23 August 2012

HOW MANY SHADES OF GRAY? FIFTY? THE TRUE STORY ABOUT THE BOOK.

 

 

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“Le Library”  Week Two.  Not much progress, or at least it’s a very, slow moving process, but, the carpenter brought a friend today to help speed him along!  Still needed are the two bookshelves flanking the window and the window seat.  And all the trim, then the shelves.  So…..maybe four more weeks?  My friend James, who works for Ben and who helped me clean out the office, told me his carpenter crew would have had this finished in days.   C’est la vie.  Remind me to sweep under those shelves before the base trim is applied. 

 

So, gray it is!  Gray walls and shelves and ceiling.  Here are the samples of fabrics I’m deciding on:

 

 

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This is one choice – a light gray/lavender taffeta with a silk check from Robert Allen – Callidora (I love this check – I used it in Elisabeth’s room in blue for her curtains.)

 

OR:

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This slightly more mauve-lavender with cotton checks from Pindler.

The taffetas both come from Highland Court/Duralee “Conners Collection” and they are gorgeous.  I tested taffetas from several different companies and this is by far the best one.  It’s very heavy and it is more matte than the others.  It’s not cheap, but it is still less than those from pricier houses.   If I had to pay retail prices – it would be too much, but the wholesale price is just right. 

When I showed Ben the area where I wanted to add the portieres, he went nuts.  “Drapes???  Here???  What????  Are you serious?   Why?”   Thank God I didn’t use the word “portieres” – he would have really passed out.  After he calmed down a bit – he was just showing off for Elisabeth’s boyfriend’s benefit  -  I went into my usual “are you really questioning me about decorating?  Really?  You really want to go there?” 

Don’t tell Ben, but the truth is, I don’t think I am going to be able to do the portieres between the alcove leading to the bathroom after all, because the shelves butt up right at the doorway’s molding.  I may still do them on the closet door though.   Or the taffeta might just be used for the window shade.  By the way, Ben hated the idea of French doors instead of regular doors too.  Just saying.  And the chandelier.  He got a big laugh out of that.  As if I asked him for his opinion!!!  Lesson #1 in decorating  - leave the husband out of it.

So, that’s this week’s update on the library.  Gray paint, as in Fifty Shades of Grey.  OK, OK OK !!! 

 

 

I’m sure you’ve realized that the REAL topic today is the book series Fifty Shades of Grey.  This week Vicki who writes the gorgeous blog French Essence, wrote about the book and I was stunned by how many people commented on it.   I glanced at the names to see if her commenters are the same as mine and since I didn’t recognize any of the names, I thought I would ask sweet Vicki if she would mind if I stole her topic.  I figured if that many people wanted to talk about the book on a French blog, maybe you might want to voice your own opinion of it here, too!!  So, here it goes – get that coffee and settle in:

 

 

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THE TRUE STORY OF FIFTY SHADES OF GREY :

The book series that has taken the world by storm is a publishing phenomenon.  The three books that make up the series have been on best seller lists all around the world – including both the United States and England.  More than 40 million copies have been sold as of this month.  Think about that – 40 million – !   It is now Amazon’s fastest selling paperback of ALL times – even topping the Harry Potter books.   Everyone is talking about it – though mostly in hushed tones.  No one really wants to admit that they are reading the steamy, erotic novel with its undertones of bondage and domination, but obviously millions and millions are, especially on their e-readers where no one can see the book’s distinctive cover. 

 

 

The three different book covers of the Fifty Shades of Grey series.

 

 

Now, I have a confession to make.   I actually read this book – a few years ago, almost three years, to be exact.  How is that possible you might ask – it was just published last summer?  Well, here is the story of Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight and how they are connected.  Because believe it or not, Twilight and Fifty are inextricably connected. 

As you probably know, I am a HUGE Twilight fan – a Twihard, a Twimom, or a Twi-idiot- take your pick.   I first got hooked on the Twilight world after watching my daughter’s DVD of the first movie based on the Twilight book series.  At that time, there had only been 1 movie released – 4 more movies were to come later.  After I watched the movie, I got addicted to anything and everything about teenage vampires in love - chaste love - but love nonetheless.  Within a week of watching that first movie, I read all four books by Stephenie Meyer:  Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.  Though the series was written for the teen/young adult age group, the books transcended these limits and appealed to fans of all ages.

 

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The poster from the first Twilight movie starring Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan and Rob Pattinson as Edward Cullen.

 

After I had devoured all four books – then what?  Well besides rewatching the Twilight DVD a billion times – what do you do when you are addicted to a book after you finish reading it?  While searching the internet for more Twilight trivia, I discovered something called Fan Fiction or fanfic for short.  What in the world is fanfic, I wondered?  I was then guided into the world of www.fanfiction.net and now, three years later, I still haven’t come up for air. 

Fanfiction is this:   Imagine you are reading Gone With The Wind and you come to the end and wonder, hmm, did Rhett ever come to his senses and return to Scarlett?    If you wanted to, you could write a new ending for GWTW where Rhett DOES come back for Scarlett.  Or you could write a new ending  where Rhett comes back and marries India, Scarlett’s sister, or you could rewrite the book where Rhett turns gay and marries Ashley!  Or you could write an entirely new book and have Scarlett marry Ashley and there isn’t even a Rhett.  You could write anything you want about GWTH – and this would be called fanfiction.

Simply put, fanfiction is where authors and non-authors rewrite books (and movies) and then publish them for free on the internet fanfiction.net website.  Believe it or not, there are millions of fanfiction stories about different books.  The most popular books for fanfic rewrites are the Harry Potter series, Twilight and Lord of the Rings.    Hundreds of thousands of people have sat down and written alternative endings or retold stories about their favorite books – and this is called fanfiction.  

And so, after I had finished all the REAL Twilight books, I started reading Twilight fanfiction.  Some of the stories would be about teenager vampires, but many were about Edward & Bella as humans, older, married or divorced – not vampires at all but just regular people.  There are over 200,000 Twilight fanfics stories.  Some might be just one chapter long but others might be over 80 chapters – there are no rules in fanfic.  Some are horribly written.  In fact, many of those 200,000 ARE horribly written.  But, some are good – very, very well written.  There are other websites that sprang up that write reviews of the innumerable fanfics – so that it’s easier to wade through the 200,000 stories and find the good ones.    And, as you are reading these well written fanfic stories, you think, “WOW, this is good enough to be published as its own book – if only the names were not Edward & Bella.”   In reality, some fanfiction HAS been published, after the author first changed the names and the title.

One very popular Twilight fanfiction book was called “Master of the Universe.”  It was a steamy, erotic story about Edward, a billionaire who had kinky sexual tastes.  He was a dominant (something I had never even HEARD of before!)  who liked to exhibit his control over women.   One day Edward, the impossibly gorgeous billionaire, meets a young, clumsy college student, a virgin, named Bella.  They fall in love.  But Bella doesn’t share his kinky side.   Sound familiar?

 

Most popular fanfiction stories get their own covers – produced by its fans. This was a cover of Master of the Universe – starring the real actors who played Edward and Bella in Twilight.

 

Fanfiction is strange in that the authors mostly post their story as it is being written, one chapter at time.  So, while reading Master of the Universe, I would have to wait each week for a new chapter.  It’s torture when the author writes a cliffhanger chapter and then leaves for a three week vacation!    But, that’s fanfiction.  The author of Master of the Universe was anonymous, her name as we knew it was Snowqueen’s Icedragon.   Her fans all just called her Icy for short.  Icy became a very, very popular author on the Twilight Fanfic scene.  In fact, I would say out of all the 100,000s of authors, she was in the top ten.  EVERYONE loved her story Master of the Universe.  Everyone.  The comment reviews of her story reached over 40,000.  Usually a fanfiction author considers over 1,000 comments as wildly successful.  Forty thousand comments was, and still is, unheard of.    It just shows how very popular Icy’s story was.

When Icy finally finished writing Master of the Universe, we all screamed for a sequel.  And she gave us that.  We also all screamed – “Icy, you should publish this as a book!'’   All she had to do was change the names Edward and Bella and change the town of Forks where they lived – so it would not be identified as a Twilight story.  Easy.

 

 

 

I guess you know where this all leads, right?  Icy, now known as E.L. James, DID publish her book in 2011, under a small house that specializes in publishing reworked fanfiction.  The rest is history.  Once Master of the Universe was changed to Fifty Shades of Grey, and Edward Culen became Christian Grey, and Bella Swan became Anastasia Steele, it was reviewed on Goodreads, an internet site for book reviews.  From there, a Long Island book club chose to read Fifty Shades of Grey and they went crazy for it.  They told all their friends about the book – and the wildfire started.  For a time, Fifty was known as the Long Island Book Club book – “mommy porn” for the SUV set.  In fact, E.L. James came to talk with these women at a high priced luncheon.  Overwhelmed by their adoration, the shy author broke down and cried.

 

 

At book signings across the country, the Fifty Shades crowds have been huge.

 

After the enthusiastic word of mouth push, the small publishing house that E.L. James (Icy) chose to publish Fifty couldn’t handle the demand.  They quickly sold the book to Random House which this year sold the 40 million copies PLUS.  The movie rights were also purchased.  The same team that brought us “Social Network” about Facebook will soon bring us Fifty Shades of Grey on the big screen.  It has been said that E.L. James’ first paycheck from all this is over $50 million.   WOW.

 

 

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This is the woman who wrote the sexy novel everyone is reading?  Really?

 

Icy, or E.L. James, or Erika Leonard which is her REAL name, is a middle aged, overweight, very shy person.  (sounds like me!)   She and her husband are both English and both work in Television in Britain.  Erika wrote her fanfic Master of the Universe anonymously while going to and fro work on the subway.  No one knew who she really was.  No one knew she had two teenaged boys.  But once she published the first book – still anonymously under E.L. James, Erika Leonard was forced to come out of hiding.   And she did, reluctantly.   Now she appears on TV and in person, giving talks and interviews about her book  –  she doesn’t like it, but she has to do the press tour.  She never thought anyone would find about the erotic novel she wrote in secret, but now the world knows her name and face.  She is mortified at the thought that her two boys might read it.  Never, she says!    And does Erika acknowledge her Twilight connections?

 

 

Christian’s line to Ana when she makes him angry!

 

Of course Erika acknowledges the Twilight connection.  She has to – too many of us know that Fifty Shades of Grey started out as Twilight fanfic for her to ever deny it.  But what does the author of Twilight, Stephenie Meyer say?  Not much really.  Meyer is a very devout Mormon, she would NEVER read anything so racy as Fifty Shades of Grey.  Nor will she ever.    And,  she chose not to challenge her copyright to the story.  You see, while Meyer has allowed fanfiction to be written about her Twilight books, some authors don’t.  For example, there is no Anne Rice fanfiction – she doesn’t allow it.  If she did, trust me, there would be 1,000s of fanfics of her famous books.  Icy was lucky that Stephenie Meyer gave her OK – otherwise no one would have read this all time best seller.

 

 

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Icy says that women fantasize about meeting a handsome billionaire.  Do you?

