Shades of Shamelessness

Only thing missing here is my ‘stache glasses.

When I was 16, I worked at an independent bookstore in an affluent town in northern New Jersey. My first job. The owners trusted me with everything from the keys to their kids.

It was a great job, even if it paid peanuts. I still get mad when people assume I got to read all day. I didn’t. There were books to order and file, display windows to arrange, and customers to rip off encourage to support their local business.

On the weekends, the store would often host book signings. The authors were never particularly famous or popular, and I’d sometimes have to entertain them for 3 hours because no one showed up.

Like this.

One day, we had an author of romance novels come in. You know the kind. Mass market paperbacks, with Fabio and a blonde-haired woman in a too-tight corset on the cover. The titles would scream words like “Destiny” and “Stallion” and “Get a life.”

I had no idea what to expect as I waited for the author to arrive, but it wasn’t the woman who came into the store that Saturday morning.

She was a plump, middle-aged woman who looked like she was about to bake a cake. She was nice as could be. She might have been your mother.

I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed chatting with her.

“I paid for all of my kids to go to college with these books,” she told me, while I tried to scoop my chin off the floor.

How could that be? I thought. I’ve never even heard of this woman.

I was never quite the same after that. Seeing the face behind the throbbing parts and quickening pulses did something to me. I had a whole new level of respect for the books I once thought belonged in the slush pile.

Which brings us to present day.

I finally picked up Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend. My mom, Babs, was kind enough to leave the trilogy behind on Father’s Day.

As you know, on top of the story I just shared, I have absolutely zero qualms when it comes to being a sheep, never mind indulging in guilty pleasures. That is the name of my shame game, Chipmunks, and I let that freak flag soar.

Baa.

But I barely made it past the first line.

Because that line was:

I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror.

And should have been:

I scowl in the mirror.

I doggedly read on, and watched the author blatantly steal the entire premise of Twilight. Except instead of vampires, we have a sadomasochist* on our hands. I think. I’m only a few chapters in, but I’m hooked I can promise you this isn’t the last you’ll be hearing on the topic (right, Renee?).

You’re welcome in advance.

Have you read it? How do you feel about romance novels?

*I know! Same diff! And you thought I was shameless.

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94 responses to “Shades of Shamelessness

  1. I’ve written three romance novels (none published yet) but Mills and Boon were very interested in one and had even suggested edits but stupid me, I got too busy with my job and other stuff so never took up the offer. If I had I might have been rich – hehe!
    Loved your witty post!

  2. I almost picked it up at Costco last week. I texted my friend Jen, asking if I should just get it. She talked me off the ledge. I hear the writing is horrendous, and nothing makes me want to throw a book (and it’s author) against the wall than poorly written novels. There are so many creative people out there that can actually form sentences that can never get published, and this piece of poorly written trash is flying off the shelves? I just don’t get it. Enjoy, I guess. Sorry to be so negative in my comment, but I just hate it when people seem to get away with something, which is what I feel is happening here. Pfft.

    • Misty, if you ever want someone to convince you to jump off the ledge into the land of guilty pleasures, you know my number ;)

      It is seriously hilarious and I can’t stop reading it. It’s total porn and it’s fab. And the writing got better after that first sentence. Or maybe I got too distracted by the play room.

  3. I’m glad you know your animal sounds. And I’m impressed you were able to work that into a blog post. You quack me up.

    And…I got the slap bracelets!! They’re everything I ever hoped they could be. The bright pink can be seen from outside my house.

    • HA! Good one, Carly. It would have been even better if the book was about beastiality. Wait…is it? I haven’t gotten that far yet.

      Huzzah! I’m so glad you’re slap braceleted up. I can just imagine what Christian Grey would do with those…

  4. Oh…I read it as a Twilight fanfiction many moons ago. I don’t want to rain on any author’s parade so I’ll just say “good for her”. Having said that, I love historical romance!! So many amazing stories and so well written.

    • Was it really Twilight fan fiction? That makes perfect sense! I figured she must have admitted to the influence, so I wasn’t too bothered by it. I wholehearted support fan fiction as an ultimate guilty pleasure, LOL Not that I’ve ever written any…no…way…Jose.

