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Read-Alikes: Fifty Shades of Grey

Here is a selection of fiction and nonfiction, contemporary and classic books that offer some of the same scandal and titillation. (Based on a booklist created by Karen, Lawrenceville. Selections by other staff are as noted.)


Belle de Jour: Diary of an Unlikely Call Girl
HQ186.B45 2006x

Unable to find a job after college, Belle realized that she could earn more than anyone she knew by becoming a 20-something London call girl. She shares her entire journey inside the world of high-priced escorts, including fascinating and explicit insights about her job and her clients, her various boyfriends, and a taboo lifestyle that has to be read to be believed.


Sweet Surrender

Book 1 of the "Sweet" Series. This series explores a dominant/submissive relationship between Gray, an undercover police officer out to avenge the death of his partner, and Faith, a beautiful suspect. (Holly, First Floor-New & Featured, Main)


The Surrender: An Erotic Memoir
306.77 B45

The shocking story of an unusual path to sexual and spiritual discovery, inspired by a powerful experience with what is perhaps the last remaining sexual taboo.



Sandy Pressman, a very nice wife whose boredom is getting the best of her, trades in her conventional wifely duties for her wildest secret fantasies.


Whip Smart: A Memoir
PS3606.E26 Z46 2010

While a college student at The New School, Melissa Febos spent four years working as a dominatrix in a midtown dungeon. In poetic, nuanced prose she charts how unchecked risk-taking eventually gave way to a self-destructive course.


A Kiss of Shadows

Using her fairy magic to pass for human, Princess Meredith fled the court of the Queen of Air and Darkness and began a new life as a private investigator specializing in supernatural crime. But now Doyle, the Queen's chief bodyguard and assassin, has been dispatched to fetch her back - whether she likes it or not.


Wrangled and Tangled: A Blacktop Cowboys Novel

Abe Lawson and Renner Jackson: two cowboys with girl problems. Can they wrangle an invitation to their ladies' beds, or will they just end up tangled in more than they can handle?


Forbidden Pleasure

Former FBI agent Mac McCoy gave up his invitation to The Club when he married his wife, Keiley . . . but he can't give up the fantasy of sharing her as he would have at his former playground. When Mac invites his best friend home with them, he's envisioning a sexy night of pleasure - instead, they find that Keiley has become the target of a stalker instead of the target of their passion.


Tropic of Cancer

This is the classically banned autobiographical fictionalization of the author's life in Paris during the 1930s. It has been labeled as obscene, pornographic, and raw, with graphic accounts of the narrator's sexual exploits. Today, it is widely considered a masterpiece of Western literature. (Connie, First Floor-New & Featured, Main)


In the Cut

Following the gruesome murder of a young woman in her neighborhood, a self-determined woman living in New York City propels herself into an impossibly risky sexual liaison. Soon she grows increasingly wary about the motives of every man with whom she has contact - and about her own.


100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed

The fictionalized memoir of Melissa P., a Sicilian teenager whose quest for love rapidly devolves into a shocking journey of sexual discovery.


The Story of O

Even in France, where it was first published, this erotic bestseller provoked obscenity charges and publicity bans. Many readers assumed the tale was penned by a man, since the protagonist was so submissive to her increasingly dominant lovers. (Rita, First Floor-New & Featured, Main)


The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty: An Erotic Novel of Tenderness and Cruelty for the Enjoyment of Men and Women

This retelling of the traditional Sleeping Beauty fairytale explores its undeniable connection to sexual desire. Here the Prince awakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation. His reward for ending the hundred years of enchantment is Beauty's complete and total enslavement to him.


Venus in Furs

This classic novella is a story within a story, telling the tale of a man infatuated with and subservient to a gorgeous, but cruel, mistress. The term "masochism" was derived from the author's last name. (Abby, Teen Services-Main)


Never the Face: A Story of Desire

Dissatisfied, bored and longing for an intensity she's never experienced . . . until an old flame is rekindled. Now, she finds the allure of submission. But how far into the abyss is she willing to fall?


Obsession: An Erotic Tale

Gloria Vanderbilt is an heiress, socialite, fashion designer - and now an author of an erotic thriller. In Obsession, an architect's widow unravels mysteries about her husband's dark exploration of the kinky, BDSM world.(Holly, First Floor-New & Featured, Main)


Dark Lover: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood

First in a still-growing series, Dark Lover introduces readers to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a group of warrior vampires fighting to protect their own species, as well as humans. This book centers around Wrath, the king who refuses to lead. When he falls for the half-breed daughter of his recently killed best friend, he finds more than one reason to step up to the throne. (Jess, Woods Run)


Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality
HQ79.W45 2011

Weiss analyzes the politics of BDSM's spectacular performances, including those that dramatize heterosexual male dominance, slave auctions, and U.S. imperialism, and contends that the SM scene is not a "safe space" separate from real-world inequality. It depends, like all sexual desire, on social hierarchies. Based on this analysis, Weiss theorizes late-capitalist sexuality as a circuit - one connecting the promise of new emancipatory pleasures to the reproduction of raced and gendered social norms.


A Pound of Flesh

Marja was once Lexander's pleasure slave - until the master found himself bound by her love. Together, they have vowed to free all slaves by destroying pleasure houses throughout the world. But this requires Marja to infiltrate slave quarters to sow the seeds of revolution - and risk losing the man she loves in the process.