 

In fact the comparison of the rags to riches stories of Icy and Stephenie Meyer are remarkably similar.  Both are first time authors with no prior writing experience who both wrote best sellers their first time out.  Selling millions of copies of your first book is something that is so rare, it is almost unheard of.   Both women are from modest backgrounds who have made staggering amounts of money.  Both have had or will have films made of their first novel.   And the search for the actor to play Christian Grey will equal the world wide search for Edward Cullen, the role that eventually went to heartthrob and basically unknown Rob Pattinson.  When Pattinson was announced as the pick for the role, fans went crazy.  “He is too ugly to play the most beautiful vampire in the world!  His face looks like a foot! NO!!!!”   It wasn't until the Twilight movie came out that Rob was accepted by the fans.   The search for Christian Grey will probably be even more controversial.  Icy has said she wants unknowns to play Grey and Ana.  Fans aren't so sure about that!

 

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The four actors most often named by fans to play Christian Grey:  Ryan Gosling, Ian Somerhalder, Michael Fassbender, Simon Baker.  Of the four, Ian gets the most press.  He is handsome, but I would love for them to pick an unknown for both Christian and Ana!

 

The economic effects of the Fifty phenomenon are striking. Barnes and Nobles reported this month that the reason for their unexpected gain this period is the “strong sales of the Fifty Shades of Grey series.” Then, there is a noted increase in pregnant woman that is being attributed to the book. Women are calling their expected babies – a Fifty Shades baby, due to their spiced-up marriages. Icy recently signed a licensing agreement for a range of products to be sold – stockings, garters, pjs and hoodies. Also, she collaborated on the Fifty Shades of Grey: The Classical Album - Christian Grey is of course a noted pianist and aficionado of classical music. One love making scene is set to the music of the obscure work by Tallis: Spem in Alium The internet download of that heretofore rarely listened to piece of music climbed to #1 on the ITunes Classical music charts!   Finally, adult stores also report large gains in sales due to the book’s steamy content. 

 

 

 

Is the book good?  I loved it.  I’ll admit it.  But the reviews have been mixed.  Most literary critiques have slammed the book as poorly written.   I must have bad taste.  I thought it was highly entertaining, funny and  sexy, and shocking too – all at the same time.  It’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.  There are a few passages (well, more than a few!) that will make you blush bright red, but mostly it’s a lot of give and take snappy verbal sparring between Ana and Christian.    I have read both the original Fanfic version and the Fifty Shades of Grey version.  Except for the differences in the names, and Ana’s eye color, the two are exactly alike – but for one thing – the price.   Free copies of the Master of the Universe copy are available on the internet, if you know how to look for it.  Email me if you want one – I’ll send it to you.  Plus – the book only has three Christian POV (point of views) – the original fanfic had a few more, including their break up scene told in Edward’s voice. 

 

 

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Taking notes? 

 

Since the outrageous success of Fifty Shades, a few other of the best written Twilight fanfics have been published.   One is Gabriel’s Inferno.  And I highly recommend it.  Its nothing like Fifty Shades though, so don’t read it looking for bondage and whips and chains.  It’s just a good  and  very mysterious love story between a college professor and one of his students – with heavy Dante connections.  Dante and fanfiction????  Yes.   Another famous fanfic that is now in publication is called Sempre.  And again, I can highly recommend it.  This time, the book is about human slavery in the United States and the Mafia.  But really, it’s a sweet love story between two young people.  See a trend here?  All sweet love stories.    No wonder I love Twilight fan fiction so much!

 

 

                                                                  

Click to order Gabriel’s Inferno KINDLE on the left and in paperback on the right

 

                                                             

Click to order Sempre on KINDLE on the left, or the paperback book on the right.

 

In closing – nothing is original, everything is derivative, especially literature.    Many people, especially literary critics decry the fanfic genre.  In reality, there is fanfiction that flows through much of the written word.  For instance West Side Story is basically a fanfiction retelling of the story of Romeo & Juliet, which itself was taken from an Italian poem.   And think of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice which has been rewritten as both the movies Clueless, and Bridget Jones’ Diary.  Many Disney movies are retellings of more famous stories - The Jungle Book is simply Rudyard Kipling’s Robin Hood.  And Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats is a fanfic of T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.   Even the bible has been rewritten by fans:  Ben Hur, The Last Temptation of Christ, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell – all works based on the bible, rewritten for popular consumption.     So for anyone who judges the validity of Fanfic remember, not much out there is new under the sun. Everyone is inspired by someone, just as Icy was inspired by Twilight. (I have a list of 100s of the most obvious examples of fanfics through the ages – email me and I’ll send the list to you.)

  And as Vicky of French Essence asked me – is there now Fifty Shades fanfic?  Yes, there is!  On www.fanfiction.net, there are now over 200 fanfics written about Fifty Shades.  Oh, the irony.   Fanfiction written about fanfiction!  There are over 200,000 fanfics written about Twilight, over 600,000 rewritten stores about Harry Potter AND there are over 700 retellings of the book Gone With the Wind  - I looked it up! 

 

These cards are just so funny!

 

Finally, what is the appeal of Fifty Shades of Grey?  Why are so many people reading it?  Icy puts it simply, women fantasize about a handsome, rich man sweeping them off their feet and taking total care of them.  With all the responsibilities women have today – work, home, motherhood – the fantasy of having a man control one aspect of their lives is appealing.  Of course, here, that aspect takes place in the bedroom!!   Icy claims to have no experience in the type of kinky lifestyle she writes about, and most people who read the book agree.  It’s all new territory to them.  But many also say the book has helped their marriage by putting the spark back into it.  Maybe that is the appeal?  Basically, it’s just a love story, highly erotic, but  a love story nonetheless.  It’s also a book about compromise, changing for your partner and evolving.      

 

 

So, now I ask you – did you read Fifty Shades of Grey? Did you like it? Did you realize that this best seller was really Twilight fanfiction? Did you know of that connection?   Is the book too racy for you?  Is it too explicit or did you enjoy that part of the story?  Did the book put a little spice back into your marriage as many readers have claimed?  Or, did you find it just a piece of trash and throw it in the garbage, unfinished? Or, have you refused to read it on grounds that it has too much sex in it? 

I am really curious to see what you think of this book!  It was the talk of the summer.  Whenever someone mentioned they were reading a book on their Kindle, it was always Fifty Shades!  Be honest now!  You can sign in anonymously if you want.  I already confessed I enjoyed it, but I suspect many will say they didn’t like it at all.  Should be interesting. 

 

P.S. If you are interested in reading Twilight Fanfic – email me, I’ll send you a list of my favorites. 

  P.S.S. And if you are one of the only people left who doesn’t have the books – you can order them here:

 

 

                                                                       

Here is the series of all three books bundled together.  The KINDLE is on the left, the paperback is on the right. You can order them separately if you like, on Amazon.

 

And, now, in the words of the famous Decorno, DISCUSS!!!!

Laters, baby!

 

 

 Fifty Shades of Grey

 

 

NOTE:  The giveaway is now planned for after Labor Day.  Sorry for the delay.  But I want everyone back in town to be able to enter it!

 

247 comments:

  1. The first part of this post made me hoot with laughter. My husband and I have similar "discussions" which usually end up with me saying "Do you have a degree in design?" and stomping off. Then I do what I want and he loves it.:)

    I love ALL of your ideas and cannot wait to see them come to fruition.

    I did read Vicki's post but did not comment as I have not read the books. I am not sure if I will. By chance they drop into my lap and I have nothing else going on then perhaps.

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    1. I say that too!!! And where did you get your degree in interior design? and he says - the same place you did. because i didn't graduate college - I left a few courses short after my parents forced me to come home because my boyfriend wasn't jewish!!! snort. i should write about THAT sometimes!!!

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    2. A superb blog.... You have some wonderful and inspirational interior design ideas. Keep up the brilliant work.

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  2. I'm one of the only folks who hasn't read the books, I had no idea about the background of the books nor had I heard of fanfiction. But I'm also one of the few who has never seen The Titanic, Dirty Dancing ad I just saw Forrest Gump.

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    1. omg, no titanic??????? it is sooooo good!!!!!

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  3. Lordy,Lordy. I am borrowing the book from my friend today. Who knew you would have the scoop on fifty. Please email me the links from this story.
    Karen
    karlight52 ate yahoodotcom
    Would you consider changing your comment section so it is like Vicki's or Slim's. Your email address already shows and is not published.
    Love the library progress. I think you should do a regular book review and keep this going. I have ordered 5 of the books you recommended.

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    1. they don't use the same platform i do!!!!
      but, tell me what you want? the original fanfic book?

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  4. I am shaking right now. This book that I know you have not read, has no place on your blog. You do not know this, having not read the books, but this book is about pedophilia. This book is pure evil. Please read the link below for yourself, and please consider deleting this post. The main character has been given a fake ID. She is clearly underage, wears pigtails, skips and turns cartwheels. Please do not be duped, as so many have been, into thinking that this book is okay. It is not. I am a frequent commenter, and just can not stand to see an agenda of promoting evil brought into your blog unwittingly. Here is the link which I encourage EVERY reader considering this book who reads these comments. But, please, I ask you mother-to-mother to delete post immediately.
    http://theulstermanreport.com/2012/08/18/fifty-shades-pedophilia-abuse-controversy-revisited/

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    1. I could not agree more. Joni's readers come here because of their interest in design - not smut. I am frankly shocked that an avid reader, which Joni appears to be, would have such low brow taste in her reading material including the Twilight series. Really, grow up and read something mentally stimulating, educational and inspiring.

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    2. Your nuts if you think this book is about pedophillia. Pigtails and cartwheels???
      The book hardly goes into S&M - that is just something harboring in the background of the tramatized past of one of the characters. Sorry you feel this way but there is nothing wrong about sexulaity - God created us to enjoy sex. If he didn't, the world and the human species would not continue to populate the planet. Sex is not a sin. I am a Christian ( no pun intended!) and I enjoyed this book.

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    3. I don't know what comment you are referring to but no one has mentioned anything about being Christian or not. The issue I believe was pedophillia. We also didn't ask for your take on the creation and what God intended. You sound like a marriage counselor with an empty waiting room.

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    4. We also did not ask for your soap box "mother to mother" rant! You sound like a repressed pain in the ass. I feel for your husband - the guy must be in a living hell.

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    5. Ellen- thank you for the link. At first I was shocked at the idea that these books are about pedophilia, but you've got me thinking (and feeling sick to my stomach). My friends and I discussed at some length some of the rather unbelievable traits of the female character, Anastasia. She was about to graduate college, but had no idea how to use a computer? Had no sexual knowledge/ experience? She spoke like a child, not an educated young adult....had never had a drink?? The main character, Christian, was raped as a child. I believe he perpetuated what he experienced as a teen by raping a teen. YIKES.

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    6. ok, ok, - let's calm down a bit. I think that a book that has sold over 40 million copies in just a few months deserves discussion. I find the fact that it's ties to the chaste Twilight books is intriguing. I thought not many people knew that connection. And btw, there is NO sex in Twilight at all.
      As for the charge about this book - yes, Christian was raped by his motoher's friend when he was 15. But why does that make it wrong to read the book? There is no glorification of that relationship? In fact, Ana despises that woman for what she did to him and she DOES call it rape.