      Yes, some historical romance is truly riveting!

  5. I agree – the writing was subpar and the premise was a total rip off… which the author readily admitted in an interview. She said that right after reading the Twilight books she was inspired to write Fifty Shades. Although there are also parts that were torn right out of the movies Pretty Woman and The Thomas Crowne Affair… but I digress.

    I had a book club about this book (actually all THREE of them… yes, I read them all… it’s a week of my life I’ll never get back). And I was the only girl there that didn’t love the trilogy. The feminist voice inside my head was going NUTS most of the time. And If you didn’t like Christian’s overbearing, controlling behavior in book one, don’t bother reading the rest of them because it only gets worse.

    When I pressed the ladies in my book club to tell me exactly why they LOVED the books so much, they couldn’t do it. They kept saying which parts annoyed them, but couldn’t pin point what captivated them. Was it just the sex? No, because one girl even said that after awhile, even that got kind of repetitive. Personally, I think it comes down to the fact that Christian Grey is gorgeous and has millions. Could you imagine the books doing as well as they did if he was a starving artist? Girls want the “Pretty Woman” romance.

    If you want to read my take on the whole Christian Grey phenomenon, you can read the entry I wrote a few weeks back….

    http://getwritedowntoit.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/when-did-prince-charming-get-so-twisted/

    • Thank you for this excellent comment! I figured she must have been in the open about the Twilight rip-off, because it was just SO blatant, otherwise I don’t think I could keep reading.

      I do think it’s interesting that the women in your book club couldn’t give you a straight answer about why they liked the series so much. I think the appeal is mostly about the…primitive…’hush hush’ kind of lustiness. I’m sure a lot of people harbor all kinds of desires they’re afraid to act out, and books like this give them the chance. Plus, it feels like you’re not “supposed” to read them – both because they’re racy, and also because people look down on you for doing so.

      I read wonderful your post (and can’t wait to comment!), and I’m with you on the whole controlling man thing – I don’t get it. I think what women are really attacted to here is beyond money and overbearing personalities, but about the WAY these men [appear to] love these women so fiercely, especially when it’s not in their normal nature. And so, it is the female protagonist who ultimately carries the power – she has his heart, which he never gives.

  6. Well I never….. Shock Horror…. and the likes….

    P.S. (can I borrow it after you) ;-) ha ha!

  7. “… woman in a too-tight corset on the cover.” Are all women just screaming to be stapped in like that?? I’ve often wondered if that really is a selling point to have the corset on the cover.

    Hmm, I haven’t read it yet, but I did my special MJ treatment of the cultural phenomenon that is … Fifty Shades:
    http://www.mjmonaghan.com/2012/06/05/sheet-shades-grey/

    • I was going to say I think the corset is less about the women and more about what men want, but, I’m a firm believer that women just like to compete against other women when it comes to getting dolled up. So. Yeah. I can get to the corset thing, LOL I’ve seen enough of that redhead in True Blood to be in Camp Corset.

      Your post was GREAT!

  8. You know, the 50 shades trilogy isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever read. It had its moments. But I’ll never understand the world’s obsession with it! It’s a book, and the writing isn’t really the greatest. I had to put the book down a lot because I found myself rolling my eyes so many times that I just needed a break! But that’s just me…;)

    • LOL Agreed! I’m actually pretty hooked already, because for the most part I think the writing is fine, as in, it’s not so bad it’s distracting me from the story. And I’ve certainly never read ANYTHING like it, so that’s a plus!

      I just got to the part with the contract and I can’t stop laughing about it.

      • Yeah, the writing isn’t bad for people who are reading for entertainment, not for critiquing! Well that’s good, I hope you enjoy the rest! Personally I think they could have written the whole thing in two books instead of three.
        Haha, oh the famous contract…I almost stopped reading there. I was like, this is just too-un-frickin-believable! ;)

  9. I do love to read everything that comes across the radar screen, yet admit I passed on 50 Shades… poor quality and silly quotes made me pass. When there are so many talented authors out there, why waste time? Thanks for the comment and lucky you to work in a bookstore!

