Monday, June 11, 2012

Fifty Shades of Red, Part II

I am, or was, a voracious reader. In the years post-college, but pre-kids, I regularly made it through 100 books or more a year.  Even after the kids were born I had plenty of reading time during feeding sessions and made pretty good use of it.  What brought all that to a grinding halt you ask?  A phone.  Yep, that's right, my smart phone is making me dumber.  Instead of staying up late trying to power through a few more chapters, I am busy trying to scribble a new Draw Something or puzzle out a triple word score in Words with Friends.  I've been paring those silly (but enjoyable!) games down to the people I really enjoy playing with, but it is still taking me a bit to get back to my books.

So I read almost everything, especially at someone's recommendation.  Probably my main bread and butter is current fiction, but I also read quite a few biographies/autobiographies, historical fiction, a few mysteries, a little bit of sci-fi, a tiny bit of YA.  I don't know what the genre is called, but lately I've been reading a lot of those books about where our tomatoes/olive oil/bread comes from or the history of cadavers or whatever.  Those are fun, especially for trivia nerds.  I've never really gotten into true crime novels and I haven't read romance novels in decades.

Until recently, I never even knew there was a whole genre of books I wasn't reading - risque/erotica.  So when the book Fifty Shades of Grey hit the lists/blogs/news, I was a little surprised.  I am not usually the last person to hear about a book trend, by the time people are talking about books normally I've checked it out, read it and a year has passed.  When my sister-in-law asked if I had read the book a few months ago, I thought she was referencing the book Shades of Grey, by Jasper Fforde (which is frickin' fantastic by the way, love that author!).  I said yes and SIL gives me a knowing smile then starts talking about bondage.  WTH?  I had no idea what was going on, so I just nodded along.  Later I did a library search and realized I was clueless.

Haha, after three paragraphs I will tell you that my book reviews rarely have to do with the books.  I don't mind having the conversation with people, but I rarely take the time to analyze the plot and characters.  I just jump right into the next book.  But here goes a few tiny thoughts.  Putting aside the BDSM (uhh, I still don't know what that stands for) part of FSoG because I don't have any other experience with the genre, I thought the writing was awful.  It was cliched and inconsistent. The main character of Anastasia was at some times a smart and composed young woman and at others a whiny, immature teenager.  And the suspension of disbelief required to believe that Christian Grey would act like he did in the book is too great.

That being said a couple of people asked if I would recommend they skip this book.  I almost never do that.  I almost always think a book is worth reading, even to figure out if you don't like the author/topic/writing and to make you think.  The only time I hesitate is when I know someone only has the time to get through a few books a year.  Then I don't want to feel like I've recommended their spare reading time be spent on crap.  Will I read the two sequels?  I don't know yet, but if I do, it will probably be in e-book form ;)

What are your thoughts on reading/bondage/Fifty Shades of Grey?  Any must-read books for me to look into?

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