      As for Ana being underage? She is a college graduate. She is I think 21 or 22. He is 27. She DOES know how to use a computer, she just didnt have money to buy one so she borrrowed her roommates. NOt sure what cartwheels you are talking about???????? She IS a virgin. She was waiting for someone whom she felt she could or would love. HE didn't rape her, she went to his apartment with the expression intention of losing her virginity.

      Look - I get the book is controversial. That's exactly why I was curious what you all thought about it. But let's be honest about the criticism. This isnt a book about child porn, it's a book about man with strange sexual habits and how he changes for the woman he loves. That's is basically the message behind it if you want to find a message.

      Is it for everyone? NO. NO. NO. I am merely asking whether you read it and if you did, what did you think and if you didn't why not.

      I am not going to pull the story - why should I? I didn't quote any of the book not did I say you should read it. The truth is I was mostly telling you the background of the book and where it came from.

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    7. I am so sad that women would find this book so entertaining. It shows the direction that our country is going. "So goes the heart of the people goes the country." I am not a goody goody and I enjoy sex with my husband but we do not need books like "Fifty Shades of Gray" on our bookshelves. We should all spend our time reading more enlightening material or maybe giving time to volunteer in our community or just keep to decorating post, which is why I follow your blog in the first place.

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  5. Am I the only one who actually did not really like the book? it is a good thing , mind you, as I was reading it on the train on my daily commute to New York. Could have been slightly embarrassing if the book actually did something to me :). I thought it was poorly written with all the expected fantasies, to be a beautiful object, controlled and educated in the sexual matters by a complicated,handsome, young, intelligent, powerful man. I like a good erotic book, take story of O for instance, which has much more depth and grace. Also, just the idea of S and M, mental and physical abuse makes me cringe... I did not even finish the book...

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    1. A LOT of people hate the book, you are far from alone, trust me. I wonder out of all the sales - how many books were tossed into the garbage, unfinished - like you did. 50 percent? 40 60 - that would be an interesting statistic to know.

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  6. Devoting an entire post to this garbage of a book? Seriously, I would have expected more from you Jonie! Biggest pile of rubbish between two covers to hit our bookshelves EVER. And your comment "one of the only people" who hasn't read it is unfounded, in my circles NO ONE has read it nor had any desire. Most I know consider it a joke and have zero interest.

    However credit to you for a well written, and obviously very well researched post. Obviously something you really enjoyed doing. Just was unexpected and I for one, am glad her 15 min. of fame seems to be behind us, in America we will grab onto literally anything and this was a prime example of how low we will go.

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    1. yes! like i said before = i wonder out of all the millions sold, how many ended up in the trash bin. i was mainly interested in telling people the origins of the book because i know most people have no idea.

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  7. I have read all 3 and I can say I was hooked after the first one. Don't we all read to get away from the real world -- to take us somewhere else?? Wht are readers saying it was poorly written its a book a fanatasy world. not real life !! And just sayin, myself included ,it sure does put a boost in your sex life. My husband was like "what got into you" ?? My friends included -- our reply "fifty" !!!! Glad you had the guts to get this party started Joni !! Live people live !!!

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    1. I am assuming the time you have spent reading garbage is the reason your "blog" as it were has no posts.

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    2. Really ??? I have no blog ! If you want to comment you sometimes have to set an account up with or without a blog.
      I am assuming that you can't read and of course have no blog either !!
      Bully much on a design blog ?? FEEL BETTER ??

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  8. I have to say that I have had no interest in reading it. I am really tired of titillating novel subjects. Can't someone create an interesting plot without using eroticism? I am glad my first name is not Anastasia, haha!

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    1. well, there is twilight - which is the most chaste love story ever written. the sexiest it gets is a written "leg hitch" i believe. their honeymoon scene is a fade to black. can you imagine if your name is ana OR christian grey? how embarrassing!!!

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  9. Joni, I read the book...And loved it! I think it is hilarious that some people are slamming the book when they haven't even read it yet! I was afraid to read it, thinking it was smut, but loved it because down deep it truly documents the evolution of a relationship and a beautiful love story. It isn't meant to be Pulitzer prize winning. It is entertainment and if people don't know the facts, they shouldn't comment.

    To clear up a few things:
    1. It is not promoting pedophilia. It attacks it as the wrong and hideous act that it is.
    2. Ana is not underage. She is 21 and Christian is about 26, if I remember correctly. Both are consenting adults.
    3. Ana does wear pig tails at one point, something that many people find sexy. It isn't because she is a tween. My husband and brothers-in-law all think that Brittany Spears dressed like a school girl is completely hot, and they are by far NOT pedophiles. Why should Ana be any different?

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    1. Your husband and brother-in-law have poor taste and you have to wonder why they like pig tails and Brittany Spears dressed like a school girl. I would have been ashamed to have admitted this let alone written it on a blog.

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  10. No interest- zero!! I do not know anyone who read it that actually enjoyed it, but to each his own!

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    1. I do wonder that! I know there are rabid fans, but there are equally those who hated it. I would love to know the percentage. it would be interesting to know.

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  11. I downloaded a preview on my nook but didn't purchase, at this point in my life I daydream about finding a clone of Joan's husband (For the Love of a House) or a Steve Gianetti who would be a father figure, fiscally responsible, handy and let me have a plethora of animals. Sorry ladies I promise no pornographic daydreaming is involved. Joni you have a point about being whisked away and absolved from responsibilities, I think most women in my age group (late 40 to mid 50s) have a vague recollection of our heyday when we were nubile young babes exploring our sexuality. Then poof you get older, have kids and look in the mirror and you are your mother! I went to see Magic Mike with a friend and geez louise, the screaming middle aged ladies was embarrassing and other than the first scene and the last (Mathew was such a perfect sleezy over the hill stripper) I basically felt cheap and tawdry. But I am glad I went and at some point I will read the book. This isn't the first book nor it will be the last written about pushing the" mainstream" sexual boundary.

    Thanks for this post, it was very insightful I had no idea about FanFiction. As for the book being about pedophilia, I doubt that, the abuse of children and the manufacturing of child pornography is the most vile and heinous crime out there. All in all a great post, thanks for mixing it up!

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  12. Interesting topic....I actually had no interest and though for maybe 10 min. considered borrowing it from a friend just to see what the hoopla was all about, it waned and it was forgotten. I just really have absolutely no desire to read it. Its been interesting to see how she became an overnight sensation and when I saw her interview on 20/20 I have to admit I was a little taken aback when I saw her...so dissheveled and "unpolished" for lack of a better word. However I am sure shes laughing her frumpy self all the way to the bank....lol.
    What I do like is the direction you are going in for your library...love gray anything (except 50 shades the book, lol) and really love taffeta checks, have one on my blog today in my back powder room and I am in love with it! I look forward to seeing what you do.

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  13. Joni -Since you are going grey - please peak at this link for a library as I believe (after following your blog for 3 years) it is in keeping with your design aesthetic.

    http://media-cache-ec3.pinterest.com/upload/143693044330686577_rJR3bg1W_f.jpg

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    1. What a great library set up and finish. I especially love the lights tucked into the molding on the shelves and the book rest pull-out.

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    2. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT IS SO GORGEOUS!!! And it does have the same layout as mine, kind of. i never saw that and i thought i had seen all the libraries on pinterest. wow, thank you!!!!!!!!! a million times!!!!!

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    3. Are these halogen lights and if so, will they not get very hot if left on for long periods of time. The look is great, but is it too late for you to achieve it?

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    4. I love this but can't seem to "pin" it, is it on pinterest, I had no luck finding it. any assistance would be appreciated, alas I feel like Ana....computer illiterate:)

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    5. Lovely calm colours, its really beautiful! I am in the process of trying to update our library/ office, so this is terrific, thanks!

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  14. I also have no interest in the Twilight series or Fifty Shades of Gray.

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  15. I read the first one... I did not like it at all. But I always want to know what everyone else is talking about. With so many well written books on the market, I can't believe this one gets all the hype.

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    1. i'm shocked at how many books have been sold, shocked. but i did know how popular it was as fanfiction so......i guess it's not a big leap. still, 40 million?????? wow.

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  16. OMG! Love this very unexpected post!! What a great story - I will be forwarding it on to all my friends.

    I read all three books on my kindle in May while on vacation and have recommended it to all my friends. The books are simply FICTION and I hope that all readers approach them with that in mind.

    p.s. - love cote too!!
    Becky

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  17. Joni- I loved Twighlight and I loved 50 Shades. I knew what they were when I turned the first cover, an escape! Certain times of year I want to revel in the classics. Certain times of the year I want to self improve and I avidly pursue non-fiction. Other moments in my fast paced, stressful routine mandate a total escape into easy reads that are so vastly different from my day to day world. If these works happen to be erotic and exciting to boot, well that is fantastic. To each her own, I say. Thank you for the very well researched and written post. Those who didn't enjoy it will come back tomorrow for stellar decor!

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  18. Only Robert Pattinson can play Christain Grey - no other!!!

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    1. i wish!!! after all the book was written with his image in mind. no way though. i am so curious to see who gets the roles.

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  19. I read all 3 and LOVED them! Fiction is fiction and take it for what it is.... ENTERTAINMENT. Being mean & nasty to Joni (or each other) about this topic in your comments is WAY more upsetting than any book I've EVER read. Keep up the great work Joni, love your blog! And thanks so much for my next Kindle downloads!

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    1. Agreed... read all 3 and hope there are more to follow...

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  20. Joni, First I would like to say that I have been following your blog for many years, but have never written to you. I think you are a fabulous designer and I look forward to reading your blog and listening to the interview videos everyday. I think I should say that I am a 60 year old designer, married to my high school sweetheart who I started dating at 15. I read all three 50 Shades books and could not put them down. As soon as I finished one I started the next. (I did not get much done for about two weeks). I immediately recognized the relationshop to the Twilight books (which by the way, I did the same thing with, plus I purchased all of the movies). It seems sad to me that some of the women above are discounting the books as trash and condoning pedophollia without even reading the books. From reading their comments though I don't think they would have open minds to the great sex in the books, so its better they don't read them. Thanks for the info on the history of the book and author. I did not know that. Also, I just finsihed a book that is exaclty like the Shades books but with characters named differenly, "Bared to You" by Sylvia Day. It can't beleive that she would be allowed to knock off someones story so closely though. She is supposidly writing a few more sequels, Keep up the good blog work. I have learned alot from you.

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    1. thank you!!! so sweet of you to say. i heard about that book, but haven't read it. i think there will be a plethora of copycat books because of the success of this.

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  21. what ever floats your boat ...given the current state of things.. I have a problem with the idea of being "taken care of" aka controlled for any female .. I say take care of yourself and if you want to waste time daydreaming about (fill in the blank) that is entertainment.. I have no intention of reading Fifty shades .... Twighlight yes maybe ... we would all be better off if some of us did not think we have the right to tell others how to live their life, what to think, what to read. etc., etc., etc.

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    1. Why are you so defensive. No one has told you how to live here nor have they told anyone else. Get off your high horse.

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  22. I think you´re great Joni, even if I don´t share your taste in literature.
    I love your energy and enthusiasm and admire the fact that you research everything so thoroughly and dare to share your thoughts with the world, even when you know they may not be popular with everyone. A bit of debate is excellent mental exercise too, so it´s all good.
    All the best from,
    Sarah in Sweden.

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    1. thank you! i'm glad you understand where i was coming from! actually i was more interested in telling people the story behind the story!!

