Top Ten Tusday: Will Not Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

A couple months ago, we discussed the themes and topics that would make us want to read a book.  This week, we’re doing the opposite: what would make you want to drop a book and run in the opposite direction?

1. Morally questionable protagonists.  This is what’s kept me from reading “Lolita,” and makes me hesitate to try a book like “In Malice, Quite Close,” even though my friend raved about it.

2. Low survival rate.  I really don’t like investing time and money and emotional energy into characters, only to see them die.  If the main character dies at the end, I can deal with that, but when they die in droves (a la “Walking Dead” or “Song of Ice & Fire“), it’s hard for me to muster up the energy to keep going.

3. Murder mysteries.  I don’t like crime procedurals on TV, and I don’t like them in book form much better, even if they’re as critically acclaimed as “Gone Girl.”

4. Endless series.  I will never read “Wheel of Time” because it’s just too dang long.

5. Love triangles.  I’m not a huge fan of the “Divergent” trilogy, but I do appreciate Roth portraying a romance that’s perfectly complicated without adding a competitor.  If I can avoid a book that focuses on love triangles, I will.

6. Pop-culture-driven celebrity memoirs.  Unless they’re genuinely well-written, were published well after their authors were in the limelight, and offer useful or unique content, I’ll skip them.  While Snooki, Bristol Palin, Amanda Knox, and Kate Gosselin may have some valuable life lessons to share (maybe), it’s way too early for them to be publishing memoirs.

7. Experimental lit.  Look, I’ve read Howl, “On The Road,” and some Italo Calvino.  I actually kind of enjoyed “Castle of Crossed Destinies,” but the others, and every experimental book I’ve tried since (sorry, “The Book Thief“), have not been enjoyable.  I won’t rule it out entirely, but I will be prepared to add it to be “did-not-finish” list.

8. Political nonfiction.  I’d happily read historical nonfiction, books about physics and the universe, all kinds of stuff – but the last thing I want in my quiet, personal reading time is an uninterrupted platform for a talking-head politician to spout off.  I don’t care if I agree with the policy or not.

That’ll about cover it!  Even within the genres I’d typically avoid (romance in particular), there are exceptions I’d be willing to read.  What are your reading turn-offs?  What exceptions would you make?

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8 thoughts on “Top Ten Tusday: Will Not Read

  1. #6, I’m pretty sure they don’t. At least not one’s that the average reader can relate to.

    I’m secretly quite pleased when I find another person who didn’t love Gone Girl.

    • I haven’t even tried “Gone Girl,” but I don’t plan to.

      And I guess the memoir exception could be Tina Fey – I heard hers was actually pretty good. But that might be because she actually does write for a living.

    • It was a fun one! It actually made me think about my reading preferences, rather than just rehashing my lists from Goodreads. :-/

  2. I’m really not a fan of murder mysteries, either, but I kind of love it when a random library book turns out to be a mystery when I’m far enough into it that I’m already really loving it.

    I don’t know if I could make this list — mostly, the older I’ve gotten the more willing I am to put a book down without finishing it if it is not grabbing my attention. I think that’s often about character development, and often about tone and style, but there aren’t necessarily specific threads I could pull out that tie those together. Interesting thoughts, though!

    • That totally happened to me with “The Second Duchess!” The cover and (to a degree) synopsis made it sound like pretty standard historical-fiction with a slight thriller edge, but it turned out to be a very interesting murder mystery!

      I think the same thing is happening with me re. willingness to quit on a book, but on the other end of the spectrum, I’m more open to different themes and genres than I used to be.

  3. I’m with you on low survival rate–there are some exceptions, but especially these days I just don’t dig it! In romance novels (and other novels that feature romance plotlines) I am a million percent not into Alpha Male heroes or pairings that feature the “I hate you but am strangely attracted to you” thing. I’ve read a few fantasy novels featuring this recently (Cold Magic and Grave Mercy) and I’m too busy being offended by the love interest shoving the heroine around to get behind his handsomeness or wounded complexity or what-the-fuck-ever.

    • Yeah, the wounded-complexity love-interest-who-needs-saving is so annoying. Even played out in reverse (as it was in “Beautiful Creatures”), it’s annoying. Is it too much to ask for the love interests to actually like each other instead of just smoldering angstily?

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