I'm a couple of days behind, but as a follow up to a recent Top Ten Tuesday list of triggers that will instant pique my interest in a book, here's the flip side: the top ten things that will make me NOT want to read a book.
1. Fictional stories about real people. There are so many great biographies, I'd much rather read about the actual lives of famous people, which are usually pretty interesting. And this relates directly to #2.
2. Modern retellings/prequels/sequels, or stories about side characters in classic fiction. Honestly, it's just fan fiction -- authors, make up your own characters! It just seems gimmicky and unimaginative to me. I don't mind nearly as much reading about fictional characters set in historical time periods, like the French Revolution or the 1920s, but it does bother me when authors try to just reshape other people's characters. I'm much more impressed with authors who create their own situations and characters.
3. Chick-lit cutesy covers for classic books. Also, book covers of historical or classic books in which the people depicted on the cover are wearing fashions from the wrong time period. E-books are notorious for this.
4. "The Next (insert trendy book here)." If I wanted to read the next Gone Girl or Girl on the Train, I would probably just read the original (which I actually have). It just seems that authors just want to jump on the bandwagon of whatever was the most recent breakout best-seller, though to be fair, it's quite possible that it's the publishers who are really interested in publishing that type of thing. And I get it, they need to sell books, it just seems like the same thing over and over.
5. Violence against women and children. I had to give up reading thrillers and a lot of crime novels because it just seemed over and over to be gruesome crimes, particularly against women and girls. There's enough of that in real life.
7. Fictional stories inspired current events, especially tragedies. Relates to #1 -- I really don't want to read a story based on a school shooting or terrorist attack, and if it does have some historical significance, I'd probably read a non-fiction account, like I am Malala or Zeitoun. Basically, anything by Jodi Picoult fits this category.
8. High fantasy. I'll read an occasional fantasy book, but it's nearly always low fantasy. I'm much more interested in fantastic or magical things that happen to people in the real world. I tend to get overwhelmed by all the world-building in high fantasy -- if there's a glossary or huge history that goes with the book, it's usually too much for me (the exception was Game of Thrones, and I did see the TV series first. I did get bogged down by all the back-stories and different characters by the fifth book, though I still like the HBO adaptation which has actually caught up with the written version and continued the story because it's taking so long for George R. R. Martin to finish it).
9. Science fiction/dystopian novels. Dystopian novels are just too depressing, and there's usually too much tech in science fiction. I will make an exception for the occasional time-travel novel, but to me that's really low fantasy/historical -- I don't think I'd read a time-travel novel in which a character was going to the future, though a historical character traveling into our present might be interesting.
10. Supernatural stories. Not really interested in vampires, werewolves, zombies, or ghosts. I almost never read horror -- I went through a Stephen King phase back in middle school and high school and I think I stopped with Cujo. I can't watch horror movies either.
Bloggers, what are your bookish pet peeves? What turns you off a book?
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.