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    2. Sarah, you said just what I was thinking!

      I'm an entertainment junkie, so I did know the background even though I'm not interested in Twilight nor Shades. The background is what interests me. And that's why I enjoy Joni's blog - I love her well-researched posts on design!

      My only nitpit with this post is that I believe Stephanie Meyer didn't write Twilight for Young Adults. Her editor suggested it and so Twilight was marketed towards them. That's so minor it is petty to mention it - and yet I have. Sorry!

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    3. i have always thought that too. i think she thought she was writing a book for adults and they said no. probably because the writing was sooooo..... hehe. well, it's easy reading.

      when i read lolita, i had to use my dictionary for every single page - about 20 times. even then sometimes it was hard to decipher. that book has the most gorgeous writing. again the subject matter is really child porn, but wow, its such a fabulous book. so so so sad.

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  23. I want to add to my comment above that I have no objection to eroticism in literature. However, this series seems to be part of a gimmick. I've read the poor reviews and decided the books were not worth my time when I have a whole stack of other books waiting to be read.

    I love this blog because I love interior design and want to see what other people are doing and what they think about what others are doing.

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    1. I have a beautiful interior design post coming up next!!!! i promise!!!

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  24. SIMPLY NOT INTERESTED IN SMUT OF THAT KIND. MY OWN LIFE MUUUUUCH MORE INTERESTING !!! LOL

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  25. I read all three books, and I sensed a connection. I thought the first book had sophomoric writing, but the writing improved in next two volumes. I also believe that it is a love story with an erotic plot. (Not porn.) Like "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", the first book grabbed you with the forbidden. Then like the "Twilight" series, it became a story about a man who was so deeply in love that even the object of his love had trouble accepting the unbelievability of her circumstances and his intensity at first. It also mirrored Twilight with the her parent situation.

    I would like to believe that my husband is so smitten with me that I am his entire universe, too!

    I just watched "Belle Ami", too! Thanks for the recommendation.

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    1. I liked Bel Ami too. mostly for the sets and the cast though!!! haha!!

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  26. Joni,
    What I'm really blown away by is the story behind the story. I had no idea how this book started and became published {I haven't seen any of the interviews with the author, etc}. The website that gives potential writers the opportunity to try their skill at writing on a public platform aligned with top selling books is interesting.
    I haven't read 50 Shades, I think it was too much hype that kept me from picking it up. One thing is certain, the books have churned up much discussion and reading some of the comments on the blogs is entertaining.

    BTW - I really like the image on the link that Lisa C sent you with the library in greige.

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    1. i know - that library is so cute - i only pray mine looks that good!!

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    2. Katherine, I totally agree - so interesting to learn how the world of publishing is evolving! And, how other entertainment channels (i.e. movies) can drive developments in a related industry. Had the Twi movies not been blockbusters, would the related fanfic have gotten as much attention? Who knows? But this is a fascinating peek into how the public is made aware of new offerings in other media, and how they react. In addition to Joni wondering how many copies ended up in the trash, I also wonder how many book clubs (at least those that read across genres instead of having a specific interest like Victorian lit) have at least discussed whether to add it to their list. For the record, mine was split down the middle so we agreed to leave it off but did ask those who read it to tell us their thoughts.

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    3. interesting about book clubs. now with the fanfic communities, everyone reviews the stories so its like a club for sure. except you get 100s of opinions. some authors really loose their mind when the reviews are bad. some will even pull their story if there are complaints about it.

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  27. Was interested in the taffeta you recommended. Cannot locate at highland court /duralee. Can you help? Thanks!

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    1. here is the number:

      800255H - conners collection

      try to get it wholesale, the retail price is way too much!!!

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  28. Garbage as far as I am concerned but whatever makes you happy! I would rather spend my time on something I can learn from.

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  29. Well, this was a really unexpected post for a design blog....I read the first book only because it was my book club's selection. I lost interest after the first few chapters, but forged on, sometimes skimming over the repetitive and yes, mentally and physically abusive sex scenes. My take: it's porn, and not a genre that I am interested in investing my time in. I kept thinking what a stupid girl Anastasia was....Christian was creepy and a stalker, especially at the beginning. I could go on and on....the book is poorly written, demeaning to women....Bottom line: there are so many wonderful, inspiring, educational, and beautiful books waiting to be read, why go to the gutter?

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    1. a LOT of people share your exact opinion. a LOT of people loved it. i wonder what the numbers are. how many books ended up in the trash bin?

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  30. I knew it... After reading the 50's I just knew there was a connection to Twilight series. I am so glad you cleared this up for me. By the way, I LOVE your blog and have never commented. Thanks for all your great advice! I always look forward to reading Cote...

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  31. Where is Joni and who is the guest blogger? This has got to be the most least interesting post I have read on your blog. I hope it's a one time deal.;)

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    1. haha! i'm here! but interior design will be back next time. writing it right now!

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  32. Not having read the book ( and not planning on reading the book) I can't honestly comment on it's substance at all and as a guy I'm told I probably wouldn't enjoy it that much any way. Commercially though it's hard to deny the author struck gold. Oddly, the older I get (mid-fifties-ish) the more I find the most exquisite beauty, and joy, and thrill, and pain, and sexuality, and heartbreak, and wonder, and well,how far down that road could I keep going, in reality: the human experience. I know so many women, mostly,although in fairness I do know a few men who are so caught up in these "big-box fantasies" that they are far more familiar with the fictional character's lives than they are with the ones they rub shoulders with everyday. As a matter of fact I think some tend to be a little disfunctional when it comes to their own life but eagerly participate between the dust jackets and big screen projections of any love-struck vampire with a great head of hair! Joni, I have to agree with some of your other readers; you're my favorite fantasy and I'm happier when you do what you do best; thrill me with passionate design!

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    1. great, great comment. i hope you come back and read thsis. i relate with what you said about the human experience. the older you get, the more beauty you see - but also the more depressing it can be too. life is so fleeting. oh well. not going to go there. thanks for this.

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  33. I read all 3 for the same reason that one can't turn away from a trainwreck. Odd as it sounds, I hated all of them but felt compelled to finish the series once I started. Blame it on OCD. I kept thinking, "Surely a plot will begin to develop here", "Surely these characters will evolve and become more relatable/likeable", "Surely she wont use THAT phrase again", etc, etc. No such luck. Many of my friends had the same draw/reaction. Our aversion wasn't so much to the content as it was the writing. Yes, the content was offensive but it also became painfully repetitive and, ultimately, irksome. The author's style, phrasing, general pop culture references and even the characters themselves (down to the descriptions of their clothing) prove that she's pretty out of touch with the generation and subject matter she's writing about. And, despite popular opinion, just a touch unimaginative and uninspired. Sorry I gave her any of my money.

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    1. i wish you could have just read the free version like i did!!! so many people hated the writing - but for fanfiction, it was pretty good. most of fanfic is horrible. horrible. i might read one paragraph and that's it. hers was a cut above, so that should tell you.

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  34. If you are looking for an opinion on the fabrics for La Bibliotheque, I vote for the second set of fabrics. The colors have a bit more life than the first set. I also like the texture and size of the plaid which I assume you would use for the upholstery.

    Wow, Joni, thanks for the book review. However, I went through my "Vampire" period 20 years ago with the Ann Rice books. ("Interview with a Vampire", etc.) After about 4 books, the topic made me so sick that I now have no interst in Vampires or overly dominant men. To each her own!

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    1. i agree about the fabrics. the first set is much quieter and too gray in person. i am going with the second set.

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  35. I was so excited to see that you were blogging about 'Grey" today!! I have read your blog for years and know you are an avid reader like I am. I always love your posts whether design related or not. I too have read all three 'Grey" books - several times each. Thank you for the review. It is so nice to read a review by someone who has actually READ THE BOOK and can speak intelligently about the contents. I loved the books for many reasons. I am shocked but I guess not really surprised by some of the comments on this post. Keep up the good work Joni! Thank you for the download recommendations!

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  36. I'm reading Fifty Shades Darker right now and plan on getting book 3 soon. I love these books. I'm in my late 50's and have found these books very enjoyable. Kind of funny, kind of kinky but there really is a true love story underneath. I'm kind of surprised at the negative comments on here also. I agree that the first book wasn't really all that well written but Fifty Shades Darker has had much better editing and reads very well. Everyone just needs to lighten up. It's nothing more than a racy romance novel and something to take one's mind off all the trials and trouble going on in the world today. I read my share of serious literature so I don't feel I'm lowering my standards just because I've enjoyed what one commenter on here called garbage.

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    1. my favorite parts of the book are the emails! those cracked me up. i loved their banter. i would assume the writing got better as she went on. she was a total novice.

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  37. I knew Fifty Shades was written as Twilight fanfic. I haven't (nor will I ever) read it. Not because I am a prude, but because the reviews overwhelmingly excoriate these books as very poorly written. A well written book is much more "stimulating" than porn-ish trash. I find your interest in Twilight kind of amusing. I saw the first film, simply because I had grown up in the Northwest and been to Forks many times. It was a grim, gray, economically depressed logging town with a sad and squalid Indian reservation. I could not imagine how it would be the setting for a love story. Ignore the haters Joni. I am ALWAYS interested in your posts. More than any other design blogger they are full of content and make me think. That's a good thing!

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    1. I'm so sorry that you feel that this part of the Pacific Northwest, the Forks area, is "grim, gray" et. I live near to Forks. The area is lovely, peaceful. sublime. The gray is beautiful and misty; the nearby rainforest would not be in existance if it weren't often this soft gray color. The Native Americans who live in the area are not wealthy, correct, but I feel queasy at your desciption of them.
      It's probably a good thing that you decided to live somewhere else. I can tell you just don't "get it."
      Sheila

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    2. i havent been to forks, but i would LOVE to go!!!! the whole Forks connection and the INdian Res fascinates me for some reason. I dont know why I had such a connection to Twilight, but I did. I think it was because of the love store - that unattainable sweet first love. I fell for it.

      I had always thought that the green of Forks and surrounding areas were beautiful. the constant rain. i would love to go there one day!

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  38. "Ignore the haters, Joni"

    Isn't it always predictable that if someone disagrees here, they are always labeled "haters". Such a trite and over worked word. Some of you need to lighten up.

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    1. There is a big difference in the tone of a comment between those who disagree and those who are haters.

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  39. WOW! People certainly do get their knickers in a twist over this! Very interesting topic here! Vicki Archer's post really started the ball rolling and you have given the discussion some serious momentum. I have read numerous blog posts out there from some very popular bloggers who say they wouldn't give these books the time of day. HMMMMM.....whatever ELSE I think about any of this, I will email you privately! Goodness gracious!!! Also, love the fabrics for the library...I lean toward #1 but #2 is ALSO lovely and I would be thrilled with either. I know your choice will be exquisite!!! Can't WAIT to see the finished project...and the "getting there"!!

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    1. The "getting there" is the entire point of "Fifty Shades" also, isn't it? Ha!
      Sheila

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    2. Sheila, I hope you know I was just kidding.

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  40. I think there is a thin line and in life we need to make decisions on which side to tread. This one has been mentioned in various reviews as porn, which I realize is a matter of personal opinion. I have chosen not to read this series.

