What Won’t I Read

Last week, Lynn Viehl posted about what sort of books she won’t read. It wasn’t so much a dis of those particular genres but how she reacts to them.

I actually had to codify that here in the review policy.  I have a limited amount of time and need to focus on certain types of books.  On top of that, I really want to read something other than what I’m being asked to review.  So what won’t I read?

  • Cozies.  I’m just not into them.  I seriously doubt you’ll find me prowling Malice Domestic.  Crime is a bloody, brutal, ugly thing, and cozies have a tendency to sanitize that.
  • Political screeds.  Let’s be blunt.  90% of them are written by screaming ideologues who don’t have the expertise to write a pamphlet about what they talk about.  Some of them are just yanking chains.  Glenn Beck?  Every tear compounds the interest in his bank account.  And the gold promos?  Designed to draw in millions from the black helicopter crowd.  Thanks, but I’ll pass.
  • Romance.  Come on.  I’m a dude.  It’s just not dude lit.
  • Hard SF.  It’s not that I don’t believe a writer needs to get his science right.  I just don’t think scientific principle should be the crux of the story.  I know gravity holds me to the Earth.  That should be a plot point, not the whole plot.
  • Celebrity bios.  I read Nick Mason’s Pink Floyd memoir.  (I kinda wish he’d gotten Syd Barrett’s input now that we know Syd would have made a day at the park of carving it up.)  Beyond that, I don’t care.  I don’t care about Britney’s breakdown or how P Diddy became the CEO he is today.  Most of these tomes are ghost-written, and very badly.  Plus, the whole celebrity worship thing drives me batty.
  • Conspiracy theory books.  I work with a proud conspiracy theorist who tries to rationalize this to me almost daily.  The problem is most conspiracy theories are put forth or followed by people with an almost-pathological inability to comprehend the premise that shit really does happen.
  • Self help books.  I had a weakness for them once.  My life has gone so much better since I stopped reading them.
  • Vampires.  OK, look, vampires suck the blood of the living.  They are anthropomorphized mosquitos.  They are not angsty, erotic tragic heroes trapped between life and death.  Seriously, the original Dracula was this dirty, filthy thing with no redeeming qualities.  All Bela Lugosi did was make a walking corpse seem charming.  His Dracula was still a monster.  Makes me want to stalk Lestat and Edward with a sun lamp.

So what won’t you read and why?