Fifty Shades of Lame

The other day at work, during my break I was reading Ready to Heal, by Kelly McDaniel on my Kindle. Ready to Heal is an excellent book for and about female sex and love addicts. I highly recommend it. My ever decreasing attention span (I blame the digital age) makes it difficult for me to actually complete a book unless it is a highly engrossing novel or biography that reads like a novel, but Ready to Heal is a page turner. Check my blog in the near future for an in-depth review.

But what I want to talk about today is what happened while I was reading it, at work. My female boss came up to me and asked, “What are you reading?” You would think that since I was reading this book in public (albeit behind the shroud of an electronic device), I would have prepared a response to this question. After all, “What are you reading?” is a fairly common question when you see someone really into a book. But I hadn’t. Here are some of the thoughts that rushed through my head as she stood in front of me waiting for a response: What ever you do, don’t say it’s about sex addiction! Do not say ‘sex addiction’! “A book for survivors of childhood trauma?” Shit! Don’t say that, that’s almost as bad! “A self-help book?” No! That makes you sound weak and insecure. While all this was going through my head, I came up with the following genius response.

“Uhhhhh… I’m reading… a book… on my Kindle.”

“Yes, but what book?”


“You don’t have to tell me.”


End of conversation.

Really quick on my feet, there, aren’t I? Something must have been wrong with my brain that day because a full five minutes later, I thought, Hunger Games! I should have told her I was reading the Hunger Games! Seriously, it took me a full-five minutes after she left the room to think of one freaking book title that I could have plausibly been reading. Did I mention I was an English major in college?

In addition to the embarrassment I experienced over sounding like a moron, I was worried that my boss, with her diplomatic, “You don’t have to tell me” line was convinced that I must have been reading porn. Specifically, I was worried that she thought I was reading that Fifty Shades of Grey tripe, which I’ve heard is one of the best selling digital books ever. I’ve also heard it’s awful and practically unreadable. Still, it’s sliding off the digital shelf. I even had to endure the conversation below with my elderly aunt recently, after I asked her if she’d recently read any good books.

Fifty Shades of Grey last month became the fastest-selling paperback since records began

“There is a book I want to read that everyone is reading. It’s called Shade, Shade… Something. Have you heard of it?”

“No. What’s it about?”

“I don’t know, but everyone is reading it. Grey Shade?”

“You don’t mean Fifty Shades of Grey do you?”

“Yes! that’s it. The Shade of Fifty Greys.

“Ugh. Please don’t read that book.”

“Why not?”

“I heard it’s really badly written, plus… just don’t read it.”

The way I feel about that book (a book I have never read, to be fair) and the way I feel about BDSM in general, is akin to the way someone might feel about some indie band that hardly anyone knew about. She thought they were cool and edgy in high school. Then she outgrew the band as her musical tastes matured and she went to college. A year later the band is so overplayed that even her elderly aunt is mangling their song titles in casual conversation.

It also really irks me that an alternative lifestyle I was deeply immersed in for close to ten years is now a trend. And it’s annoying that it was introduced to the mainstream by some shitty book that started out as Twilight (another book series that sucks) fan fiction by a woman who called herself “Snowqueen’s Icedragon.”

No hate towards Ms. Icedragon. She managed to turn crap prose into a goldmine. I can only hope that some day I’ll be that lucky.

But I can hate her terrible book. I give it two thumbs down, negative stars, an F-.