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  41. ...tell me what you read...or write...and i will tell you who you are...period...

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    1. Anyone who chooses to read a wide variety of books ( whether anyone else "approves" of these books) is probably an interesting, educated, and entertaining person. Someone narrow minded enough to pass judgement on someone else based on thier own personal criteria, not so much!

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  42. I read vicki's post however love your back story. Who knew! What's with all the anonymous comments? I vote for the thick lavender silk + checks. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  43. As a professional writer, I can honestly say that the book Fifty Shades of Grey was complete crap. Sorry Joni.

    As someone who was formerly in an abusive relationsip, I can also say that there's absolutely NOTHING erotic about being abused in any way. And that's what the book deals with. Abuse (thinly disguised as erotica).

    However, I'm with the other commenter who liked the second set of fabrics and would choose thos.

    Normally I love your blog, Joni, but today's was a clunker. And, if I might suggest (as I know others have) that posting with smaller images would significantly decrease load time. Being able to then see a larger version of images I'm interested in would be fantastic!

    Thanks!

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    1. you are not alone- most professionals hate the book's writing.

      i love the big pictures. i hate when blogs have tiny pictures - you can't see them.

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    2. So true. In fact, I tend to avoid blogs with tiny pictures which is probably unfair to the authors.

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  44. Joni...about your bookshelves. I was surprised to see that you are having them built in place, which means they have to be handpainted in place. I assumed you would have them made by a cabinetmaker who would spray on the paint and lacquer them like good custom cabinetry. I'm concerned that the finish you get with handpainted paint won't be what you want. I've never seen anything handpainted, no matter how professional, that looked as smooth as I like. And without that final lacquer finish, I think you might end up with chips and marks over time from the books rubbing across the shelves as you remove them. Perhaps I'm wrong about that last part? But I HATE seeing brush strokes in custom work and it's very hard to avoid them all with hand painting, no matter how good you are.

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    1. Not interested in the 50 Shades conversation...not my thing! But I wanted to add to this comment. I actually disagree with this comment. There is nothing I love more than built-in cabinets and I've done a lot over the years, my own and my clients. I always recommend for a room like this cabinets that are built and painted on site. They look more authentic, especially if the house is old, and the hand painting truly gives them a custom look. When cabinets are done off site and sprayed, then installed in a room like this, they look like someone had kitchen/bath cabinets modified for a library. The shiny, pre-fabricated look you get from spraying just doesn't seem right in a room like this, especially one that resides within Joni's house. And as far as chips/marks...a good painter (and oil paint!) will ensure these are minimal. In my mind, a few nicks and scratches make them look even better! Whether they are built on site or in a cabinet maker's shop, they are both "good custom cabinetry", just the finish is different. Neither is wrong...just personal preference!

      I have to be honest, when I saw the cabinets in the picture above, my heart started to race! How exciting for you, I love a good project like this!

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    2. I like brush strokes on wood...gives it the more authentic look and not the blemish-free, plastic look of brand new. However, my preference is of no surprise since I prefer aging with my wrinkles gracefully rather than working on my face with spackle and lip injections that turn me into a puffy faced, daffy duck. Sorry, no insult to those who "smooth" out their faces.

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    3. And sorry to Anonymous above my comment for repeating the word "authentic"...hadn't read your comment yet before posting mine.

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    4. well - interesting. at first i started freaking out but anon made me feel better. he did tell me they would be done off site and then, here he is every day - driving me insane! i hate people in my house!!!! anyway - lacquering and oil painting are two different things. the shelves were never going to be lacquered. i would actually love for leslie to do her magic on them! my painted can still spray them in situ. why not? he just needs to cover the floors. but i dont mind the brush strokes. it is what it is. a tiny room with shelves. nothing grand. im not that picky either.

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    5. Anon gave you great advice. I hope you take it. Lacquer looks shiney and cheap and there is no way possible to touch it up once it is installed. When it comes in contact with other paints, it melts literally.

      Color is a function of light. By all means paint on site. That way you can tweet the color if you need to in order to get the result you are looking for. A cabinetmaker's lacquer finish will never give you the seamless quality nor the satin look of an on site paint job.

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    6. Meant to say "tweek" the color. Too much tweeting already. haha

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    7. As to oil based paints. There are additives which painters can put in oil based paints to make them go on smoother and without the brush strokes. I think the name is Penetrol.

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    8. Perhaps I was wrong to use the word lacquer? My custom cabinets in my kitchen and bathrooms aren't shiny, they are high end work done by an artisan woodmaker, custom created for my space with my needs. However, the finish is beautiful, smooth, with a subtle gleam, not a shine, and aged to perfection. I've never seen cabinetry painted by hand rather than sprayed that has such a smooth and strong finish, even oil. But again, I haven't seen world class painters. What I envisioned for Joni's cabinets certainly isn't shiney and cheap. Obviously, your experience with on site painters is better than mine.

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  45. Reading the first book now. About a third of the way through the book. Seriously, the well educated mother walks in to the apartment and is not stopped by the security guy? She have a key? Then she sees a girl friend for the first time and there is a bedroom in the apartment for a girl friend (he has had 15 of them)? Most of this is just too, too unbelievable and not well constructed. I doubt if I will finish the book. Not to my liking. Must say that the sex is selling this book not great writing.

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  46. Oh my. Reading the comments above really amazes me. People do indeed get their knickers in a twist! Lol. First of all, I love your blog. I loved your post today. Who cares if it wasn't ALL about design. I have read the books and it did add a spark to my marriage. My husband keeps hoping there will be a fourth book released. I had no idea that Twilight was connected. Thank you for the info.

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  47. Hi Joni, I read quite widely and lots of "literature" but didn't have an issue with these books being "poorly written". They are page turners. The first book seemed a bit trite at the beginning, and the plot line far too shallow, like something a 16-year old girl would think up, but I got immediately involved in the love story. I am near the end of the second book, which I read all in one sitting! I don't find it terribly shocking and honestly I am getting bored with the steamy bits and just want Christian to become normal and fall in love with Ana and live happily ever after. Now how trite am I? I will say in the first book that it reawakened memories of my 20's and early 30's, when I was dating lots and had all sorts of complex relationships - the hot guy who didn't quite love you back, the gorgeous guy who wasn't right for you, the good friend who wanted more. I was pleased that I had had such an "enriching" youth and lots of love to choose from. So lots of good memories came back! I think they're great fun and full of nostalgia for me in a way, of being young and free!

    I had heard these started as Twilight fanfiction but thanks for the whole explanation. You're the best! But what really bugs me most is when the media calls this "Mommy porn". I know women from 16 to 86 who are reading and talking about these books. It is not just suburban Moms. I hate to break it to the world, but women have sex and would love to have it with a gorgeous, rich man who is devoted to them and wants to take care of them (minus the S&M, thanks). haha. Just because, in general, female fantasies may be a bit different from men's doesn't make them any less ardent.

    :D T.

    xo Terri

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  48. Oh, I forgot to say that the person living my real fantasy life is E.L. James.

    Laters baby.

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    1. yeah really. she hit the jackpot. she is stunned by it. i could have gotten into the whole brouhaha with other fic writers who told her NOT to pulblish, that she could never publish because of the twi connection, that she owed it to the fandom NOT to publish! that she had to write a new book to publish. she was twanked on twitter by a big name author who then went underground. she posted bits of past text messages that put icy in a bad light, but then icy came back and posted the entire convos which showed how out of context the twank was. it was a scandal at the time. icy was really shocked by the success. she never wanted this adulation, she wanted to remain anon. instead she's on tv in all her glory. she actually cried at the first few events - overwhelmed by peoples reactions to her and the book.

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    2. And our hearts bleed for her, truly they do. Laughing all the way to the bank when there are great writers out there struggling to get a publisher to look at their work. The fact that rubbish sells says more about us than the rubbish that writes it.

      Delete
  49. Hello, a lurker of your site here. I am an extremely well known fanfiction (and published) author, and while I applaud the success of "50 Shades of ...", " I think an issue not addressed in your post is that of copyright infringement. All of us who write fanfiction usually do so under a pseudonym (just like 50 Shades author originally did), and we do so because of issue of copyright. The legality of fanfiction as a commercial enterprise still needs to be addressed in the courts. No author of stature has tested this, and most authors, J.K. Rowling for one, acknowledge that fanfiction does a tremendous service to the original author by keeping a concept alive and kicking. There are also a few authors, like Diana Galbadon who have likened fanfiction of their material to being "raped." and that's a direct quote. So I don't want you to give the impression that anyone can go out and start writing fanfiction in the hopes of making a zillion dollars. I am pretty sure that Ms. Meyer and her publisher have decided that the 50 Shades franchise only contributes to the general Twilight phenonmenon and are quite happy to let this slide. Other authors with big pockets might not be so easy going. Like I said, these issues have not been tested in a court of law. I would imagine that Ms. Rowling, with her bazillions and Warner Bros. behind her, would not let something like this slide had a similar treatment been done to her series (although she is extremely supportive of fanfiction in general). It's still a murkey legal issue, so I just wanted to bring this up so that people understand that there are copyright issues to consider.

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    1. have you ever read that list of fanfiction or inspired retellings of stories that is circulating? it is an amazing, very comprehensive list. and shocking. i did talk a little about how some authors don't allow fanfic of their work. anne rice? would she still be relevant if she did allow it?

      i think the point is that what happened to stephenie and icy just doesn't ever happen. it's such a rarity and for it to happen to them both, one original and one fic is even more unbelievable. that's really why i wrote this story - i think it's so unique how similar icy and steph's course has been. and no, it prob will never happen again.

      i know that SR wants it to happen to him, but no way is TUOEM going to match MOTU. no way, never.

      im dying to know who you are!!! do you write twi fic or some other kind?

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    2. have you ever read that list of fanfiction...

      No, I haven't. Sounds fascinating!

      Well, authors can complain and rant and rave, but they really can't STOP people from writing it short of their publishers suing people. It's a gray area, and the fanfiction community is ever-divided on the issue. There are a lot of people who abide by writer's wishes and don't write fanfiction without an author's tacit approval--like J.K. Rowling. There isn't a whole lot of "Interview with a Vampire" fanfiction out there, and it might be in deference to Anne Rice.

      There are a number of fanfiction authors who have parlayed their fanfiction careers into original fiction careers by writing new concepts but using their fanfiction fanbase (which can be HUGE): Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan are two Harry Potter fanfiction writers who are now laughing all the way to the bank. I have to say that "50 Shades..." got my attention because she is the first person I know who absolutely attributes her material to an original source and just went with it. I'm surprised that she found a publisher who would take that risk.

      The one thing that does seem to be happening is that the stigma of writing fanfiction is lessening a bit, however, it's still regarded by many in the "real" publishing world as nothing more than plagiarism. I have kept my "hobby" a secret from my publisher because it's just that, a hobby. I have mentioned fanfiction at writer conventions just to get the pulse from the "legitimate" publishing community, and the reaction is universal scorn, so it's not well regarded in the general author community.

      I've debated actually using a variant of my pseudonym in fanfiction to write original novels because the rest of the publishing world is collapsing, but the shadow market of fanfiction authors writing steamy novels is going berserk. This is part of the draw to fanfiction. People write erotica under pseudonyms and develop a reader base (who read under pseudonyms) because people WANT to read erotica and yet they are ashamed to admit they want to read erotica. They do so from their laptops via the Internet. Based on my experience in fandom, the readership is enormous. It's largely women, but not all.

