Genres I don’t read

Thanks to Boats against the Current who helped out with some blogging prompts! I’m going to try out a couple of these suggestions and see where they take me.

open book

This time, I will talk about the Genres I don’t read. Hopefully you’ll know I have a review policy, which has been built up over the time I’ve been blogging. I know it looks pretty big and scary but it’s been built on, often as a reaction to a review pitch where my instinctive response has first been “no!” and then “err, why?”.

Christian Fiction

I am not a fan of Christian (or generally religious) Fiction.  I have read enough of them to know to avoid. One or two have almost changed my mind, but they are outweighed by the ones that have put me off.  I don’t like it for the same reason I avoid evangelical Christians……simply far far too earnest and desperate to make me exactly the same as them (or that i’m somehow inferior/unworthy if I resist). There are a couple of books where I’ve come away feeling hit around the head with a brick.  “I am going to tell you why my life is better than yours, why I am a better person than you and all you have to do is exactly what I tell you too, and then you will feel exactly the same way I do”. I am a practical person, and much prefer the “show, don’t tell” way of things: TELLING me means nothing – SHOW me how good a person your religion has made you in both thought and deed; what joy, compassion and goodwill your religion has brought and how, when the going gets tough, your religion brings you peace and strength. Problems with organised religion much? moi? haha!


I’ve always had a problem with poetry, ever since I was in school. If I did read the “fun” stuff as a kid, I don’t remember. There was the Owl and the Pussycat I suppose, but that was offset by also reading The Illiad, Wordsworth and Coleridge by the time I was in my early teens – and having to learn The Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan by rote at the same time. Guess what – I had a Classics education – sue me.

Therefore I’ve never had much enjoyment out of poetry, and certainly wish there had been more of the less prescriptive stuff – I never studied Shakespeare’s sonnets for example, or spent much time on The Jabberwocky. The only “poem” I’ve chosen to learn of my own accord is “The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things” from Alice in Wonderland  (and even then I remember it imperfectly!).

Kubla Khan does provide a useful word in “Xanadu” – great in Scrabble, and also in the “name cities beginning with each letter of the alphabet”!

letters book readNon-Fiction (History, biographies etc)

I’ve been reading and writing non fiction texts throughout my working career and have found that my ability to write fiction has suffered accordingly. I tend to find that non-fiction writers tend to be rather dry and a little too factual (which seems to clash with the comment above eh?). Given the choice of reading a straight Tudor History non-fiction book or the same period covered by a fiction book, I would take the fiction book any time, even knowing that a good percentage of the book is likely to be poetic licence. I have learnt more from reading Philipa Gregory et al than I ever did in History class at school. Though I wish I had a show similar to Horrible Histories when I was a child, as I find they can get the same (or even more) information over in a silly 2 minute song, that from a dry delivery in front of a blackboard.  All down to delivery eh?

Short Stories

Ok, not a genre per-se, more a style. I have a number of collections on my kindle, from authors I really enjoy, but have yet to get further than a couple of stories. It’s a style I struggle with – I appreciate the work that has gone into telling a story and creating a world in so few words, but….it’s just hard work you know? Considering the amount of commuting I do you would think these would be ideal but apparently no.

So what about you? are there any genres you avoid?


10 thoughts on “Genres I don’t read

  1. I think my only super hard no at this time would be horror/gore haha I can’t stomach it even if I tried. I just recently started reading some poetry and it’s definitely an adjustment.


    • I’ve tried people like Dean Koontz before and it left me very underwhelmed. I go through spates of reading Stephen King – Salem’s lot scared me silly – but nothing the last couple of years

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, despite the fact that I started out writing poetry, the truth is I don’t really read it much.

    Short stories – oh, yes, I do read short stories plenty. No problem with the genre, particularly because sometimes they can be amazing!

    Got to agree with you about the Christian Fiction – I tried; I failed (and apparently, I see it isn’t because I’m Jewish).

    Now… non-fiction – that depends. But in general, no, I don’t read much non-fiction (do cookbooks count?).

    But what I have a real problem with is the classic bodice ripper romance books – OY VEY! I’m not a fan of fantasy either – strange worlds and weird creatures with names I can’t pronounce – no thanks!


  3. I don’t see it’s because you’re Jewish either! No one likes to be told they’re wrong if they don’t do things the same way as another.

    Do you actually *read* a cookbook? You know what I mean – start at the beginning and expect some kind of narrative all the way through? Nah, in out, shake it all about!


    • I’ve read a couple of Westerns and wouldnt declare “never again” (then again, I did like watching the Rawhide reruns). Comics, hell yeah!

      Chicklit – now there’s a genre that’s kinda hard to define. Americans (so I believe) call authors such as Sophie Kinsella “Chicklit”, whilst we Brits have traditionally class it as “Mills and Boon”. Is that how you define it? I’ve heard that Celia Ahern and Kinsella are actually pretty good if you can get past the covers.

      And yes I have read and enjoyed Mills and Boon in the past – even used to get two editions in the post each month!


  4. I agree on the religious fiction, although I must say the bits of Christ’s childhood written by Anne Rice are rather humorous. One year my Well mean but clueless parent bought me a book in the airport with the opening line of “Dead and bloating bodies in the streets…” rather put me off reading religious fiction.
    I’m also not a fan of most popular (i.e. Anything off Oprah’s list) novels. Although I will admit to reading ALL the Twilight books but then again I’m from a half hour from Forks.


    • Is there a genre called “badly written books” :). Cos I don’t read them neither! Have read none of the 50 shades books, not because I don’t read racy books, but I heard they were so badly written, and such a poor reflection of the lifestyle that it was best to leave them well alone


  5. I agree with you for most of this.
    I’ve slowly getting into non-fiction more, but I still don’t read a lot of it. Most of it doesn’t interest me as much. I still stick to fantasy and soft science fiction novels the most.
    What’s your favorite genre?


    • I seem to be reading a lot of Historical Romances, but that’s usually because they’re easy and fast to read.

      I’m trying to get back into reading other genres, so have been getting back into crime and “women’s fiction” (what ever that is!)

      Liked by 1 person

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