Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Will Instantly Make Me NOT Want To Read A Book

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by The Broke and The BookishThis week's topic is the opposite of last week's...rather than the things that make us intrigued when we're thinking about picking up a book, it's the things that make us put that book back down.



Mystery/Thriller: Remember how last week I was talking about my preference for character-heavy rather than plot-heavy books? While there are certainly mysteries and thrillers with fantastic character building and/or that I've enjoyed immensely, I've tried enough out that were duds that I tend to shy away from the genre unless it comes highly recommended.

Romance: The kind of tropes that tend to give a story with romance at its center its drama...the misunderstandings that could be sorted out with honest conversation, meddling side players like friends and family who try to get in the middle of things, big lies to cover up small mistakes, are just exhausting to me in real life. I have no desire to read about them in print.

A "boy becomes a man" storyline: Maybe it's just because I grew up in a family full of women, but stories focused on a specifically male experience of growing up (usually involving violence and/or repression) are so boring to me.

Memoir: This one, I'll admit, is odd. I love reading personal blogs and I love stories about people, but an entire book about a not-otherwise-remarkable person always makes me wonder why I'm supposed to care.

Avant-garde: I'm willing to give a little bit on certain things (like the way Blindness uses no quotation marks), but I hate Hunter S. Thompson and writers who are weird just for the sake of being weird.

Sparse: If a writer is described as Hemingway-esque, that's usually a sure sign I'll hate it. I like adjectives, thank you very much. I want to be immersed in a world when I read, not have to try to fill in all the color and interest on my own.

Poetry: I like the occasional poem here and there, but as a whole, poetry doesn't much speak to me. It's just never been a form I've particularly enjoyed.

Warfare: A book full of descriptions of troops and maneuvers is a book I have little interest in reading. I skimmed the portions of War and Peace and Vanity Fair that were just war stuff because snore.

Characters described as "quirky": I am so deeply over the tendency, especially for female characters, to give them a collection of quirks instead of an actual personality. But even for dudes, it's tiresome. 

Philosophical: This is an issue I've run into with some sci-fi (I'm looking at you, Dune and Stranger in a Strange Land) and some classics, where it's less about a story with a plot and characters and more about expressing the author's view of the world as it is/should be. It gets old fast for me. 

10 comments

  1. Yes, yes, yes! I hate books and movies (except While You Were Sleeping) where the whole plot relies on a silly misunderstanding that could be solved with a simple conversation. Irritating.

    Happy TTT!

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    1. I mean, to be fair, a lot of real life drama happens because people didn't talk to each other too, but it's frustrating then too! Use your words!

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  2. I'm totally with you on the 'quirky' heroines and the boy becomes man storylines! They're both so overdone and just a bit boring at this point. :\ Great list!

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    1. I've seen "quirky" dude characters, too, but it's SO much more common to do it the female characters and so annoying. Just write us like we're people! It's not that hard!

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  3. I so agree about characters being described as quirky! And I'm not a fan of memoirs, poetry or philosphical stuff either. And I do love romance, but it does tend to be full of a lot of really awful tropes...

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    1. I've enjoyed romances, but the genre as a whole tends to be more miss than hit for me. I try to never say never, though, so if you've got recs I'd love to hear them!

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  4. Oh man -- I absolutely could have put anything philosophical on my list too. Philosophy and all its concept somehow manage to go completely over my head. Just comes off as pretentious crap to me which is terrible but it is what it is. lol

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    1. I actually really loved Sophie's World (the second time through, because I totally gave up the first time), which is straight up a novel about the history of philosophy, but it's not pretending to be anything that it's not. The ones that drive me nuts are the ones that seem like they're about something else and turn out to just be a vehicle for the author to tell you their Deep Thoughts About Life. Pass.

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  5. Oooh - I defer from you on the sparse writing...I love that! With you on the mysteries/thrillers...I've been so disappointed by them lately.

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    1. See, I see "lush" or "lyrical" and swoon...overwriting always works better for me than underwriting. I can get behind something on the spare side, but it has to be REALLY good. And same with thrillers...the ones that are good, I really enjoy, but there's so much mediocre or worse out there that it's hard to find the gems!

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