What’s on My Bookish Blacklist?

Sometimes when I’m browsing through Goodreads reviews, I notice that quite a lot of people have shelves that are usually named something along the lines of “will not read”. I don’t have one of these shelves, but I always found it interesting that there are books that people will simply not touch for one reason or another. Most of the time it’s because of the way that an author has behaved (and there are quite a few authors that i’ve seen be blacklisted by bloggers), but for me there are other reasons. So, after looking through some GR users’ blacklist shelves, I decided to create for one for myself.

I’ve grouped these four books together because they are so freaking long (with the exception of Paradise Lost, which I’m classifying as long for a poem). I understand word counts, I really do, every time I had a creative assignment to do, I went way over the required word count. Maybe it’s just me, but I just don’t understand how some writers can have so much to say in one single story. I just don’t have the mental stamina to continue on with books this long. Les Miserables and Atlas Shrugged are among the longest novels ever written, but on top of that, Atlas Shrugged looks a bit too philosophical for me. I’ve read the Wikipedia page on Objectivism, which is Ayn Rand’s personal philosophy, a million times and I still don’t understand what it is. I’ve even read the simple English version, and I still don’t get it. 

Not to be vulgar, but…

(‘You’ being the book, not you reading this post)

I have an incredibly deep-seated hatred of James Joyce’s work and I wouldn’t have discovered it if I hadn’t studied his work at university. For some reason, academics love Joyce and I just don’t get it. Modernist fiction and especially stream of conscious narratives do absolutely nothing for me because it just looks like a jumbled mess. The only time I ever write like that is when I’m having a terrible mental day and feel the need to tell everybody on Tumblr about it. No punctuation, no stopping, no telling of where I’m going to go next. Obviously it’s supposed to make you feel something when you read it, but all I feel is hopelessly confused and frustrated. Even some of his contemporaries didn’t like his work, and that really says something.

This author here is the reason why the word “sadist” exists. And no, that’s not an exaggeration, it’s actually the truth. The Marquis de Sade’s work is basically borderline pornography that’s also violent and features criminals. His works actually got him arrested and put into mental hospitals, which is not something that happens very often these days. Not only do de Sade’s books feature a crap ton of gratuitous sex, there’s also sexual violence, sadomasochism, paedophilia, rape, weird fetishes, and murder. Lovely. One of his books was even made into a movie. How? I’m not entirely sure, but it’s been banned in quite a lot of places. Also, the director was murdered before it was released, but I’m not sure if it was because of the movie.

I’d say go read the summary of this story to see why I’ll never read it, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. Let me just say this: I’m a cisgender girl and even the thought of this made me squirm.

Rape and abuse disguised as terrible BDSM? Yeah, no thank you. My best friend tried to get me read this book, and after reading many articles and listening to a lot of opinions, and even reading up on BDSM myself, I slammed this book straight onto my no-go list. I’m not a fan of erotic fiction anyway, but when it involves what looks like abuse, I won’t touch it.

Let me just preface this possibly controversial choice by saying that I am not religious in any way. But I’m also not an atheist. In fact I don’t care about whether or not a god or gods exist because it wouldn’t affect me in any way at all. What I do care about is people being respectful towards one another. To me, Dawkins’ book is incredibly disrespectful towards religious people and to call beliving in something a “delusion” is abelist. I’m the child of a disabled mother, so abelism will never be okay to me. Ever. I have absolutely no problem with atheism, but if somebody’s atheism involves telling people that they’re stupid, everything they believe in is fake and meaningless, and that they’re insane or “delusional” I’m definitely going to have an issue. Being an atheist does not make you smarter than other people or mean that you have a “healthy” mind, just the same as being religious does not make you more morally sound than other people.

I didn’t mean for this post to get political or whatever, but I am pretty suspicious of Scientology. It’s not something that I can get behind,  The fact that the basis for it is actually science ficton makes me even more skeptical. There’s also the fact that I have a mental illness and have received psychiatric treament for it. There’s actually a Church of Scientology centre where I live, and being constantly shot down in the street to take a free stress test really puts me off of reading any of Hubbard’s fiction books, nevermind any of his books on Dianetics.

Do you have a book blacklist? Why would you blacklist a book?

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