    • Oh! The quotes! Jimmy Fallon just did a game on his show where he made people karaoke sing quotes from the book, and I thought I would die. I can’t wait to get to some of them. It’s really not as bad as the quotes, on the whole, or I’d never make it through. Or maybe I would, for the sheer hilarity.

      Thank YOU! I often wish I still worked at that book store :)

  10. I am in the middle of the second book of the trilogy. I listen to them on audio books and I can tell you. I enjoy them because they feel so naughty. I agree the writing is sub par and the silly quotes are tiring but there is something about a main stream book that isnt afraid to be written for an adult. It is like candy. I listen in pieces so I don’t over load. It is truly a guilty pleasure and I know you can understand.

    • On audio! Oh holy dominatrix crud. Please tell me more. Who narrates it?? I never even THOUGHT of the audio book possibility! That is amazing.

      Honestly, the writing isn’t as bad as I thought it would be after that first sentence. If it had stayed at that level, there’s no way I could have gotten past the first chapter.

      It’s the ultimate guilty pleasure, and for that it already has a special place in my heart. Yes. Oh, I so understand. :)

  11. Good for you! I haven’t read it, but I overheard someone talking about it at a party and she mentioned the words “anal beads” so there’s that. I’m currently in the second book of the Game of Thrones series. Since each book is 5 million pages, I will likely die before finishing the 5th book. . . so I will need to read Shades of Anal Beads vicariously through you.

    • I’m not sure I’ll make it through all 3 books but, oh, who am I kidding, I already know I will. I will gladly keep you posted; I feel like I have so much to learn from Christian and Ana.

  12. Fish Out of Water

    I read all three and wrote about my shame in doing so. The writing is sooooooo bad. It didn’t stop me, though. I’m tough like that. :)

  13. Um, I don’t think this stuff really classifies as “romance”. If it seems so to you, you may have been dating the wrong guys. Hope you washed your hands after handling the book.

  14. Ahh, the fifty debate. People couldn’t put it down, that’s what I keep hearing. I think it’s part sex and part “Pretty Woman” syndrome. Bad boy that can be tamed who is gorgeous, sexy and rich. I have to handle it to the girl though – 1,2,3 in the UK book charts.

    • I guess you could say I finally succumbed to its will, LOL, not that I ever shy away from a good guilty pleasure! And amen – more power to her! Someone said it was origianlly intended as Twilight fan fic, which is kind of awesome, as a nerd who used to write fan fic in high school.

      Once I get through the first book, I think I’ll have a more fleshed out opinion on what the appeal is, but I think you’ve hit the nail on the head! I do know it’s how I spent my lunch break today… :)

      • I attempted to read it, but was unable. I’m a little bit perplexed why it’s so popular since there’s so much better written smut out there. On the other hand, I’m not opposed to smut whether well written or not, and I have to applaud anyone who gets people riled up on this level . . . especially while making no pretenses as to their writing skill! It is what it is, and the whole thing tickles me somehow. Just as long as I don’t have to read it! ;)

        • ha ha! I hear you, Deb. Any story that grips people is a good story in my book, especially, as you say, when the writer makes no pretenses as to their writing ability!

  15. Alright, for those who haven’t seen this tiny audiobook snippet must do it now. It’s honestly one of the best things I have ever seen:

    http://www.vulture.com/2012/05/gilbert-gottfried-reads-50-shades-of-grey.html

    That’s right, that does say Gilbert Gottfried.

  16. My daughter read them and although she almost quit during the second book she said it was a pretty good series. But (no offense Courtney) she loved the Twilight series!
    I have such a long list of books to read!
    Romance novels for women is like internet porn and magazines for guys. The most popular books out there!

    • I LOVED the Twilight series (perfect fantasy saga fix to fill the Harry Potter void), and I’m unsurprisingly getting hooked on this too, LOL, because I think it was simply intended to be the NC-17 fan fiction version of Twilight. Totally porn for women, and I am totally okay with that.

