Literary Ramblings

This is a very scattered post, however, I have a BIG shoot tomorrow in which I have to have three outfit options ready and I currently have half of one. Today will consist of a lot of running around, crying in dressing rooms, panicked purchases and trying to find a look that represents my personality, brand and style ideals.  No pressure. I can put together some fierce outfits for you guys on Fridays, but when it comes to outfits for photo shoots I freeze like a deer in headlights and am never pleased with the result.  My perfectionist tendencies always get the best of me.

So before I go bang on the doors of Bloomingdale’s to let me in early let’s discuss something else. Hunger Games. I read the series last year in like, a hot minute. As a Twilight lover I was game for any new young adult trilogy but this one was of another breed. One in which women are empowered not left pining for an undead, semi-violent lover (don’t worry Edward, still love you most). If I had a daughter I’d much rather she read Hunger Games than Twilight any day of the week. I loved it!  So is it of much surprise that a bunch of friends and I are going to see it opening weekend?  And even though I am THIRTY FREAKING TWO, we are kind of entertaining the idea of dressing up. And by “kind of” I mean we are planning our outfits now. I have grabbed the role of Katniss because I’m the only one with dark hair and leather pants in her possession. That and I’m a Leo so you know I have to be the lead role. In no attempt to conceal my dorkiness here is my ideal costume– one in which I could ditch the bow and arrow and actually go into a bar after and not look like a total psycho.

Hunger Games Premiere

And can we discuss the HOTNESS that was Jennifer Lawrence at the premiere last night? That gold dress is amazing and she looks fierce in it! Slightly sporty, young but simple and stunning.
And while we are on the topic of popular trilogies I have to address this whole Fifty Shades of Grey business.  The wife of a former work colleague of my husband’s told me about it a month ago.  I had never heard of it and meant to check it out but then the Today show did a whole big thing on it and as a pop culture freak, I bought it so I could get in on the discussion. And all I have to say (and pardon my French) is this…
I was floored… FLOORED… to find out what this book was really about. And totally baffled as to how this incredibly poorly written book got on the best seller list beyond it’s slack-jaw inducing shock value. I mean, her writing skills make Stephanie Meyer look like Shakespeare.  Not to mention the topic. When I saw the piece on Today I thought the critics were being prudish and conservative with their up in arms attitude about it. Until I read it.  And I am not a megaphone wielding feminist by any stretch of the imagination, but this book really appalled me. Everyone’s got their “thing” and you can be one way in life and another in the privacy of your bedroom and that is all good and what makes life interesting, but COME ON. I would expect this to be the stuff found in dark corners of Amazon for a select few, not on the best seller list of mainstream America! The same place where we are STILL having to argue about contraceptives and the right to choose.It’s sucha  contradiction of values that I am rendered, well, speechless.
Have you read it? Your thoughts?


  1. haven’t read the book but have a tip for shopping save yourself from bloomingdales, went last night & it’s a hot mess from a recent sale, nothing good! CUSP however has lots for cute clothing! Better luck at Saks for department store shopping – good luck finding the perfect outfit!

  2. I haven’t read it but have heard all the buzz and saw the piece on the Today show. I’m with you on this one. I don’t think it sounds interesting or worth my time. And I agree that it seems ridiculous that it’s on the best seller list. I think it goes to show that we as a society don’t think for ourselves anymore. It’s hot and popular so everyone is going to rush out to buy it so they can read the “right” book.

    Oh, LOVED The Hunger Games and can’t wait for the movie. That is a great Katniss outfit!

  3. I read and LOVED the Hunger Games. In my opinion it ranked above Twilight.

    (and as Emily stated above if you like The Hunger Games then you would like the Divergent Series, although it can’t touch The Hunger Games. Fun read all the same)

    Obviously I hop on any literary bandwagon and after reading a few blog post about Fifty Shades of Grey I downloaded all three to my Nook. WHOA!! I was floored. I found myself Google-ing sexual terms just to be on the same page.

