As it was a freebie week over at The Broke and The Bookish, I spent a couple of days going through the old prompts, seeing if one caught my attention. Actually, more than one did - but I chose to combine two for this week and do five words/topics that make me not pick up a book and five words/topics that make me pick up a book. Do bear in mind that these are just generalities and I'm sure I have/will, at least once, find a book that contradicts each of these. Now, without further ado...
Top Five Words/Topics That Make Me Not Pick Up A Book
I don't actually read many contemporary books and of the ones I do read, I usually don't like much. So that means that I read even fewer. As it sits right now, contemporary gets an almost immediate 'no'.
While I do occasionally love to read books that gut me emotionally, I am a sucker for happy endings - or even moderately happy endings (I don't even mind 'Bittersweet Endings'). However, I don't like 'downer endings' and I certainly don't like depressive, nothing-good-ever-happens books.
Alpha-Male Hero (AKA: Creepy Possessive Stalker Boyfriend)
No, just no. I hate them with a passion and have read enough books that they suddenly show up in to have a pretty good idea what to stay away from. Any romance that even alludes to a possessive guy will get an almost immediate pass from me. (The only way it doesn't is if he is either not the romantic lead or gets his comeuppance from a lady that won't take his trash.)
Horror/Thriller (especially the Psychological kind)
I've spent just enough time in this genre to know it's not for me. Horror usually leaves me laughing when I should be frightened and Psychological Thrillers just make me feel sick.
Even though I objectively like the idea behind these settings, they seldom work for me and chances are good I'll just give the book a pass.
Top Five Words/Topics That Make Me Pick Up A Book
I've had a fascination with Egypt for years now - it's one of the few places I want to travel to - and any book that takes place in Egypt (especially a more historical setting) is an immediate 'look into' for me.
Grey and Grey Morality
While I know these exact words won't be used, any book that hints at this in any way will immediately attract my attention. I love stories that don't have clear cut heroes and villains. Pretty much anything that indicates a 'blurring' of the lines (especially in fantasy) is an automatic must read.
I love steampunk and pirates. Anything that combines the two and I swear to you, if I were a dog, my ears would prick right up. Especially if it's not a romance story.
Considering the increase of these characters in fiction, I cannot be the only ones that find them fascinating. For me it doesn't even really matter whether they are willing assassins or not - or even what their role is. Assassins automatically make the book better. Bonus points (in the form of it flying up my TBR list) if there are suggestions of morality issues at play and a slowly thawing assassin.
Band of (insert word here) (Usually: Misfits or anything that would indicate they have Superpowers)
I love groups in my stories and it makes it even better for me when they have special abilities. Think anything reminiscent of the X-MEN - and I'll totally want to buy it. (Makes it even better if it's alluded to them not all getting along.)
So, I think that pretty much covers the big five 'won't read' and the big five 'must read' for me. Looking at this list, I'd say that this gives you a pretty good impression of what I most like to read. (I love comments, so let me know what you think. And if you have any suggestions for - specifically for the bottom five - books, I'd love to hear them.)