  17. I vomit in my mouth when I even see the cover of a romance book and I still make my husband fast-forward through the sloppy-wet kiss scenes in movies. (Sex scenes? Forget about it.) So that’s where I am in my maturity level.

    That being said, I’m all for crap books. I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t high-five the people who read them and write them. After all, I’m a film snob who barely makes it over to the new releases unless they were nominated for Oscar awards — and yet I can watch Dumb and Dumber or The Jerk 47,000 times. Why is that? Because brainless crap art is something of value.

    • Ha ha! I think your maturity level is part of what makes your blog so amazing – you truly let us vicariously relive our childhoods!

      “Brainless crap art is something of value” – I think I may have just found my new blog tagline.

  18. My friend told me that if the character blushed or turned crimson one more time she was going to through the book out the window.

  19. I think Bill Maher said it best in one of his “new rules” segments.
    Something along the lines of “ladies, why are you reading fifty shades of grey if there’s already a man with a hard on in bed with you”

    But I mostly won’t read it because I’m one if those oppositey type people.

  20. All of my friends have jumped on the Shades of Grey bandwagon, while I’m trotting away with my addictive John Grisham collection. (I love him. Seriously one of the best writers of our time.) I don’t think I really have any desire to read the Grey books. I’ve never read a romance novel in my life (although, I loved the Twilight series and that is someone lovey-dovey-ish {and I’m all for Team Jacob!!}). I like mystery and thriller and law and order. Please let me know about your journey into the Shades of Grey. :)

    • I sometimes look at writers like Grisham and feel so monumentally inadequate, LOL, they’re just like an endless fountain of creativity! I can’t even get one book finished!

      Oh, totally Team Jacob. Edward has no sense of humor ;) And I will DEFINITELY keep you posted!

  21. Eh. I’m trying to read it. I doubt I will ever get through it. Then again, I’ve also been trying to read “The Scarlett Letter” for eleven years. So far, I’m only about 74 pages from my end goal.

    I actually like crap romance novels and smut in general, but I usually prefer historical smut with copious amounts of Victorian pageantry. I even went so far as to try to learn the art of flirting (and sending secret messages) via paper fans. Clearly I have far too much time on my hands. :)

    • Oh gawd. You crack me up – I have my own ‘Scarlett Letters’! (Hmm. I should be careful how I phrase that…)

      The historical romance novels seem to be widely regarded as the best of the genre. I guess if I had to say, I lean more towards the “Bridget Jones’s Diary” type novels that are on the border of fiction and modern-day romance, with a little humor thrown in. I just finished “Something Borrowed” in a day.

      And please, please offer some sort of online tutorial of this paper fan flirting. I will pay.

      • I found out about fan flirting through a ghost tour I took in Alexandria, Virginia. I will see what I can find online, although I will expect royalties. (If necessary, you can pay me back in Twizzlers or something.)

        What is this Blogher deal? I feel like I am constantly running into online plugs for this Blogher convention. I thought it was a publishing network that was invite only??? Now, I’m starting to think I was wrong, which I would normally think is impossible, but… Yeah, all of the evidence points to me being wrong.

        • Ha ha! My knee-jerk reaction was, “Oh no, don’t go to trouble looking it up online, I can do that!” But I kind of want your expert opinion on the best online tutorial, LOL

          BlogHer is open to anyone who can get to NYC and pay to attend! It’ll be my first blogging/writing conference; I’m only going on Saturday, Aug 4th because I didn’t want to spring any more money. I originally signed up to meet some fellow bloggy buddies, but I’m pretty excited about the actual speakers, and Katie Couric was just enlisted the keynote speaker! You should commmme!!!

          • Long Island, so I’m only a train ride away. I want to check if another girl is going first… By then, you will owe me Twizzlers though, so we should studiously avoid each other. :)

            • LOL! Same here (train ride away – from Jersey)! I will gladly stock up on Twizzlers, and hope they don’t get crushed by my flask. ;)

              • http://nineteenteen.blogspot.com/2009/05/flirting-with-props-part-3.html

                http://meredithsweetpea.wordpress.com/2011/07/03/victorian-history-flirting-with-fans/

                Here are a couple of fairly decent links. Flirting was complicated back then. I bet women sent the wrong messages a lot, which would have made for some fun stories!! :) Have you seen the New Amsterdam vodka bottle? It is fifty shades of awesome.