    The first book is a lot. However, I’ve stayed with it in attempt to understand and it has gotten better in that the main character Anastasia does stand up for herself, but still… it’s been a super crazy series.

  4. I had not heard of the “Fifty Shades” series, but I knew I’d seen the term before. After reading the description it sounds like it might be the published version of Twilight Fanfiction’s Master of the Universe, which was, well, I would be embarrassed to buy it in a bookstore. I wonder if it is the same…

  5. I haven’t read Hunger Games, but my 11 year old did and LOVED it. It’s been on my list for a while. I also loved the Twilight series, it was like sugary candy for the brain. A trusted friend said I should get fifty shades of grey, knowing my love of cheesy books. I honestly was hoping it was a home decor book as we are about to repaint our living room and I’m loving all things grey. No such luck. When I looked the book up on Amazon, I thought it looked like garbage. I could be wrong, as I have not read it, but it sounds like it romantically depicts an abusive relationship. No thank you.

  6. Ditto what Jill said on the Fifty Shades book…not worth my time.

    HUNGER GAMES ROCKS!!!! I am 46 and would have no problem dressing up like Katniss….that outfit is awesome (at any time) and I totally agree on the HG vs Twilight book thing, I won’t let my 12 yr. old daughter read Twilight, but we read the Hunger Games together, trying to race each other to the finish! As a family we have been counting down the days til it opens. Post a pic of you and your friends in costume (then we can finally see those leather pants :-).

  7. I liked FSoG. I read all three books in the series in just a few days and I just have to say – I’ve read worse (as far as the sex goes). To me, it wasn’t really about the sex. It was more about the relationship and why the main (male) character is the way he is. It’s not really abusive and the relationship IS consentual. He never does anything she doesn’t ask him to do. So while yes, I think the BDSM part IS beyond what a lot of people would consider bringing to their own bedroom – the book is about much more than that. And while I’ll agree that it’s not the best writing in the world, the story is engaging and quite frankly I found it hard to put down. I have a degree in English but definitely feel that any type of reading that brings you enjoyment is “valid”. You don’t have to read just the classics or “good” literature. I’ve read enough Faulkner and Shakespeare to last a lifetime – I’ll take fun books over that any day.

  8. oh and EAC – it IS the same book. I think they have changed more of the details to make it less “Twilight-y”, but it’s by the same author. I’ve read (and loved) Twilight and hadn’t heard of the connection until after I finished FSoG. It never occurred to me that FSoG was Twilight Fanfic. They’re two totally separate things.

  9. 50 shades of Grey

    I read the first book and have to agree that the writing was just… ugh! i grew bored and tired of the same things being repeated over and over and just wanted the lead character to grow a pair and shut up!

  10. See you at opening night of Hunger Games! As an older sibling with a younger sister, I was hooked on the books from the minute Katniss volunteered as tribute (and that moment in the trailer is amazing).

    As to “Shades,” I worked in publishing for a few years, and you’d be amazed at what people buy on the safety of the internet. We had sex advice books that sold in shocking amounts almost exclusively online because people would never have picked them up in a public bookstore.

    In other news, if you want a laugh, read this guy’s review on Amazon of “Shades” that includes both the words “yawning” and “arthritis:” His oversharing cracks me up.

  11. I read Fifty Shades of Grey (Master of the Universe) a couple years ago when I got hooked on Twilight fanfic and I have to say I really enjoyed it. It might have been more entertaining since the way it was published then was about a chapter every week or two. Possibly reading it all in one go could be slightly tedious.

  12. I feel so out of it- don’t know much about the Hunger Games or FSoG. Guess I’ll be googling both in a minute.
    As for your outfit: I always have that dilemma too. When it’s a super important occassion, you end up “trying too hard” and don’t look like yourself or feel comfortable. I always try to take a step back and imagine looking confident and comfortable– that always works for me. Then, the outfit will come together naturally.

