Fifty Shades of Grey

Author: E.L. James

Genre: Fiction

Hmm! Should Fifty Shades really be recognized in this forum? After all, what can an erotic, controversial novel with themes of BDSM and love-making be doing in the company of 99 ‘cerebral’ must-reads from Tolstoy, Ayn Rand, Jared Diamond, and Dawkins?

For one, it is insanely popular. The series has sold more than a 150million copies (a typical bestseller sells 10,000) and became THE highest-selling novel in the last few decades. Its movie adaptation had box office collection of US$1.3billion, top 7 movie series of all time, well ahead of popular ones like Batman or Die Hard.

So, if Lolita can be called a classic, let us break the taboo and read EL James (pen name of British writer Erika Mitchell) too. [By the way, she topped the Forbes list of highest earning authors, making close to US$100mn with this book!]