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Hearts Aflame
Johanna Lindsey
Outliers: The Story of Success By Malcolm Gladwell
Brown and Company- -Little
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert
John M. Gottman, Nan Silver
The Kite Runner: Graphic Novel
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The Mill on the Floss
George Eliot
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

Fifty Shades of Grey  - E.L. James Prudes and conservatives alike can put their pitch-forks, spades and torches down. This book was not that provocative, earth shattering or all that kinky. I kept waiting for the juicy, crazy stuff to happen, and it honestly never came (no pun intended.) That in and of itself is not a bad thing, but when a book is touted as the big bad kinky wolf, well then, I think it should deliver.Indeed, the themes in the book were decidedly dull and lack-luster. Throughout the majority of the book, brain-dead Anastasia is debating whether she should be Grey's "submissive." "Oh I want to please him, I do, but I don't know if I can, or if I should, or if I would. Oh, I love him so. Should I sign the contract? Should I?????? What to do, what to do??????????" In the meantime, Grey and Ana are screwing like rabbits (and dabble in BDSM lite, I suppose) and Grey is acting like a crazy stalker. In reality, the entire set up and resolution of the book is old-fashioned in the extreme. Sweet innocent girl is tempted into being a wanton. Sweet innocent girl's budding independence (college graduation/ new job etc.) is challenged by the desire of a male to dominate her and bring her back to a time when women WERE submissive, and were expected to be so by society. Woman struggles between asserting her "independence" or "succumbing" to a more powerful will. Which will win? The answer is predictable and disappointingly re-asserts a proper established "order" of the way a woman is to conduct herself as a Woman in society (capital W intentional.)What would have happened had the woman succumbed? What would have happened if the woman would have reveled in her debasement, felt empowered by it, perhaps, and made it her own? That, to me is far more subversive than the way this lame little plot line has panned out.I have been exposed to very little of the BDSM genre, but the film The Secretary comes to mind- in my opinion a fantastic and far more earth shattering exemplar of what BDSM could mean as a literary form and as a lifestyle to those who choose it.This didn't push the boundaries enough or bring up issues surrounding the female in society, what power means, what sexual power and dominance means, and ultimately what sexual surrender means and whether doing so could be a statement of power or even a rebellion against the expectation that women need to be anything other than what they wish to be in society, in the home,and in the bed.