Books I do not want to read (the curmudgeon I become on alternate Thursdays)

Thursday, 25 May 2017, 10:45 | Category : Uncategorized
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Stories about dying relatives
Divorce stories
Self-justifying political/military/legal/business/finance/showbiz memoirs
Chattily written biographies
Biographies in general
Social history
Books with big explicit sex scenes
Books about Trump
Winner stories
Loser stories
Snide and sophisticated comic novels
Fantasy with no coherent fantasy physics, chemistry biology, sociology
Books about moving to the Mediterranean, learning how to live from colorful natives
Books that pretend to be war histories but that are really about oppressed minorities
Victimhood books
Enduring in the wild stories
Detective novels
Social protest science fiction about revolutions that aren’t going to happen
Science fiction based on bad science
Science fiction based on bad economic premises
Political conspiracy novels
Phony political conspiracy exposés
Uplifting religious stories
Religious conspiracy novels
Coming of age novels
Books with limited vocabulary
Books in dialect
Improbable first-person child novels
Novels with no ideas
Novels with fashionable ideas
Religiously tendentious books
Existentialistically tendentious books
Novels with no characters I’d like to meet
Any kind of clumsy writing
Lefty revisionism
Righty revisionism
Cynical love stories
Sentimental love stories
Hip insider internet books
Sports writing
Prizewinning collections of free verse poetry
Almost anything reviewed in the NYT Book Review or the NYROB
War books without detailed maps
Metrically incompetent long poems
Bad translations
Books in Deconstructionese
Books in Heideggerese
Books that leave me as ignorant as I was before I started reading them
Books about the harm done by family secrets
Books with no triumphs
Books without tragedy
Books with nothing witty or funny
Books about exploring places that have already been explored
Food books (unless they contain some ideas)
Garden books (unless they contain some ideas)
Books about animals that are palpably trying to make you help preserve them
Historical fiction in which the characters speak in modern English
Where they speak in fancy overblown English because the author thinks it sounds old
Books, especially poetry books, that try to make you think the author is a good person
Books that try to make you think the author is mysteriously profound
Books that try to make you feel guilty
Books in which the prose sounds like the excerpts read euphoniously on NPR
Books that expect you to be as fond of the author’s relatives as the author is
Travel books by people who don’t have expert knowledge of the places they write about
Travel books that implicitly sneer at you if you haven’t been there
Books that even today try to shock you

4 Comments for “Books I do not want to read (the curmudgeon I become on alternate Thursdays)”

  1. 1Scott

    Hear, hear.

    <>

  2. 2Scott

    Any chance we can see the list of books you _do_ want to read, courtesy of the noncurmudgeon version of you (on the other alternate Thursdays, that is)?

  3. 3Frederick Turner

    Any good book that was written because the author knew something wonderful nobody else knows and just wanted to pass it along.

  4. 4Bernie Bell

    You say “Novels with no ideas.”
    Books with no ideas, just about covers it for me, Fred!
    What’s the point?

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