Top Ten Tuesday: Words/Topics That Make Me NOT Pick Up A Book

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme brought to you by the folks over at The Broke and the Bookish (the button also belongs to them).  This week’s theme is the Top Ten Words/Topics That Make Me NOT Pick Up A Book.

I heard a lot that this was a hard list for people.  I laughed because I have a long list of things that make me avoid a book.  I am not very open-minded when it comes to books, so this is a good topic for me, hahaha.

1. The Holocaust– Public schools made me read A LOT of Holocaust books growing up to the point where I avoid books that I know will be good because they have to do with the Holocaust (see: The Book Thief).

2. Mermaids– I’m ok with fantasy creatures in my books, but mermaids just sound SO lame.  I don’t know how you make them cool.  Or scary.  Or even really relevant to human beings since, you know, they live in the ocean and humans don’t/can’t.

3. Rape– I don’t really like issue books, but I’d have to say that rape books are high on my list of books to avoid because it is just too easy for an author to mess up this issue and tumble into the world of victim-blaming.

4. Incest– I tried reading Middlesex but once I got to the part where the brother and sister were sexually attracted to one another, I had to quit.  It was just gross.

5. Drugs– Again, I don’t like issue books.  I don’t really know how you can write a book about drug use that isn’t moralizing.  Or glorifying.  If there are books that handle the drug problem like The Wire did, then maybe you could change my mind on this one, but all I can think of when I think drug books is Go Ask Alice.

6. Fairy Tale Retellings– I have heard that Cinder is really cool and that I would like it and I probably would, but I can’t get over how lame the premise of a robot Cinderella on the moon sounds.  I don’t even really like fairy tales to begin with, I don’t think.

7. Suicide/Attempted Suicide– This topic hits a little too close to home for me to want to read about.  I just think it needs to be treated really delicately and that all too often it is not.  (Like… I won’t read Thirteen Reasons Why because I think the premise of someone blaming other people for her suicide is irresponsible.)

8. Zombies– The zombie books I have read have just been boring.  I mean, zombies are slow-witted, right?  There is just nothing interesting about an enemy that can be beaten that easily.  And nothing that fascinating about a monster that is so gross there is no romantic potential either.

9. Self-Discovery through Travel– You know those books about middle age women (or alternately, college students) who go off to India or Italy or what-have-you and find out that the world is bigger than them?  And maybe they fall in love with some exotic stranger?  It’s like the book equivalent of the study-abroad-changed-my-life kid from your college classes.  Just annoying and navel-gazing.

10. Horses– Ok, I can’t really think of any adult books that are horse-obsessed, but as a kid I wouldn’t read any of the series about horses.  I just don’t like horses that much.

What topics make you back away from a book?  Are you a little better about stepping outside your comfort zone than I am?

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18 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Words/Topics That Make Me NOT Pick Up A Book

  1. wow, there are a lot here that i didn’t think of, specifically the self-discovery through travel (so what?) and suicide (depressing)… great list 🙂 we have some in common. because we’re awesome.

  2. Incest made my list too! It’s way to gross to think about. And there is just no way to make a mermaid awesome…the only mermaids I like are the ones in Harry Potter, but even then…..Mermaids just aren’t that cool.There is only one maybe two zombie books that I like and all other zombies are just bizarre! Great list!!
    My TTT

    • I totally forgot about the mermaids in HP… those only really worked because there was a plant that let Harry breathe under water, though. So I guess there is a way to bridge human-mermaids, but still… sort of lame.

  3. If you feel like giving them another shot:
    Zombies that are neither gross nor slow in (Diana Rowland’s) My Life as a White Trash Zombie.
    Mermaids that can walk on land in (Mary Janice Davidson’s) Sleeping with the Fishes.

    Also, Cinder is a cyborg (not a robot) and from the Lunar race, not actually on the moon. You might like it–it isn’t very fairy-tale like. She isn’t a wimpy princess waiting for rescue, but a rebel dealing with a foreign power trying to annex the kingdom she lives in.

    • I do actually intend to read Cinder at some point. I’ve just been very leery of it since it hits some of my auto-no buttons… but I’ve been told by several people whose opinions I trust that it’s not what I think. So I will try it. Still not sure about zombies or mermaids, though.

  4. I’m with you – I had a hard time narrowing down my list! I could have easily make it 20 😦 I so agree with fairytale retellings and mermaids. And you know, now that you mention it- the Holocaust topic is probably why I’ve avoided The Book Thief thus far. Even though everyone from my mom to my daughter loved it!

  5. I didn’t get very far in your list before I had to stop and say, Cinder is NOT GOOD. I’ve seen a lot of reference to it on blogs lately from people who say they hear its good. Who are they hearing this from? It’s ridiculous. Its about a future world where society has the technology to fix people with debilitating injuries. Once they go through the trouble and expense of fixing these people, the “cyborgs” are then treated with extreme prejudice and considered second rate citizens. Who spends that kind of time and money to fix somebody and then relegates them to the societal equivalent of a french fry cook? Also, the story is set in future China in which a Monarchy has reestablished rule. I cannot accept that the Chinese would ever go back to a monarchy.

    I tend to veer away from “issue” books too. I don’t like to be preached at. Occasionally I meet one that doesn’t preach. But its so rare its usually not worth taking a chance. I’ll give about any zombie book a try, though. I just love zombies, even when they’ve been over done.

    I pretty much don’t like anything categorized as “chick lit”.

    • Hmmm, those are some questionable premises to Cinder. The YA book blogging community loves that book, though, and it even made the Lone Star Reading List here in Texas. I am curious, so might try it out anyways.

      I used to like chick lit when I was in college and there are still some good ones out there, but a lot of it just annoys me nowadays.

      • There’s also a “mystery” in the book about a missing princess from the Lunar people. The answer to that mystery was so obvious to me from the beginning that I wondered how the characters in the book couldn’t see it. I’m being harsh, and very critical aren’t I? I think if you start reading it, you’ll know rather quickly whether your going to be a fan or not

  6. The Shoah/WWII era is one of my areas of historical expertise, so I read and write about it a lot. (And btw, I HATED the freaking Book Thief!) There are always new angles to cover, both during and after the war. To me, it’s about showing how love and hope kept these people alive and helped them to start over after the liberation, not some macabre depiction of dead bodies and torture.

    • Often, I think the point of Holocaust books is how in the midst of such human atrocity, there is love and hope and goodness. But… it has still been forced down my throat a little too much, I just have a hard time wanting to pick up anything set at that time for myself. And as weird it may be, I was a history student, but don’t read much historical fiction!

  7. Pingback: 2013 End of Year Book Survey | Don't Take My Books Away

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