                • Oooh, the WordPress gremlins sent this comment to spam! They do not appreciate what you’re trying to teach me. THANK YOU! I tried googling the vodka bottle, but the images coming up look like a normal vodka bottle so I must not be finding the right bottle! Off to check the links out! Thank you again so much :)

                  • Although you can see the empire state building, pictures don’t really do the bottle justice. That means you’ll have to buy it and see it in person, but the base is an octagon. I’m not sure how to describe the shape of the bottle itself. Anyway… you’re welcome. Always happy to support vodka drinking and the spread of antiquated flirting techniques.

                    As of now, I’m going to stop hijacking your blog. :)

                    • LOL You’re right. I will simply HAVE to buy it to appreciate it…do you think I could score a free bottle with the right fan moves? Man, it was seriously more involved than I thought. I’d bow my fan down to you, but I think that means I’m mad at you.

                    • Given my own clumsiness, I suspect I would be dropping my fan a lot… which thankfully means “Let’s be friends.” So, I guess clumsy Victorian women must have had a lot of friends! :)

                      Okay, I really am going to stop hijacking your blog now, although I suspect you are responding entirely to avoid working! ;)

      • There is so much I could say about 50 shades but I already wrote a blog post, so I will spare u the details. While reading the three books, I spent most my time trying to figure out why everyone loved them, because I did not. All I got from 50 fans was, “It’s not like anything I have ever read before.”. I believe that is true. Most people prefer to view porn, not read it. But, what do I know? Fifty Shades of gray has now out sold Harry Potter in paperbacks. James’s writing leaves a lot to be desired, literally, but she’s stinking rich now, and I am not(:

  22. No, I cannot read that drivel . . . as far as romance novels, heck no, not a chance, not since 8th grade, but I did write some hot sex scenes for my novel. My writing partner says they are the literature version of Shades of Grey. Giggle.

  23. I haven’t read it and probably won’t because I’ve never really been into romance novels or as this one is being pegged ‘erotica’ – I do have a friend who is really into erotica though, and she read it and absolutely hated it and made several hilarious tweets about it, she was of the fairly strong opinion that the author was a poor writer, as you put it above “I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror. And should have been: I scowl in the mirror.” but poor writer or not, they seem to be selling a lot! I guess that never stopped Dan Brown ;) ahaha… oh it’s too early and I still have to spend 5 hours on the road today! Oh there is a video on you tube you might want to check out if you haven’t already, it might break your brain a little but I was in tears from laughter, it was Gilbert Gottfried narrating this book, just wonderful… he has the best voice ever.

    • You’re right this one definitely falls more under ‘erotica’ than ‘romance’! I figured it was worth reading just for the jokes alone, but of course I knew my guilty pleasure spirit and I would get into it. We’re so into it. LOL

      Ulgh – sorry to hear about your 5 hours on the road today! I hope it ends in something good, like bacon chocolate and booze.

      Someone just posted that clip in an earlier comment, and holy crud, I WAS crying! It’s perfect.

      • It ended in many great photos and wonderful catching up with family :) so I would say yes it ended up in very good things, thank you! And yes some booze too, but hey – I also made a dish that involved an entire package of bacon, no one complained about that one either.

  24. Kiefer bought this book for me, but I haven’t started reading it yet. I should, so we can discuss it at BlogHer.

  25. I honestly don’t have anything of value to add that hasn’t already been said. I hated Twilight, so between the fact that it started as fanfic, the fact that I’ve heard it has really poor writing, and my propensity to not enjoy stories that make women sound like we want to be in controlling and abusive relationships, I’ve decided I’d just take a pass on that one.

    I suppose I could read it for comedic value. Or porn. But there are a lot of writers who do both really well. Or at the very least un-ironically.

