Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Why I'm Not Reading "Real" Books

To no one's surprise, I get a lot of book recommendations, and as much as I would like to honor all of those suggestions by hunkering down and reading for a month straight, I just don't have that luxury.

So, as you can imagine, I must be selective about which books I will honor by reading.  And I'm sorry to say that right now, I'm not going to read anything too "real".

And by real, I mean any of the following motifs/subjects:

Cancer and Terminal Illness: 
Books like this rarely end the way I want them to, where everyone is happy and running barefoot through a field while they feast on Tutti Frutti frozen yogurt because the illness went away. 

Heartbreak That is Never Healed: 
I don't want to look or feel like this
after reading a book. 
This is still too much to handle.  Temporary separation is acceptable, but in the end, they should be doing what the people in #1 are doing, only together and holding hands.

Cruelty to Children: 
This is a hard and fast rule for any genre, but if it involves teenagers, my rule is less firm.  Hunger Games is an exception to this rule.  As is the treatment of Harry Potter and his friends.

Death in Real-Life Situations:
I've seen enough of it, and if it is really well written, I'll be upset and crying for days.  (Stop calling me emotional)  Minor characters are an exception to this rule.

Anything About Animals:
Because they always die.

But you are probably thinking, "Hey, Beth.  These things happen in ALL books!"

And you'd be right.  But when the book takes place in a post apocalyptic world filled with zombies, or on Krypton, or in Middle Earth, all of the examples above cease to bother me. 

I can't explain why.  I love the characters just as much, and they are no less real to me, but because I know their particular situation could NEVER HAPPEN, I can handle these subjects.  Plus, if I couldn't, I would never be able to read anything, and that is equally unthinkable. 

So, what is on my list right now?

1.  Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
2.  Maze Runner by James Dashner
3.  Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
4.  The Fourth Wall by Elizabeth Naranjo (my friend's book coming out later this year)
5.  Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
6.  Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which I already read, but want to read again.  SO good.

I apologize to my friends who have recommend books that I'm sure are amazing.  Please don't take my rejection of your favorite book personally. 

And no, I will never read The Fault in our Stars.

Beth - 1
Sad books that make me cry - 0


  1. I toadly agree (I got a new stamp that say - you guessed it "toadly handmade" and has a frog - I think it's hilarious). I just bought Cress by Marisa Meyer today on Kindle (it's the 3rd? in the Lunar Chronicles) and fits your not "real" category - love the characters but it's post-apocalyptic and the main character (Cinder) is a cyborg...

  2. Please don't read ANY of my books, Beth. Because you will hate them. I love real. The more intense and dark and miserable the better. In fact, in all my books except Farm Girl, someone days. Usually a baby. If you must read one of my books, make it Farm Girl. Nobody dies in that one, except maybe a hog at butchering season.

    1. ug, I meant to say "dies" not days.

    2. Karen - I do make exceptions to my rule, and I think a fellow WiDo author's book would be a good time to make one! I'll read Farm Girl for sure!


I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment!