Rachel did this on her BookTube channel Kalanadi yesterday, so I decided to give it a shot myself. This tag was created by Nicole & Her Books, so check her out if you want her take on the Anti-TBR tag.
This can be a salty tag, depending on who does it. I’m a salty person, so be warned…
1. A popular book EVERYONE loves that you have no interest in reading?
What’s the current flavor of the month epic fantasy series written by a white guy? Probably that. Right now, a lot of people on my bookish Discord are reading John Gwynne’s The Faithful and the Fallen series. I glanced through the first book at the bookstore a while back, and it did not look either well-written or interesting to me. The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erickson is also popular in certain book circles I’m part of. Same story. I gave the first book a shot, did not like what I read of it, and so I put it aside for good.
And don’t tell me “it gets so good by book 4/5/6/7/etc.”. A series should be interesting from the first book. If I have to wade through two thousand pages for things to get good, then those first two thousand pages should have been edited out.
2. A classic book (or author) you don’t have an interest in reading?
I mean, I’ve read one of Tolstoy’s novels (Anna Karenina), but it took me literally years to get through it, after two false starts. I might enjoy the music of Russian composers, but I’m not terribly interested in Russian literature.
3. An author whose books you have no interest in reading?
I assume this is meant for contemporary authors, and the first author I can think of whose work I have no interest in is Fredrik Backman. I’ve heard people raving about his books, but whenever they summarize them they just don’t catch my interest. At all.
So sorry, Fredrik. I’m sure you’re a good person, but I’m not going to read your books.
3.2 A problematic author whose books you have no interest in reading?
I have a curious habit of reading a book, disliking it, and then years later it comes to light that the author is a lousy (or criminal) human being. For example, there was recently a big to-do on Bookstagram and BookTube about Antisemitism and/or cultural appropriation in books by authors Emily Duncan and Jay Kristoff. In both cases, I read one each of their books, disliked them both, and never bothered with them again. A few years later, we find out they’re dodgy people. There’s a chance I might read their books in the future (assuming either of them learns how to actually tell a good story), because they’re not actual criminals and can learn from their mistakes and grow up.
In the case of someone like Marion Zimmer Bradley, whose actions for a long, long part of her adult life were utterly deplorable (and often downright disgusting), no. I will never read or recommend her books again. Google it if you want to know, I’m not going into it here. I read her most famous book when I was in college. I enjoyed it the first time through, then read it again and found it to be rather shallow and didactic, so never continued with the series. The repulsive details about her and her husband came out later.
Glad I didn’t continue the series.
4. An author you have read a couple of books from & have decided their books are not for you?
Once upon a time, before the internet allowed you to buy whatever your heart desired and download basically book in the world, I was stuck with whatever was available at my small town public library or else choose from a small selection from the closest bookstore (which was 35 miles away). The little public library did their best, but most people were asking for books Tom Clancy, James Patterson, and Stephen King. So I’ve read a bunch of Stephen King’s books. Eleven of them, if I’m counting right. Do I want to read more of them? No. I don’t think his horror stories are all that frightening and I’m not interested in his fantasy novels. I don’t think his writing is very good, and there are plenty of other books out there. So no more Stephen King for me.
5. A genre you have no interest in OR a genre you tried to get into & couldn’t?
I mean, I’ll read a romance once every couple of years? I’m not all that interested in true crime. Contemporaries don’t really interest me, so… those, I guess.
6. A book you have bought but will never read?
I just looked back through my shelves to see if there is a book I’ve bought that I will surely never read, and I haven’t really seen one. You might think, “that gigantic set of Tolkien’s History of Middle-earth series will surely go unread”, but no. I finished the last book of the first volume today and started the first book of the second volume. So those books are slowly being read.
You might then ask if I’ll ever read those books about quantum mechanics or the Theory of Relativity, but I do intend to read those at some point. They just keep being put off for other books that sound so, so appealing.
So I think the only book I have that I do not intend to read is Langenscheidt’s New Concise German Dictionary compiled by Heinz Messinger, which I bought about two years ago when I was able to take German lessons from my wonderful tutor (who is a retired German language professor). A German/English dictionary was something she required me to buy, and I found one at the used bookstore for $5. It was useful when I was taking lessons, but then travel plans (hers and mine) and Covid put an end to my German lessons, and I haven’t used it since.
7. A series you have no interest in reading OR a series you started & have DNFed?
Don’t @ me, but I’ve completely lost interest in and won’t be finishing the A Song of Ice and Fire series or The Kingkiller Chronicles.
For what it’s worth, the authors don’t seem to have much interest in finishing them, either.
8. A new release you have no interest in reading?
I’m sure you’ll be shocked, but I have zero interest in reading A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas or From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout (which yes, is not a new release, but the third one of the series is out soon, or just came out, and it’s been showing up in things that I follow, and its premise sounds dreadful, and people whose opinions I trust who have read it utterly loathe the series). Fantasy romance with a plethora of sex scenes? No. Not interested. You couldn’t pay me to read them. I would rather throw them off a tall building or into a river.
So that’s the Anti-TBR book tag. Feel free to do it if you’re feeling salty about any of these questions.