship with an attractive millionaire businessman. The Brevard County Public Library carries other erotica novels, but Walker says it’s because they’re part of the “societal mainstream.”

I have a few bones to pick with Mr. Walker. First of all, despite his awareness of the story’s content, it’s not the same as reading the book. What right does he have to pull the books because of their unsuitable content when he hasn’t even read the content himself? I also wonder what constitutes a book becoming part of the “societal mainstream.” With the widespread popularity of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, I think it’s safe to say the books are now part of the “societal mainstream,” no?

What do you guys think?

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Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

Recap: A bestselling erotica novel that’s taking the female population by storm, Fifty Shades of Grey is, in fact, all it’s cracked up to be. The first book in the adult trilogy tells the story of Anastasia Steele, a naive, inexperienced college student who falls for a multi-millionaire, uber sexual businessman, Christian Grey. They meet when Ana interviews him for her school paper, as a favor to her roommate. But their unlikely chemistry leads to a dominant-submissive sexual relationship that has the two lusting for each other more and more.

For Ana, the kinky and aggressive sex is both frightening, but exciting. And with nothing else to compare it to, she considers his offer to sign a contract to be his Submissive, or Sub. While part of her feels like a sex slave, another part of her just can’t get enough of Christian Grey, who claims and proves to be fifty shades of [messed] up.

Analysis: When people talk about the book — which is the first in a trilogy about Miss Steele and Mr. Grey — the discussion centers on the kinky sex. The book is flying off the shelves, encouraging middle-aged women and housewives everywhere are starting to get their grooves back. But there’s more depth to the story than just sex.

Like any girl would, Ana falls for Grey. The story becomes less about sex and more about her attempt to “change” Christian and get him to open up. It’s what any girl who’s ever dated or liked a “bad boy” hopes to do. So women are reading this book not just to get in the mood, but to see if Ana is the one to finally turn a bad boy into someone good. Can she do it? If she does, there’s hope for us yet! She’s living every woman’s dream — having crazy sex with an older, gorgeous, playful but mysterious man who also happens to be rich.

The author E.L. James is British and began writing the series as Twilight fan fiction, and the Twilight similarities are evident — the controlling boyfriend, the innocent girlfriend, Ana’s nervousness and tendency to bite her lip like Bella. But just because it began as Twilight fan fiction doesn’t mean it should be a turnoff if you’re not a Twilight fan. If anything, the oddball writing is the book’s biggest flaw. James uses dumb phrases repeatedly, “Oh my!” and dictionary words, like bemusing. (Just say confused!) Also, Ana is a college student and doesn’t own her own laptop. Come on, E.L. James. What college student doesn’t have a computer or an email address?

But the sex, love, and lust are more than enough of a reason to look past the silly writing and get in the mood with this book.

MVP: Christian Grey. So complicated, so mysterious, so desirable. He’s every girl’s dream man, and yet, he’s the absolute worst boyfriend. As much as I hate him, I love him — again, a feeling that every woman has felt at one point or another.

Get Fifty Shades of Grey in paperback for $9.57.

Or on your Kindle for $9.99.

You can also get the whole Fifty Shades trilogy on your Kindle for just $29.99.

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The Next Big Trilogy Is Getting Everyone Hot and Bothered

It’s the book that has women across the country hot and bothered: Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s the new adult fiction hit that’s selling so fast, publishers recently reached a deal to release more copies. And like Eat, Pray, Love and The Kite Runner, it’s also having a broad impact on women.

Fifty Shades of Grey is an erotic novel — one that tells the story of a successful business man and his heated relationship with an innocent — or not-so-innocent — college student. Oh yes. I know you’re thinking dirty thoughts already.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, erotic novels are exactly the type that women will purchase on their e-readers. After all, no one can see what they’re buying and judge them for it. But Fifty Shades, which is the first in a trilogy of the same name, appeals to more than just the romance novel aficionados, and that’s why it’s #1 on The New York Times e-book fiction bestseller list and #3 on Amazon’s bestseller list, according to this article by The New York Times.

It’s selling out everywhere; not to mention, not too many copies were published because it was written by a British author, E L James. But alas, Vintage Books this week paid a 7-figure sum, winning a bidding war for the rights to all three books. New e-book versions of the trilogy will be released next week, followed by 750,000 print copies.

And as Julie Bosman explains, the book is doing more than just selling; it’s affecting women’s sex lives.

Except this book has been credited with something else: introducing women who usually read run-of-the-mill literary or commercial fiction to graphic, heavy-breathing erotica. And in the cities and suburbs of New York, Denver and Minneapolis, the women who have devoured the books say they are feeling the happy effects at home.

“It’s relighting a fire under a lot of marriages,” said Lyss Stern, the founder of DivaMoms.com and one of the early fans of the series. “I think it makes you feel sexy again, reading the books.”

So, will you be picking up a copy? I know I will!

The first book is available for pre-order on Amazon now for $10.85.

It’s also available on your Kindle for $9.99.

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