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?