  13. Ok – so a few things. Number one – I am SO glad to have a fellow Hunger Games enthusiast. I cant stop talking about it/obsessing over it, so I feel like I need to huddle together all the freakshows who love it and hug them and talk about how I secretly kinda fell in love with Peeta. I loved that trilogy, and it was odd, considering for the first 3/4 of the first book I thought it was one-note. I GEEK out about seeing the movie and I cannot WAIT. Please please post updates when you see it and on your outfits!

    #2 – what is this Fifty Shades of Grey business? I never heard of it. And I do love a good adolecent read. Is it something to veer clear of??


  14. I don’t have thoughts on the books but I did have a thought that could help ease some stress. Perhaps you could call up a personal shopper for the afternoon to help you choose some new outfits for your photo shoot? At least that way you’d have someone to bounce ideas off of amidst the harsh fluorescent dressing room lighting. I’d love to help you but alas I am stuck in Oz! At least it’s supposed to be 80 degrees here today!

  15. I am so glad I am not a teenage girl right now- because the role models in Twilight and Fifty Shades are severely lacking. Dysfunctional relationships in which the girls succumb to vampires and beatings in order to have “love”.

    I have not read Hunger Games yet, but I’m going to if it means a strong female character.

  16. I told you to PUT IT DOWN! Awful writing, awful depiction of women, awful degrading sex. Horrid, horrid book- Fifty Shades of Grey is just disgusting. Who, pray tell, could read 3!!! Mom

  17. While I haven’t read the grey series either, I was equally appalled at their popularity. I couldn’t have said it better. Thank you.

  18. Erin, i’m on Book three of the Fifty Shades trilogy. Is it the best literary fiction on the planet? NO. But if you get past the insane sex, which by the way has revived many of my friends marriages, I realized the book is about how far one will go for the one they love. And let’s remember ladies, Anastasia ended up complying with Christian’s needs, bc well, she liked it! She was NEVER forced to do anything she didn’t want to do. I am very liberal, pride myself on being a feminist and yes, at times the book was way too intense. Am I a crazed BDSM freak? Absolutely not. But she loved him and he ultimately changed for her–letting go of bad memories and expressing himself in a non-dominant way. Look beyond the sex and try to see the story unfolding btw the two main characters….

  19. Anupam Kher, Puneet Issar and Mukul Dev are hilariously funny in the film.The music of Yamla Pagla Deewana is exemplary. The title song gives you a nostalgic feeling throughout the movie. The film’s title is inspired from the song “Main Jat Yamla Pagla Deewana” from the 1975 film, Pratiggya starring Dharmendra. The other songs in the movie are also offbeat. Tinku Jiya stands out as it is the only item number in the film.It’s a complete madcap entertainer all the way. One has to believe that Director Samir Karnik has some serious attachment with the Deol family. With movies like Heroes, Nanhe Jaisalmer and Vaada Raha, it seems like the Deols are his hot pick all the time.So if you are a fan of the Deol family, want to watch a jocular movie with a bit of drama and comedy in it and want to be entertained watching the on screen chemistry of Dharmendra, Sunny and Bobby go and watch Yamla Pagla Deewana. Despite having nothing extraordinary in it, it’s a film for the masses. Grossing over 20 crore in its opening weekend makes this one a crowd favorite. Its 2011 and with movies like No One Killed Jessica and Yamla Pagla Deewana, it seems there is a damage control on the way for Bollywood.

  20. Having just attended an erotica panel at a library conference, spicy romance is mainstream. I picked up FSoG, and like another reader here, found it more about the relationship, the anticipation between the two characters, rather than the actual sexual activity. And, it’s a fantasy! While someone may not want to actually participate in SDSM, it could be a fun read. And you can be a feminist and like to be tied up, they aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, feminism has allowed women to reclaim their sexuality in many ways, and if that includes submission and dominance, more power to her!

    Besides, have you seen the best seller lists recently? Twilight wasn’t exactly literary fiction, nor was the Hunger Games. And last time I checked, James Patterson wasn’t cranking out the finest literature. There are the 5 laws of library science, and the third one reads: Every book its reader. Every book has an individual or individuals who would find that title of value or interest. But, if you are looking for some literary erotica, I hear Lady Chatterley’s Lover has that covered…

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