Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Books I Cannot Like

I like books.

I like a lot of books.

But there are some books that I just can't like.

I think that's true of everyone. My mother can't stand anything with vampires. Nothing. Wouldn't even pick up Twilight even though I think she might actually like it. The husband doesn't like teen books. He loves zombies, and I think he'd love The Forest of Hands and Teeth if I could somehow trick him into thinking it was an adult book, not a teen one. Personally, I don't care for books about angels. Like at all. So even though there are some great angel books out there right now, you won't see one in my hand.

I'm thinking about this now because here recently, I've been reading a bunch of books that everyone says are great...but I can't get into them. It's not the writing--I can see where my friends and reviewers are coming from. The book itself is good. But it's not for me.

It fascinates me sometimes on how subjective this reading and writing thing is. When I pass out copies of books to students, I'm amazed at some of their reactions. There are some classics I don't particularly like, but feel it important to teach--and some of my kids love them. (Really? Really. I hate Gilgamesh, but some of my students remember it more than any other work, despite the fact that it's the first story I teach a semester.)

So, what about you? What kind of book do you simply not like--or what kind did you expect to not like and were pleasantly surprised by?

15 comments:

Lady Glamis said...

Good questions! I really don't like science fiction very much - I can stomach space operas, though. I usually like those. And I've tried a real romance and liked it okay. But I DO hate horror. Really, really don't like it in book or movie form.

MeganRebekah said...

I don't think there's anything, as a rule, that I don't like. I'm not crazy about vampires, but devoured Twilight. I'm not a fan of high fantasy, but enjoyed The Hobbit well enough (the LOTR movies on the hand I loved).

But I agree that everything about books is so subjective.

There have been a few "bestsellers" recently that I wasn't crazy about. At all. We might have to discuss this later and compare notes...

lotusgirl said...

I read almost everything except Horror and Erotica. I'm not big on Vampires either but like Megan Rebekah I devoured Twilight. I don't care for zombies, but it could just be the idea of zombies. I've contemplated reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth. It sounds like it could be good.

All of this goes to show how important it is to query widely. How else will you find the agent who resonates with your writing. Lucky you already found that.

Natalie said...

Reading is so subjective huh? I really don't like books that are almost exclusively about teen angst/infatuation (and there are SO MANY books like this right now). But I read them sometimes anyway, just to see if I can glean something from the reading.

Yat-Yee said...

I am with Natalie: when the whole teen angst/romance is the main point of a book, I find I am not that interested.

Recently I made myself finish two books that I enjoyed at the beginning but grew tired of the cleverness/hipness part way through. I guess the category would be books that are too self-absorbed.

(wonder which category of not-enjoyable my writing falls under. )r

Kaylie said...

I just do not care much for paranormal, or when there are animals involved. I just want to shake the characters and say, "Hello? Animals don't talk. Never have, never will." I admit that some are well written, and I still read them, but I have a hard time caring about characters who have fur.

Steph Su said...

Zombies. *sigh* I just...can't...no.

As for hotly anticipated books that have fell short in my opinion, I just want to know, WHY?? Why are those the books that are so heavily promoted by publishing companies when they're so obviously below even mediocre? *coughFallencoughcough* I guess there's an audience for those books...

Natalie Aguirre said...

I can't get into books where animals are the main characters either. I agree it's subjective. Sometimes I find when I'm really tired or busy I might not like something that if I go back and read when I'm in a better space that I enjoy.

Rebecca L Sutton said...

Great post! I've thought about this topic many times. There are a few books (very popular books that I'd rather not mention) that people I knew loved that I just couldn't finish. And they were the in the genre I love. You just never know.

It's a good thought to ponder since we're all bound to come in contact with people who feel this way about our own work. Of course, that only means they have bad taste. lol I'm only kidding. I love hearing peoples opinions on books even when they differ from my own.

Ohhh and I will so be emailing you about Biltmore. ; )

Stephanie said...

It is so subjective!!! I never really take anyone's opinions about books, movies or restaurants to heart. Everyone has such wide tastes and there have been many times that someone has made a suggestion to me and we absolutely hated it or vice versa. I prefer to make my own opinions about most things.

Chantal said...

There's not a particular kind of book that I, across the board, can't get into. I'm addicted to reading (is that a read-aholic?) and if I pick-up a book, no matter how bad it might be, I cannot, under any circumstances, put it down. It's kinda embarassing. LOL!

Jessica Kennedy said...

You know, I was the same way. I'd heard sooo much hype about Twilight/New Moon/Eclipse that I was like, "WTF? Why are people gushing over blood drinkers!"

I was adamant about NOT reading about vamps. Then my curiosity got the best of me and I picked up a copy of Twilight. I couldn't put the damn thing down!

And since then I can't get enough of vamps, and I prefer the ones with fangs and I never thought that would happen.

The lesson I've learned is, forget what you think you like or don't like because every book is different. If you're not sure you'll like it then borrow a copy from someone or the library.

The only genre I know I don't like are nasty horror, and 3 way erotica. I'm hesitant on reading gay erotica too.

Great topic!

Marcia said...

It's flat-out scary how subjective this reading and writing business is. I won't read erotica. I'm not at all drawn to zombies and vampires, but I can't say I wouldn't read a really excellent one. But erotica? Nah. I snuck my parents' copy of Lady Chatterly's lover in the fifth grade, and that was plenty.

Racquel Henry said...

I am with your mom. I absolutely will not read anything with vampires! I'm really not into, the supernatural, the gothic, fantasy, etc. In high school I did have to read the gothic novel, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and I loved it! I also had to read a good bit of Edgar Allen Poe and I love most of his work too.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I don't read horror. I guess I'm too sensitive. No nightmares for me that I don't make up myself.:D
Zombies aren't high on my list, but I read Forest and liked it.