My partner’s post on recommended beach reading got me to thinking about finding a good beach read, in addition to his list of course, for when I go on a mini vacation to Boston this weekend.  As I trolled through Barnes & Noble’s Hot Picks, I was thinking about what makes a good beach read: nothing complicated, a fast moving plot and maybe a little mystery or romance.  I was then reminded of the book that was on seemingly every woman in my office’s summer reading list last year — 50 Shades of Grey.

7012538_sThe book’s racy sex scenes seemed to have struck a chord worldwide, making it acceptable to openly discuss the scenes at dinner, in restaurants, on planes,  in the grocery store,  in line at the pharmacy, and on line for ice cream cones with the local Little League team behind you (all places I heard women discussing it).  The question remained, was this an appropriate workplace discussion?  Likely not.  With its graphic scenes depicting S&M sex, you can imagine how a discussion about the book could quickly become inappropriate in the workplace.

So, what’s an employer to do?  Do you ban such books from lunchrooms and water cooler discussions? Or does having a banned book list seem a little too Big Brother?  We’d love to hear how you have handled similar situations.

In the meantime, if you are looking for a good beach read, I settled on a mystery, “Now You See Me” by S.L. Bolton, which is about a Jack the Ripper copycat in modern day London and is the first in the Lacey Flint series.  I am only a quarter of the way in but so far, so good.