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Monday, February 09, 2009

So, what WON'T you read?

I know, I know, most of us would read the cereal box if that's all we had, I'm asking something else. Bear with me a moment.

In the last few days I've seen quite a few reviews of Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. This is a YA book that features an asteroid hitting the moon and causing apocalyptic conditions. It's getting great reviews left and right, but I can't even bear to read the reviews, let alone the book. (Here's one review, with links to a dozen more.) I absolutely can not bring myself to read anything with a natural disaster like this- no meteors, no asteroids, no giant tsunamis, no California falling into the ocean, no ice covering the earth. (For the record, I can't stand this type show on the Discovery Channel either.) (I don't mind books about New Orleans after Katrina, in fact, I like them, as much as one can. Hurricanes and their after effects are based on experience though, not speculation.)

So here's my question: Within your preferred genres, what books do you avoid?

You can't say that you don't ever read romance/mystery/YA fiction/ fantasy. That's not the question!

Here's my answer(s):

I never read about natural disasters that might destroy earth. Or man-made ones for that matter.
I never read romances where they pretend to be someone (specific) that they aren't. I hate the feeling of being duped and can't even read it. I don't mind if someone runs away and starts a new life as something else. It's a fine line.
I try not to read books where children die or are abducted.

What about you?


  1. Interesting question... these days I feel like I don't have time to read more than 10 pages, so I'm getting a little pickier. I tend to be hesitant to read stories in which someone is wrongly accused/imprisoned. I find them gut wrenchingly frustrating, but I can think of a few favorites books and movies that feature that storyline. Same with a lot of violence. I can't think of absolute deal breakers though, except obvious things like child abuse (even there, I have "Bone People" on my shelf). Life is too gray I guess. Thanks for making me think.

  2. I used to say I wouldn't read books in which children died either, but I read one recently and it was really good. Maybe my standards have changed. I'm not sure how I'd answer this anymore.

  3. For me, it's cruelty towards animals. I'll mostly read anything, but scenes where something bad happens to an animal I'm always tempted to skip. And if I know about them beforehand, I hesitate to pick up the book. There's a horrible one in Murakami's Kafka on the Shore, and even though I really loved the book I wish I hadn't read those pages. I'm pretty sure I'll skip them when I re-read it.

  4. Nymeth, that reminds me that one of Stephen King's books starts with the kicking of a dog. Just a small moment irrelevant to the story I think, but at one point in high school I was on a Stephen King kick and every time I started that book I'd put it down again at the dog kick. It annoyed me even more that it was incidental to the story, because that seemed to make it so unnecessary (of course it could have been crucial to character development...I was 16, what did I know?).

  5. I read a lot of mystery so I prefer not to read about violence against children but that is neither here nor there. I don't care for incest but I did enjoy VC Andrews books that has it in there but when I first started the series in high school (years ago), I had no idea what it was about. Today? Won't touch books with incest in there and the same goes for rape but that has to be written by an author I trust. Won't read about bestiality either, half wolf, half man, having sex with women is gross to me or full wolf form and having sex is...gross to me, lol.

    It really all depends on the premise and the author but bestiality, uh, no. Never.

    Keishon (good topic)

  6. Oh great question! I definitely hate Lifetime channel type books. Like Jodi Picoult...won't even go near them. Like stories about rape, abuse, divorce, etc.


  7. I have a hard time with books about children being abused.

  8. Bibliophile, michelle, keishon, Lisa- child abuse, while not pleasant, I can almost bear because in my mind it'll never happen to MY kid. Abduction tho, is SCARY.

    Nymeth, I always get nervous when the pet shows up in a mystery or thriller!

    Keishon, how do you feel about things like werewolf to werewolf in all the paranormals that are out? If they are both shifted?

    Amanda, I find myself avoiding those too, but it isn't as strong as the other things. I do want to have read a Picoult one day.

  9. I have a hard time reading about rape or child abuse but I will read these types of scenes if while reading them, I feel they are well written and not overly done.

    Oh, and on a funny note since Stephen King's "IT" I won't read anything about clowns. That sort of rules out books that center around a circus theme.

  10. Keishon, how do you feel about things like werewolf to werewolf in all the paranormals that are out? If they are both shifted?

    If they are both shifted, that's fine but in most of the paranormals that I read, most often the men are half-shifted when aroused.

    I read a book labeled as "romantica" a few years back where the hero was half-shifted and stuck that way and his genitals were described as that of being akin to a dog. Arf. Not for me if it gets that detailed but the eyes turning yellow, fingers expanding into claws, some extra hair, I can live with that. I think.

  11. Wow, that's a great question! :)

    I hate books about animals. Hate, hate, hate. Which is weird, because I absolutely love animals and would bring every single one I see home with me, even wild animals. I really don't like sci-fi, not a huge fan of fantasy. I have a hard time reading about animals being in pain (The Call of the Wild was difficult for me to get through in some parts).

    That's about it, though. I read a lot of hard-to-read-about stuff, so there's not a whole lot that's off limits to me.

  12. This is an interesting question and kind of difficult. Withing my preferred genres, I think I'll usually read just about anything, though for romantic suspense I'm kind of tired of the "she's in danger and he's an FBI agent and he watches her" theme.

  13. I don't think there is anything that I just won't read. I don't typically chose my own books. I have people that comb through the blogs and lists for me. Then my people tell me that I should read X, Y or Z. It saves TONS of time. (Thanks Lisa...your addiction is my gain.) I don't often read books that aren't recommended by you.

    I don't read westerns...but you said we couldn't just name a genre.

  14. Note to self: Read comments before commenting. I have found a winner! I would not read anything with beastiality. I read werewolf/vampire paranormal books but have not run across these books. Most likely because of my crack team of book filterers. (Thanks again Lisa.)

    Keishon? Maybe, if you remember, you could share the titles or series name so I could steer clear. Both shifted in either form is A-OK, but otherwise, uh, none for me, thank you very much.

  15. Great question! I normally don't read westerns, sci fi, or Harlequin-type romances simply because I don't like them. However, there are a few things I just CAN'T read. I have a hard time with books that are all about death, especially death of a mother or small child and especially if it involves cancer. I have no idea why, just can't do it. Now I can deal with books that have death in them, but not when that's the only theme.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  16. This is a question that plagues me. I have to say that the books I can't read are those that try too hard to be clever, like the writer is trying to prove their prowess by added too many plot twists or subplots. That drives me crazy.

  17. I hope that answers the question

  18. Hey Gina:

    You asked: Keishon? Maybe, if you remember, you could share the titles or series name so I could steer clear. //

    Wolf Tales by Kate Douglas. She's popular and I remember being excited to read Wolf Tales (at first) but it haz scarred me for life. I won't touch nothing she writes.


  19. Hmm. The first type of book that comes to mind is a memoir featuring an animal. I do enjoy reading memoirs, but books like Marley and Me and that Dewey book that's out I avoid with a ten foot pole. I get too emotional when the animals die in the end--it makes me think of my animals dying and it hits too close to home for me.


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