      The one thing that publishers just don't get is the volume of people who are reading this stuff. IT'S ENORMOUS. I'm not surprised that icy has the readership she has. Look at the hits on ff.net. People are consuming these stories (and for free!) like they are candy. She's unique in that she decided to monetize her success. It was a gamble, but obviously paid off.

      The only situation that I know of is an author seeking to monetize his work and getting sued is Steve van der Ark who sought to publish his Internet site, the HP Lexicon. This site had J.K. Rowlings' backing 100% before he decided to take it to a real publisher and try to print it in book form. She claimed that she had the rights to publish an HP encyclopedia and the courts agreed with her. He did publish something but it was a sad affair that is basically useless to those writing HP fanfiction. Of course, she has very big pockets and Warner Bros. were behind her. She came out swinging and won.

      Anyway, it's an interesting world that is beginning to creep into modern media consciousness. The success of "50 Shades..." didn't surprise me, given what I know about the "success" of a handful of fanfiction writers. Of course their success is not financial, but they can have an enormous readership. As icy realized when she parlayed her BNF status into big bucks!

      I write in a number of fandoms, but I'm probably best known in Harry Potter.

      Fanfiction/fandom is a fun world with its detractors and proponents, but the one thing I do know? It's huge.

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    3. i dont read harry potter, so i dont know your name, if you email me i'll send you that list of derivative literature. it's a real eye opener.

      there is no anne rice fanfic because she doesnt allow it. no site would ever put it on the web because of that.

      the audience is huge and the success of 50 shows that, but people don't really want to pay for it. it will be interesting to see how large the 50 shades fanfic category gets. wont ever reach twilights number though.

      and fanfic is mostly sexy. 90 percent i would say. women must like to read erotica that is the only explanation for its popularity.

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  50. Joni! Love your design blog... knew you loved Twilight... can't figure out what took you so long to post your 'position' on 50 shades ;) Will email for link :D BTW, to the folks that can't understand... Joni's Blog... free Country... don't like it... don't look.

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  51. First, concerning the fabrics, I like group 2. Silk taffeta just seems so girly-girl for a library (but I know you are one!).

    Second, have not read the books, nor will I. To each her own. But there are too many wonderful well-written books to ever get to them all to waste my time on this tripe (sorry). Kinky, abusive, s & m sex is not something I care to read about. I found the background story you gave very interesting, though; I never knew of the Twilight connection. I'm aware of fanfiction, but have never been so addicted to a series that I want to read more about its characters by another author, especially an amateur one when the original author is still alive. I will make exceptions for dead ones, though: Jane Austen (the writer as a character or her characters' stories being continued) or Sherlock Holmes in the hands of a good writer. (For example, Stephanie Barron for Jane and Laurie R. King for Sherlock are well regarded). Never read the Twilight books, but my husband and I watched the first movie. He's a high school teacher and wanted to know what all his girl students were so crazy about. We were glad to know what it was all about, but it's just meh in my book. I'm glad it gets young people (and apparently adults, too) reading, though.

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  52. I must admit I was sooooooooo disappointed when I accessed your site this morning and discovered your new post was not about a new design book, or a reader's kitchen, or a Pam Pierce-decorated house or any of your usual wonderful and interesting topics, but was instead about books of (from what I can tell) sexual fantasies. I haven't read the books, nor will I. I'm simply not interested in bondage or whatever these books are about. I understand that other people may find them interesting. But I can't understand why you did a post about them. Please stick to what you do best ... writing about interior design.

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    1. it's interior design next i promise. but may i say this? five years! five years of writing about design and only a handful of times have i deviated from that. that's not really a bad record. sometimes i do want to talk about something besides design - just on a rare occasion though!

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  53. Hi Jonie, Love your blog and I have read 50 Shades. I felt it took the second book to finally get something I couldn't put down. From reading the other comments, I see that those of us who live on the West Coast live here for a reason. Your readers from Texas and the Bible Belt are W O W!!!! Just saying...

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    1. And how in hell do you know where her readers are from?

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    2. Actually, you are probably living in the right place as most reprobates end up in California one way or another.

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    3. Stereotypes of all kinds are so annoying. I'm a fourth generation Texan and more open-minded than most Californians I know. But again, I'm referencing people I actually know, not some image in my head that I've made up. We don't ride horses to work here, by the way. And we don't all wear cowboy hats. And many of us hurl at the thought of Rick Perry.

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    4. As a Texan, I'd like to second anonymous' comment above.

      Delete
  54. I read the first Twilight book like it was a bag of candy - consumed in one sitting with a bellyache when I was done. Personally I am a big fan of the teen-sex theme. Love a good coming of age story. Twilight left me cold. Miserable, obsessive love left unconsummated. What's the point? When my name came up for Fifty Shades of Grey at the library I had already read all the hype and was curious. I agree the idea of a powerful man in the bedroom is exciting and rich and handsome doesn't hurt. But I had to flip to the back to make she he didn't kill her. Not my thing.

    Leave it to you Joni to create the most interesting, engaging post out of literally nothing. I don't mind the occasional off topic post and am happy to read anything you write, though, obviously not anything you read :-)

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  55. Oh, good grief, pass the teapot! franki

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  56. Dear Joni,
    I love your blog--decorating information and your writing is so warm and friendly and open. I look forward to every new post. It's getting me through the painful aftermath of a divorce and a remodel. I bet you didn't know you would be giving comfort when you sit down to write a new posting. Thank you.

    I enjoyed both parts of today's posting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about your library and the interesting back story on this phenomenon.

    Fondly,
    A fan

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  57. I won't be reading these books not because I have anything against erotic writing but because I fear they are as poorly written as the Twilight series. I read the first Twilight book...because I'd heard from friends that it was sooo good. I barely made it through it because it was so boring and written so poorly. But for Xmas that year a friend gave me two more in the series. I read them only because she wanted me to so badly. Again...I barely made it through them. They were awful. When the fourth came out I refused to read it. I had a friend tell me what happened...not because I cared but because she wanted me to know and I said I was not going to read it. After she told me how it ended I told her I was sooooo happy I did not waste any more time reading that crap. Sounded like it ended even worse than I could have imagined. So no...I will not be reading 50 shades because I expect it to be as bad as the Twilight books.

    I do love vampires...though...I've read all the Anne Rice books....and adore them.

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  58. Hey there Joni.....first the decorating, love group one of the fabrics. I would 86 the portieres just because I think they'll be to heavy looking for the room, small room with lots going on with the books, keep it simple. Ignore the husband love the French doors and your chandelier, they never notice anyway.

    As for the books, never read any of the twilight books but am reading Fifty shades of Grey, I'm on the second book now. The first one was a bit of a dude but everyone kept telling me to read the next and I am and loving it. Leave it to you to find the thread that connects these two and now think I need to read the twilight series.

    Nice seeing you step out of the box that everyone has put you in I like seeing more sides to you.

    XX
    Debra~

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    1. thanks debra!!! everyone says the second book is better - i read it as one book, so it's hard to say. my favorite parts are the emails. i loved those. Use your blackberry Ana!!!!

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  59. I was much more interested in reading this blog post than actually reading the books!
    You are such a great story teller, Joni. I have a feeling that you would be a great fan fiction writer. Now that is something I would read.

    I laughed when I read the comment about my hubby Steve. Hmmm... maybe that's why I have no desire to read those books. LOL.

    xo
    Brooke

    Looking forward to seeing your finished library... love the color scheme. xoxo

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    Replies
    1. saw that too. i laughed when poor ben didnt make the list. i can relate! ahhaha. just kidding.

      Delete
    2. Brooke I assure you I don't have salacious lascivious thoughts about Steve, he just seems like a good "benchmark" and as for Ben....Joni you never tell us about him doing Mr Handyman chores....I can relate to Terri (Windlost) and had lots of steamy romances with the bad boys and cute boys and unfortunately Peter Pan Man so someone stable and capable is much more appealing these days! I was into the whole Ann Rice vampire thingee in the 90's, oh and the Carpathians.....the whole idea of immortality was the hook. Joni I love your posts, especially when they generate such a fervor.

      I didn't comment earlier on the fabric, I prefer the first choice. Can't wait to see the finished room.

      Delete
  60. Hi Jodie,
    I am a huge fan of your blog and love all of your posts! I would like to get a copy of the Master of the Universe fan fiction if possible.
    Thanks,
    Sarah

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    Replies
    1. sayrah - email me your email address!
      mrballbox329@aol.com

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  61. I was at first reluctant to read the Twilight books, vampires, teenagers, come on, but when I did I couldn't stop until I read them all. I read the 1st 50 shades and didn't totally like the b&d parts but who wouldn't love being loved by Christian Grey. The 2nd one was finished in a few hours, loved it. I bought the 3rd and it has been sitting on my nightstand unread because I don't want to be finished the series.
    I follow you on twitter and was really shocked how much you follow the twilight stuff. Not because it is teenager stuff but because I can't figure out how you have so much time in the day. I know you don't sleep but still, a job, a husband, a child, some dogs, a blog and twilight fanatic??? Maybe this is why we haven't seen any drive by houses lately.

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    1. drive by houses? you know what my problem is really - i always leave without my camera. so many times im out and say - why?????? i need to take it with me all the time. twittering? it takes a minute or two = i usually am writing my blog while twittering. its no big deal.

      Delete
    2. Use your phone, Joni! I've had expensive DSLR cameras (four digits - WHAT was I thinking?!?) and a successive series of digital pocket cameras that kept getting smaller with more memory and features. It's finally gotten to the point where my phone camera is so reliable and the editing apps are so good that I use it 99% of the time and only drag out the "real" cameras for truly special occasions or big trips. Give it a whirl - we all stand to win if you like the results and if not, no one loses anything!

      Delete
  62. Look what you started! Just kidding...
    Great post and thanks a lot for all the information behind the books, I didn't know most of it.
    I think by the time you decide to read these books you pretty much know what to expect, so if you know you can't handle 'mommy porn' very well, don't read them! I read all three of them and the bottom line is a story about a troubled young man with a past and how that impacts his life and those of the people around him. End of STORY!

    Oh and those husbands...most of them just want to say something you know...but in the end they won't even notice! I am sure it is gonna be fabulous when it is all done!

    Have a nice day!

    Inga, TX


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  63. I heard so much about the poor writing in Fifty Shades before I actually got to reading it, that I was scared to buy it. A friend eventually loaned me her copy and like many others before, I could not put it down. I actually enjoyed the fact that it was easy reading. It's not porn, the people that think it's porn are those that live in a bubble. Now I'm in no way into S&M, but I'm not a 2 year old either, I'm big enough to be able to read something and not have a coronary because it's not "vanilla".
    I would love to read some of the 50 fanfiction stories you recommend as well as the Twilight fanction stories you mentioned above.

    Thank you for this in depth post on how 50 Shades became what it is today! Not too shabby a hobby E.L. James!

    Love your blog, I've been a fan for quite some time, keep up the fabulousness!

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    Replies
    1. thanks. you should get those two books i posted. they are good = gabriels inferno is good writing (I think, but what do i know, i like twi?) but it's more of an intellectual love story. sempre is soooo good too. if you want more, email me.

