top ten tuesday: off-putting topics

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, a fun way to get yourself thinking and sharing about books and bookish things.

July 23: Top ten words/topics that will make you NOT pick up a book

Tough one! Isn’t there the old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”? I try to keep an open mind because there can be an amazing book behind a horrible title or cover art, of course, but there are certain things that make it so that I just… can’t.

1. Steamy romance
Cheesy paintings of half-naked people sprawled on the cover, possibly with kilt and/or cowboy hat? I don’t even need to see a word/phrase on the cover. Automatic NO.

2. Contemporary romance / Chick Lit (p.s.—I HATE that term)
Not interested in contemporary romance either. Stories about unlucky-in-love ladies searching for Mr. Right? Bouncing back after a breakup with the supposed soulmate? Obsessing over wedding woes? Barf.

3. Erotica
Should I have just said “all romance and sex-related books”? Although I did like Bonk by Mary Roach! (That one’s more science/anthropology, though.)

4. King/Queen/Princess etc.
Not really interested in stories about Arthurian times, Tudor history, or royal dynasties in general.

5. Kiss
This word can go with my #1 up there, along with variations: starkissed, kissing, kiss of ___, etc. Blech.

6. Anything about dogs or cats…
… or with a domesticated pet as the protagonist. So, big “no” to Marley and Me and the like (see, I can’t even come up with another title as an example!)

7. Series books
I’m just really hesitant to get myself hooked into any series. (I’m counting this, because if I see it’s in a series I don’t want to even pick it up!) And besides, it seems like a lot of series books fall into heavy sci-fi or fantasy, and those genres don’t attract me very much (although I have read Lord of the Rings… but that’s about it). I get it, people love Harry Potter and The Hunger Games but I just don’t want to go there (related, see #8…)

8. Young Adult (and some New Adult)
After much hesitation and trepidation, I dipped my toes in with The Fault in Our Stars a few months ago and have to say now I’m officially OUT on anything YA. Not for me.

9. Certain authors’ names
If an author has made their views on hot-button issues public and I strongly disagree, like on race or LGBT or politics or whatever, I just can’t bring myself to read anything by them, no matter their genre.

10. Dragon
I had some trouble coming up with a tenth, but this just popped to mind: Is this a book about dragons; does it have a picture of a dragon on the cover or have the word dragon in the title? Unless you are The Hobbit, I’m not interested. (And even with The Hobbit, not sure I’d read again unless, like, one day in the FAR OFF future I have some offspring wanting me to read it to them.)

What keeps you from picking up a book?

10 thoughts on “top ten tuesday: off-putting topics

  1. Steamy romance tends to be really badly written, too. I completely agree with you–I’m fine with romance happening, but it needs to be part of character development, not driving the plot.

    • Definitely! I loved Me Before You, which pretty much is a love story, but an unconventional one. Writers gotta be sneaky on the love-stuff with me! Thanks for reading my blog 🙂

  2. I am so sorry that The Fault in Our Stars was your first and last experience with YA! Maybe give The Book Thief by Markus Zusak or Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly a try? Both are wonderful historical fiction. I have a hard time getting into dragons too! I have a love/hate relationship with series.

    • Yeah… I don’t know. I have heard good things about those two, but… hmm. I only read The Fault in Our Stars because I saw a video interview with John Green and I liked what he said in that (it was about indie booksellers and publishing, not about his own work), so I gave his book a try. I didn’t think it was bad per se, it just wasn’t for me.

      I’m glad YA exists, absolutely, and I love that it gets people reading and excited/passionate about reading. But YA just isn’t a genre I even want to like. I didn’t even read YA when I was a young adult! I just feel like, there are soooo many other books I have a real interest in, why keep giving chances to a genre that doesn’t interest me? Not enough time in life to read books that you’re not into, amirite?? 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  3. No bodice rippers for this girl either. I basically agree with everything on your list 😉 Although I do enjoy a good royal historical fiction now and then.

    • I actually don’t mind vampires… but more in the traditional sense. (No Twilight for this girl!) Maybe I don’t want to say I wouldn’t ever read a vampire book because I like some vampire movies and True Blood. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  4. The first few I understand, but there’s always exceptions to just about everything else you put down. I’m actually somewhat similar in my tastes (based on this list) but there are some books that you just have to read.

    6. The Art of Racing in the Rain. Yes, it’s written in the perspective of the dog but it’s fabulous.

    7. Harry Potter. Of course that would then touch on the YA, and Dragons…but hey, at least it’s a completed series so you don’t have to wait several years in between books.

    8. YA The Book Thief. Definitely worth a shot.

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