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2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

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My Progress:

12 / 30 books. 40% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
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My Progress:

28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

48 / 50 books. 96% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

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40 / 52 books. 77% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

27 / 40 books. 68% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

10 / 25 books. 40% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

12 / 26.2 miles. 46% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

26 / 100 books. 26% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

64 / 104 books. 62% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

43 / 52 books. 83% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

69 / 165 books. 42% done!
Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons I Throw Books Against the Wall (Or Just Quietly DNF Them)

Even though I can be a harsh critic when it comes to books, I always try to keep things positive around here, especially for Top Ten Tuesday. I considered going rogue instead of doing today's prompt—Top Ten Petty Reasons You've DNF'd a Book (or Reduced Its Rating)—but I'm not feeling very creative, so I'm going to stick with the assigned topic after all. I'm a fairly picky reader, so it shouldn't be too hard to come up with ten reasons I get bugged enough to put down a book. 

As always, this fun weekly meme is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Click on over to her site and give her some love, wontcha?

Top Ten Petty Reasons I'll DNF a Book (or Reduce Its Rating)

It's BORING! If a book has no plot or it's bogged down by too many extraneous details, excessive words, superfluous characters, etc., then I'm out. It doesn't have to be a glued-to-my-seat page turner, but there has to be enough tension, conflict, and action to hold my attention.

It has graphic content that I just don't want to read. Let's set aside the fact that I'm currently reading a book where every other word seems to start with an "f" and end with "ck"... I'm a fairly big prude, so I tend to shy away from books with strong language, excessive blood/gore, disturbing content, and "sexy" scenes.

The characters are unlikable/irritating/dull. I mean, I don't necessarily have to love the main character in the book I'm reading, but I have to like them enough to want to spend multiple hours with them! It's also best when I feel a connection to them, which makes me worry about them, root for them, and care about what's going to happen to them. When I don't give a fig about any of them? Yeah, Imma DNF that one real fast.

It's too confusing. If a plot is unnecessarily complicated or an author's prose is so dense that I have to read a paragraph three times to understand what they're trying to say, then...I'm done.

The author hasn't done their homework. I read a novel once where a character (let's call her Jane) goes to visit her rich sister (Jill) and needs to borrow her Tesla. Jill tosses Jane her car keys and Jane starts up the Tesla, reveling in the sound of its expensive engine purring. Um...There are several problems here. Not only are Teslas not driven with keys (I use an app, with a key card as a backup), but they don't have engines. There is no purring; in fact, they're almost silent. (Seriously, I've had to honk at people to warn them I'm there because they can't hear my car coming.) Getting "small" details like this wrong yanks me out of a story and makes me distrust the author. If they didn't bother to check something as simple as how to drive a Tesla, what else did they get wrong? I don't necessarily DNF for this because hey, everybody makes mistakes, but I definitely lower my ratings when authors/editors get things wrong that they could have easily researched.

Mood, man. Sometimes, I'm just not feeling a book for no fault of its own. If this is the case, I often go back to it when I'm feeling more inclined.

The audiobook narrator's voice grates on me. When this happens, I DNF the audiobook and read a paper or electronic version instead.

Poor writing. I'm all about clarity over creativity, so I don't need flowery, poetic, achingly beautiful word art. I do, however, want to be engaged by vibrant prose that's sculpted into paragraphs that pop, sentences that sing, and dialogue that dances. Or, at least, words that flow so smoothly that I get so fully immersed in a story that I forget I'm reading at all.

 Lousy/lazy copy editing. If there are major typos, grammatical errors, logic problems, continuity issues, etc., I get jerked out of the story. Self-published titles have been the most problematic for me in this, but I have found plenty of mistakes in books put out by the big guys, too. Unless they're major, I don't usually DNF for this reason, but I do take marks off my grades/ratings because it's annoying and takes away from my pleasure in reading the book.

Too cheesy/sappy/sentimental. I don't mind an inspirational, feel-good read—unless it's so saccharine or preachy or obviously motivational that it drives me mad. Subtlety works much better for me as a reader.

There you are, the top ten reasons I DNF a book or reduce its grade/rating. Do you relate to any of them? What makes you set a read aside? I'd love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog. (Note: I really try to visit the blogs of everyone who participates in TTT and leave a thoughtful comment. Last week, I had to go out of town to check on my dad, who was recently diagnosed with dementia, so I didn't get to most of yours. I know you are all devastated. Ha ha. Seriously, though, I'll do better this week. Promise!)

Happy TTT!

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