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  64. Three points I'd like to make:

    1. Can Anony posters please, please make their opinions heard without PERSONAL ATTACKS on Joni or other posters who agree with her? Incidentally, Joni has the right to write on any topic she desires; your right only extends to whether you read it or not.

    2. I did not like the book (at all) but finished reading it as it was on my Book Club reading list.

    3. People are entitled to read badly written fiction or porn if they so choose. Joni and her other readers who enjoyed the book are entitled to their opinion. For what it’s worth, here is mine:

    I’m appalled that so many good writers and phenomenal stories go unpublished or sit unread on discounted bookstore shelves because they lack the support or propaganda machinations of large publishing houses and movie producers looking to score huge returns. It is, I think, consumerism at its most embarrassing, surpassed only by the flogging of unhealthy commercial food products to our children. I digress, sorry.

    But what really concerns me, in particular, is that the media circus exposure these books have received, has popularized the idea that all women would enjoy a “little” spanking (I had to roll my eyes when I overheard a conversation between men on this topic) and the fact that we have ignored the impact and real damage these books will do, by planting the idea in young girls’ minds that submission and pain will land them Mr. Tall-Rich-And-Brooding. It will plant the idea in some, unfortunately...that they need to be hurt before they can be loved. It condones abuse. Our daughters (and sons) need to be respected; these books to not teach that premise.

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    1. Just wanted to mention to you Lavender, that the story doesn't promote spanking women or submission and pain during sex. The character Christian is a trained dominant, and yes he enjoys beating little brown haired girls because they remind him of his dead mother. It's when he meets Anna that he realizes that this is NOT what real love is all about. If you bothered to read the story, and understand the psychology behind someone with Christian's back ground, you would see that the story isn't about Christian continuing that lifestyle with Anna, it's about breaking free from it. Anna actually saves Christian from the darkness of the Dominant lifestyle. Christian is a very sad haunted young man, and Anna is the angel that saves him. I'm Really disappointed that people don't see that.

      Delete
    2. it is strange that two not well written books are the best sellers of all time. i think that is the most interesting aspect of this whole thing. very strange.

      Delete
    3. It's called "dumbing down"!

      Delete
    4. In response to Anony who said "Just wanted to mention to you Lavender, that the story doesn't promote spanking women or submission or pain during sex..."

      Not knowing what a "trained dominant" enjoys or doesn't enjoy, I'm hard pressed to understand what whips, straps and other various paraphernalia are meant to be used for…if not for striking. They are not in my vocabulary of love.

      I assure you, Anony, I did BOTHER to read the story. Unlike you, I was not moved by Ana’s efforts to “save Christian from the darkness” nor did I reach that same level of investment in this “real love story” that you speak of. Well, here we are, two people who have read the same book and come away with different opinions on the value of what we have read. Can we predict what a young women or teenager would draw from such a book?

      This is not a book that provokes deep thought. Its conviently obtained erotica (that’s why it sells) and a fantasy peopled by cardboard, poorly conceived characters. Would women still find Christian so enchanting, so worthy of redemption if he were an unaccomplished, out of work loser rather than a billionaire? The writing IS sub-par and littered with repetitive words and phrases to the point of frustration.

      But of course none of this matters if it were only erotica or literary skills we were discussing. You are entitled to enjoy what I do not. The point I was trying to make earlier was that Ana is not a role model I would want for my daughter. To quote Clare Phillipson, director of a women’s shelter, the book is about "an abusive relationship presented as a love story." She goes on to say that “the way Grey hurt Ana then later made it up to her with expensive gifts and thoughtful e-mails was typical of a domestic abuser.” Ms. Phillipson has been credited with having helped thousands of abused women.

      Katrina Lumsden, who wrote a rather blue review of this book (warning, this review is not for everyone) found the book misogynistic, fearing that it would, potentially, give impressionable young women the notion that “some women enjoy being debased, abused, and controlled (outside of a consensual dom/sub relationship).” Ms. Lumsden went further to say, “This is not a book about BDSM, this is a book about one sick, abusive man and his obsession with a young, naive invertebrate. It's a book about a girl who has absolutely no sense of self, who sacrifices any pretense of individuality in order to hold onto a man who doesn't even show her the faintest glimmer of respect.”

      As I said, Ana is not a role model for any woman.


      Delete
    5. Bravo, Lavender, for telling it like it is! When I started to read this piece of crap, I immediately realized it was about an abusive relationship disguised as a love story. Like you say, would people consider this loser to be so worthy of redemption if he weren't a billionaire? Keep moving, people, there's nothing to see here.

      Delete
  65. Wow, after reading some of the comments posted here, two words definitely come mind, judgmental prudes! Obviously this book series is not for everyone, but for those that enjoy it, don't assume these folks are small minded or have bad taste, everyone is different. I've read the books, and I LOVED them. I thought the characters were well thought out, and the progression of the story was spot on. One of the most common things I've heard people say about the series is that the author's work was immature and childish. I have to laugh out loud when I hear that, honestly. E.L. James isn't immature and childish, her characters are, and the story she created is about these two young people coming together at just the right time so that they can heal and actually evolve. You also have to consider the point of view in which the story is told. You're hearing the inner thoughts of Anna, from her point of view. Anna is a virgin, who grew up as an only child, and lived with her step dad until college. A young woman with this background is going to sound immature at times, BECAUSE SHE IS! Those of us who are enjoying our 30's and 40's occasional look back at all the very stupid things we said and did in our 20's, and we laugh and think, "did I really do that?!" Obviously we didn't meet anyone like Christian Grey in our 20's, but maybe that's why the story is so popular. Who wouldn't want to meet a man like Christian Grey? Bottom line, if you don't like coming of age stories and the sexual content makes you uncomfortable, it's okay, but don't be a judgmental prude and crack on folks that do. BTW Joni, your library is going to be lovely, I can hardly wait to see the finished product!

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  66. I like the first set of fabrics for your new library. However, I'm sure it's going to be lovely no matter which fabric you select at the end.
    I haven't read any of the books but after reading your post and your readers' comments I have to buy one tonight....

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  67. * FSOG isn't really my cup of tea, so I passed on reading it. I predict I would be one of those who would toss it in the trash due to non-interest in reading about porn, abuse, men dominating women even if it is mixed in with a true love story. I lean more towards books on history, art, memoirs, and design anyway, so it's no big deal. To each his own. I did find it interesting about the relation between Twilight and FSOG. I didn't know they had anything to do with each other. :)

    *I'm embarrassed to say that I think Rob Pattinson is majorly hot and I love the 1st Twilight movie. I love that you post about him on here!!!

    *My vote is for the light gray/lavender taffeta with a silk check. :)



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    1. Yess, he is gorgeous and I appreciate that from a lover of beauty standpoint. But, I also see him more as son or son in law.

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    2. That's cool. :) I find him incredibly sexy!

      Well, here's something strange. Ever since I wrote that post a few hours ago, I've been thinking about all the comments. Some posters are highly offended by the book, one is over the top crazy against this book, and many are saying it's just nothing but silly fun entertainment and not about abuse. Which one is it???! I found myself thinking I might actually buy this darn book and find out for myself. I'll let you know (if you want) later what I think, IF I give in and read it. Thanks for making me curious! ;)



      Delete
  68. LOL! A great post, and smooth putting in 50 SOG with selecting gray for your library!

    People need to realize that the book is fiction and sex sells even to the prudest, secret needing a fix haters out there. Especially those people who read it, but hate it, but could not put it down, lol! And the ones who claim they will never read it because it is trash, get real. I can just imagine the type of trash they are actually hiding in their personal lives. The lifestyle in the book is not about abuse, it gives you a sneak peak on the minds of people who like to be controlled for erotic sake. It is erotica, and like it or not, there is a saying called "different strokes for different folks." I personally am too hot headed and independent to be under the spell of a control freak like Grey, but I have loved one like him once and though we are not together today (because I would not agree to that way of having a relationship) we are still close friends and there will always be the mystery what attracted me to him in the first place.

    E.L. James is one lucky lady!

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    1. It seems there's more in your closet than those you castigate for deriding the books. Search you own soul before searching others. Seems like you like the old boyfriend in your life for something???

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  69. Joni,
    I'm eager to see your library finished...your "discussion" with your husband cracked me up...been there done that!
    Clearly this book stirs up passion, one kind or another.:-) I haven't read THE book. The topic doesn't interest me, I'm such a fan of chick lit and murder mysteries. Anyway, I think young adult novels are worthwhile as well as "adult" novels. Thanks for promoting thought and conversation, you're always entertaining.
    Karen

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  70. I read a lot, so if people are talking about something, I read it to see what it's all about. I read them, my 24 yr-old daughter read them, and I don't have a problem with the subject matter, just the quality of the writing. I definitely wish they would NOT try to make a movie of it. While an ok, quick, guilty pleasure kind of read, the books were, like the Twilight series (which I also read), lightweight and pretty juvenile. I literally cringe every time I see "laters, baby" in writing - so silly! I can't see any way a serious, well-made movie can come from the story (again, think the cheesy Twilight movies) without MAJOR changes, and who exactly will go see it? The under-17 crowd can't go, a great number of women would be embarrassed to go see it in a theater, and just TRY dragging most men! Some books should just stay books. Personally, I would hope serious actors like Ryan Gosling would steer far clear of this. (BTW, India was Ashley's sister, not Scarlett's).

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    1. omg! really? eek, i forgot. ok here are her sisters:

      Susan Elinor "Suellen" O'Hara Benteen (sister)
      Caroline Irene "Carreen" O'Hara (sister)
      Gerald O'Hara Jr. (name of 3 brothers, all deceased)

      i dont remember about the brothers. i should reread the book, its been ages since i last read it. never know susan elinor and caroine irene were their real names.

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    2. There were no living brothers; three sons, each named Gerald O'Hara, Jr., died in infancy...

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  71. OMG People... This blogpost was about Joni's library... what's in a library? BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  72. I hope someone considered the weight of the shelf lumber plus the weight of ALL THOSE BOOKS vs. the strength of the floor joists that support this room - very important! But hopefully all that has been taken into account.

    Suzanne on St. Simons

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  73. Is everyone too young to remember The Story of O? I wonder how the Grey books compare? Have not read. And can we have Rhett marry Belle? He was so happy when he was with her!

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    1. The Story of O is first thing I thought of when I heard about 50 Shades!

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  74. I like the first fabric choices. Can't wait to see what paint colors you choose. I had never heard of fanfic. Thanks for the skinny. I haven't read the grey books and don't intend to -- not sure why. I love Ryan Gosling! Finally, great point: nothing is original. I recently heard a talk by Austin Kleon, the author of Steal Like and Artist. Interesting read on creativity.

    Thanks for another great post and all the lively comments it generated.

    Maureen

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  75. Love your blog and this unexpected post. I cannot get into 50 Shades. I'm no literary snob, but think the writing is lame. And cannot stop comparing what little I have read to Pretty Woman for some reason.! Oh and the second set of fabrics are fab.

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  76. I couldn't get past the 10th chapter of the first Twilight book, and stayed away from the rest. I saw the movie, but was cringing all throughout. I didn't like Twilight. Since most of the people who loved Twilight are the ones recommending Fifty Shades, I didn't even bother.