  26. Richard Wiseman

    I’m an ‘independent author/publisher’ or as it used to be known before the e-book and digital age ‘vanity published writer’ and I’ve given away over 5,000 books and sold a couple of hundred on Amazon Kindle,(which I’m really pleased about; jumping up and down with glee because people I don’t know are reading my stuff!). I spent 20 or so years writing and enjoying it too and have loads of rejections, which I have pasted all over the wall of the office at home, where I sit muttering about despicable agents like a male Miss Havisham, only cleaner and with much neater hair.
    The thing is that I heard about ’50 shades’ and read the ‘look inside’ on Amazon and felt like I was in sour grape city for a minute, because the writing itself was unsatisfying to say the least. Now I’m not that good myself and I know it, but I did do a Literature degree, I’m a prolific reader and I do know how the ‘mechanics of fiction & language work’ and I thought exactly the same as you did. So I didn’t bother to buy a copy. I do love romance writing though. My favourite is ‘Wuthering Heights’; favourite bit ‘It’s not that I love Heathcliff, it’s that I am Heathcliff and he is me.’ Sob tear in my eye… soooo beautiful… ahhhh. ahhemm sorry just stiffen my upper lip… quick cold bath… that’s better. Pssst I reckon everyone loves a good romance, it’s natural.

  27. I comment with commenting in response to your post. I’ll try to read trashy books, because I think I’ll enjoy them in a guilty way, but I usually give up. I baaaarely made it through World War Z.

    Isn’t the sequel called, like, Shades of Greyer, or, Darker Shade of Grey, or something idiotic like that?

    • Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, HA!! I’m not entirely sure if I’ll make it through all three, but…oh, who am I kidding? Of course I will.

      P.S. – I hope you didn’t get too attached to that blue ribbon. I almost feel bad saying this because you complimented me with my favorite compliment today [on your blog], but I made the most amazing pie crust this weekend. Sorry. But, fork it over. I made room next to my Second Husband poster.

  28. My 67-year-old mother just read it for her book club. She loved it and ordered the sequel. That’s enough to make me plug my ears and squeeze my eyes shut as hard as I can. I’m not going to read it, and even if you’re saying it’s good, I’m not going to listen.

    • ha ha! I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about the fact that my mom dropped them off for me – on Father’s Day! I’m definitely fascinated by them. (About halfway through the first book now. I’m not even going to pretend I’m NOT going to read all three…I so will. LOL)

  29. I can’t do it! Not because I’m morally against the books or upset with frivolous writing styles, but because I *still* haven’t read the Harry Potter books. Or the Twilight books. Or any other series since “Sweet Valley Twins” when I was 9. I’m soooooo behind on my reading. (How do you guys even manage to read real books when there’s so many blogs to fall behind on reading?)

    • Ha ha! Sweet Valley High! Oh man, thank you for that memory. Although Babysitter’s Club was always my favorite.

      I think you get a DEFINITE pass on Shades of Grey until you’ve read Harry Potter. Have you seen any of the HP or Twilight movies? The Twilight movies don’t compare to the books. But I heart it all. ;)

      • Yeah, Babysitter’s Club was another staple series for me. I’ve seen maybe 2 HP movies and 2 Twilight movies so far. It’s all been broken up over years, so I’ll have to hunker down one of these days and just read ALL the books and watch ALL the movies in a row. It will be a guilty pleasures marathon (at least when it comes to Twilight… I hear HP is actually really good.)

  30. I thought it was so so

    Who am I kidding, I’ll read the manual to a new blender front to back and think its more exciting than my life.

    This book provided me with hours of daydreaming and wondering what the fuck “Caning” was. I knew she wasn’t canning jam, but still.