    But I love the way you tell us the background of how the book came about. I think this was such an interesting post because of that information!

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  77. hi joni - you are (obviously) the owner of this blog and i may not be a part of your target audience , but this post was not for me - i thoroughly enjoy most of your non-decor posts, but i will skip this one - i so admire your design sense and sense of humor - grace

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  78. The books suck .....nothing more to say

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  79. Whoa, I'm a little taken aback by the hostility in some of these posts. I can't understand why some people feel the need to attack others who have different ideas or interests. And to the people who have slammed Joni for writing about something other than design - get your own blogs, people. It's Joni's blog and she doesn't owe anything to you or anyone else. Write your own blog and you can control your own content, for heaven's sake. Or, here's an idea, if you don't like the subject of a post just don't read it.

    About the book - I have to admit I hated it. I didn't even finish it. I thought the writing was awful and I found the characters unlikeable and annoying. I thought Anastasia's character was insipid and weak and I just couldn't stomach reading the whole book. The whole dominance thing was kind of a turn off for me - I just can't see the appeal. I personally thought that the only reason the book was so popular was because of the sex, since the story and dialogue was so lame. I am far from a prude, by the way, I grew up in the '70's, for goodness' sake! I just didn't enjoy the writing or the SMBD subject matter, and felt like I could use my time better by reading something more interesting and better written. To each his own, though.

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    1. Susanb, thank you for your thoughtful, rational note.

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  80. After what seemed like the 100th "holy crap!" and the 500th "murmur" (no one "speaks" in this book; they only murmur to each other. Made me want to order everyone a hearing aid) I had to put it down. It's so tedious, so repetitive - I don't understand how this is the best-seller phenomenon that it is. I think it's a poor reflection on human-kind that we are willing to elevate this kind of poor storytelling to this level. If you're in to SMBD, there are plenty of other well-written books in this genre.

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  81. After what seemed like the 100th "holy crap!" and the 500th "murmur" (no one "speaks" in this book; they only murmur to each other. Made me want to order everyone a hearing aid) I had to put it down. It's so tedious, so repetitive - I don't understand how this is the best-seller phenomenon that it is. I think it's a poor reflection on human-kind that we are willing to elevate this kind of poor storytelling to this level. If you're in to SMBD, there are plenty of other well-written books in this genre.

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  82. Joni I adore what you are doing for the library! The second set of fabrics is my favorite. I love the lavender tones.

    On to the Trilogy 50 Shades. I did comment on Vicki's site, probably one of the last, as here; seems I am having to really catch up on visiting my blog friends. It is interesting because I knew nothing about Fan-fiction or the connection of Twilight to 50 Shades!

    I did read the 1st book and just for me mind you; I did find it to be poorly edited, sopohmorically written, and I did not connect or like Anastasia. How can someone be a virgin and then poof is the best lay in the world, giving perfect BJ's and having multiple O's. She seemed childish, rolled her eyes so many times I lost count. So then all of the hoopla began! I read samples of the next two books on Kindle, truly just wasn't interested to read them in entirety. I did not think of Grey as a pedophile any more than a professor having an affair with a college student; it happens all the time. I do think though that he chose her for her naivete and ability to "train" her.

    Of course being widowed and still a sexual woman, I do fantasize about meeting my dream man again,handsome, well established and who puts me on a pedestal and would never demean me. No to the player who wants total control over his women who are usually 20 years or more younger.

    I do not object at all to erotic novels, and I read the classics, great fiction, biographies, lately a lot of art theft mysteries and novels taking place in Italy and France. So to each his or her own! That is why there are books and movies of every genre.

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena
    2012 Artists Series



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  83. I'm a high school English teacher and have read and enjoyed the Twilight series. However, I do not think the books are well-written, which is why I am avoiding the 50 Shades books. I knew about the Twilight fanfiction connection, and since I already thought the Twilight series, though entertaining, was poorly written (especially the last book), I saw no point in exposing myself to more bad writing. I also think that writing fanfiction is one thing, but making money by publishing it is a separate issue. I see no problem reading these type of books for fun, and I am happy people are reading any books at all. I often read silly books for fun, but I find well-written books so much more fulfilling. I find it kind of sad that "Twilight" and "Fifty Shade of Grey" are best sellers, but I do find comfort in how well the Harry Potter books have sold. If people are looking for extremely well-written, page turning books, then they should give the Harry Potter books (not movies) a chance. J.K. Rowling really knows how to write an entertaining story, without poor writing and plot holes.

    Oh, and I love your blog, Joni! Talking about books and interior design is heaven for me!

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  84. You're the best Joni!
    50 Shades did parallel Twilight in many ways and I'm relieved to now understand how and why. I just finished the second Gabriel series and it was great. Will look into Sempre next.
    xo~
    T

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  85. "what do you do when you are addicted to a book after you finish reading it?" I think we need an AA type of group for this problem!

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  86. If you are interested in getting your reputation back as a purveyor of fine taste and decor Joni then please move on to something truly substantive and thought provoking about design. We enjoyed your library project and hope to see it evolve into a finished project. Nice to know you enjoy reading, but several days of hashing about third class lit is not why we come here. Continue to do what you do best. Give us provocative design material - you know some reader's kitchen or home redo begging to be acclaimed as the best of CDT or some HAR listing showing the worst of Texas new money. Anything will do, but no more literary lectures - PLEASE!

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  87. If Visual Vamp had written this post, she would have claimed the book was inspired by her and her close personal friend Robert Mapplethorpe.

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    1. Or if written by Holly at Things That Inspire the inspiration would be Stan Dixon and Suzanne Kasler, her "dezaahners" dahlings.

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    2. Oh yes, VV and her "New York years." When she was a "famous designer" and a "rock star."

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  88. Hey Joni,
    Love lavender choice #2 just has a bit more sparkle. Really looking forward to what you are creating in your library. I gather it won't all be design books if this blog post is an indication.

    Great tie in to the gray & lavender v 50 shades. Just want to ask...has this summer been longer than usual for you? Getting bored and ready for fall? If so, you sure threw everyone something to get all hot about, one way or the other. Bravo for you. The blog was well researched and well written and entertaining. I like that you come across as authentically you, not what you think we want you to be. You're just super.

    I'm a reader, almost always have a book or two going. Fiction, nonfiction, wide range of categories. You peaked my interest. Will be writing you for the fanfic version and saving my dollars for another design book

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  89. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  90. "Fifty Shade of Gray" is girly porn, plain and simply.....

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  91. I am in total shock that you ever had a ceiling fan that looks like that in your house. Can't wait for the chandelier to arrive.

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  92. Wow! What heated comments! (No pun intended.) Joni, I love your blog! It is my little indulgence, my reward, if you will, after a full day. Now, the book I chose not to read. I personally believe that fantasy plants seeds of discontentment. My faith and my convictions tell me not to look to the left nor to the right. Some say, “It’s add a spark” however, sparks from outside influences are short lived and end in dissatisfaction. In the same way, I do not support my husband being “sparked” by another woman and then turning to me for satisfaction. Enough said about that. However, I LOVED your post and loved learning about fan fiction! I am a FT ghostwriter and would love to write some! (I’m already drafting some in my head!) I can feel my fingers twitching to get on that site but I am restrained and focused on present obligations. (Sort of.) Perhaps one day the cobbler’s children will have some shoes. Thanks again!

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  93. Wow.....What a nice post!!....Your post is an excellent example of why I keep coming back to read your excellent quality content that is forever updated.I would like to read newer posts and to share my thoughts with you.Thanks a lot....


    sprzęt wędkarski

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  94. I am in the "not going to bother with reading it" group, I'm just not interested. But I love your blog and all your talents as a designer, I will be interested in how your library turns out! Thanks Joni!

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  95. The books were entertaining, and I had to read them after all my friends were talking about it, but at the end I was not satisfied. It was painful for me to get through at times with the horrific prose. I mean, GEEZ, if she said geez one more time, I was going to vomit. In fact, many phrases were overused--so redundant!!! So much sex, it got boring. Never any "build up". I started reading books, really reading books as a teenager, and I went for all the steamy hot romance books. I am now in my 40's and I have evolved. My tastes are much more refined. There is so much great literature out there to read, so I guess I have become a book snob. Glad you enjoyed it Joni, and I am glad it brings others pleasure, but I will stick to my well written, smart dialogue, and profound characters.

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  96. I began reading the book but found the terrible writing and content so cringe-inducing, I had to put it down. Frankly, I would have given you much more credit. Will no longer be stopping by your blog. No doubt you will not care if you lose an occasional reader, but I think we have enough smut thrown in our faces that we don't need it on a design blog as well.

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  97. I am reading the book. I really find it interesting. Cool choice!

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  98. No offense to your literary taste, Joni, but I can't believe I read this whole post. You sucked me in with the shelves and the fabric :) I really can't believe I read the comments too, but with 192 I had to see what was up. I can't say anything about the book or Twilight or whatever BUT I agree with whoever said they always prefer brush painted woodwork to sprayed. ME TOO! Looks warm and real like an old house, not slick like a new car.

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  99. Look at all the comments! What a riot! Are there usually this many anonymous comments? Just curious! As a dried up old lady, there's a vision!, I really have no interest in the series. Yes, I am one of the few left on the planet who have not read any of the books.

    On another note...I just reviewed a "day in the life of Joni" and I love your sense of humor! Very fun!

    All the best,
    Barbara

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  100. No interset in the book ... but that mauve and lavender? UGH. (sorry)

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  101. DECADES ago before it was cool or hip and I was single, my then boyfriend wanted to handcuff me and do kinky things like that..blindfolds etc. I was a young, attractive educated career woman.. I said NO WAY - Bye bye boyfriend and that was it. The domination stuff hold ZERO appeal to me now as it did back then.

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  102. Oh my goodness! The strange comments about this book have made me embarrassed to be a designer. The negative comments about this book show that sooooooooo many women do not have a statisfying sexual life. This is sad. These women really need to ask themselves why they are so afraid of sex and sexuality. If these women are so negative against this book, I would dare to say that their partners or spouses are lookking else where for sexual gratification and happiness. Women this repressed cannot have a happy partner. Sorry but true.

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    1. you didn't read the comments closely and you are painting too many women with one brush. as i said in my comment
      DECADES ago-- before domination or kinky sex was cool or hip-- and I was single, my then boyfriend wanted to handcuff me and do kinky things like that..blindfolds etc. I was a young, attractive educated & very independent career woman.. I was also somewhat sexually sophisticated--not a blushing flower. i said NO WAY to crazy silly kinky stuff and I said - Bye bye to that boyfriend and that was it. That domination stuff holds ZERO appeal to me now as it did back then. I regarded it as immature and BORING. I wanted emotionally connecting sex not 'kinky" sex with "props". that to me is totally boring.

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  103. Joni, this book is pure drivel through & through. I just did a blog post reviewing it too, and mine is a thumb's down diatribe. To me, its being compared with the Twilight novels is untrue as well, I think the author was asked that question and just grabbed hold of the idea. Twilight is beautifully written, has evocative and creative imagery, stirs one's imagination and has a true love story in the normal sense of the word, except that one of them is a vampire. 50 is poorly written and does not have a story, just a series of sexual encounters of the deviant kind.

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