  31. My sister-in-law read FSoG when it was Twilight fan fiction. Apparently, the author just changed the names to make it a “different” story. I’m not into the romance genre and haven’t really read too many. I doubt that I’ll read it unless I’m trapped somewhere and it’s the only available book (or series of books). :)

    • Yes, it’s DEFINITELY fan fiction in every way! Not that I’ve ever…written…any…so I would have no…idea… ;)

      I don’t read a lot of romance (Twilight aside!), but I do like romance-heavy fiction like Something Borrowed and Bridget Jones’s Diary! I have to say, though, these Shades of Grey books ARE pretty addictive… ;)

      • I was going to preface the following with, “Don’t judge me,” but why would the queen of guilty pleasures ever judge another guilty pleasure lover? I’ll confess that I wrote an entire 16 chapter fan fiction novel while waiting for Charlaine Harris to come out with the 10th Sookie Stackhouse novel. I was obsessed with True Blood at the time (of course I’m too mature for that now) and the in course of a week, I wrote it. When my computer before this one completely died and the hard drive was unsalvagable I lost it all. I was really sad, because even though I could never attempt to publish it, it was the longest thing I’d ever written. I love the Bridget Jone’s books, so much, too!!

  32. Read it. Couldn’t stand it. Though I have to say on the positive side, ever since I wrote the post “50 Shades Overrated” a few months ago, I get like 10 Google hits a day just from some arrangement of those search terms. Same will happen to you!

    • LOL! You make a great point, Nina – if you “Shades” it, they will come. I’ve found as long as you mention any of the following, they’ll come in droves:

      Daniel Radcliffe naked on Broadway
      My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding
      Naked Girls on HBO
      Why Don’t the Duggars Dance?

  33. Pingback: Monday Mash-Up feat. Hot Things | Go Jules Go

  34. Noooooooooooo! Jules you’ll never get those hours spent reading those books back!
    That said ever since i worked a harlequin novel release party I have thought it might be fun to make money writing some of those awful books. Could you imagine having this secret life of a harlequin novel author and actually being successful at it? This is how i will make money while i go to school lol

    • I was just telling someone I’m having trouble making it through the last book because it’s gotten SO repetitive.

      It would be the BEST secret life! Ever since I met that one romance novel author, I’ve always thought she had allllll the answers ;)

  35. My book club decided that this was going to be the book for July (for the record, I voted for Madame Bovary, even though I’ve already read it. I was outnumbered.)

    I would rename this book “Fifty Shades of Crap”. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to throw it across the room but didn’t ONLY because I was reading it on my new netbook and I can’t afford to replace it.

    The most horrible thing about it is that once I start a book, I almost always HAVE to finish it. It’s my form of OCD. And even though I somehow got through the first volume, the ‘book’ is still not done. I hate myself just a little bit for it, but I signed up for the library e-book list (I refuse to pay a red cent for them!) for the 2nd and 3rd volumes. The only saving grace is that it should take me no more than a couple of hours each to read.

    Oh, I shudder just thinking about it…but the OCD! It won’t leave me alone!

    • Oh NO, Leonore! Did you make it through the last? What an unfortunate affliction to have, LOL ;) I used to be the same way, but sometime in my late teens/early 20s, I had enough and gave myself permission to stop reading something whenever I wanted to.

      Even *I’M* having trouble making it through the last book. There are just so…many…words…and they’re all the same.

      • I haven’t even started – still on the library waiting list. 100 people on the list. For the actual book, there are over 700 people on the waiting list! Whenever I get a copy of the next two books, I imagine it’s going to be more ‘skimming’ than ‘reading’. Oh, it truly is a horrible, horrible affliction!

        I literally GOLed (guffawed out loud) at your description: “so…many…words…and they’re all the same.” So true! Let me guess: holy shit, inner goddess, sex, and don’t bite your lip.

        • Speaking of holy shit – 700 people on the waiting list?!?!

          Have you seen speaker7′s take on the series? She’s reading the first book now and writing her take it – even your inner goddess will laugh: speaker7.wordpress.com.

          • Oh my god, it’s brilliant! I’ve only read the latest one so far – the one with the drinking game (brilliant!!) – and I was nearly crying with laughter. My favorite line: “A bear shits in the woods. It doesn’t say that specifically in the book, but that has to happen, right?”

            See, now I have to read the other two, just so I can be in on all the jokes ;)

            • haha Nice! I told her that was one of my favorite lines from the post, too! And there are 4 so far I think, so, BONUS! They’re ALL cry-your-eyes-out funny.

  36. Pingback: I Got “Spanked!” With My Mom | Go Jules Go

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