Could You Make Me Want to Read This Book Any LESS?

So, CDSquee sends me this e-mail the other day about a book blurb she just read:

The first line of blurb SCREAMS “not you, CDsquee.” Great not to have to muddle through with a maybe and a hmmm:

“VIRAL is an international thriller that delves into the very real worlds of geopolitics and bioweapons research.”

This looks like in my mind:

VIRAL is an international (Nope) thriller (well) that delves into the very real (feh) worlds of geopolitics (buh-bye) and bioweapons (pthbthh) research (okay sayonara so long good luck with all that).

We subscribe to the Dear Reader Book Club e-mails. (If you don’t know about this, follow this link: You sign up for genres and the club sends an e-mail every day with a short excerpt from one book from that genre. By the end of the week, you’ve read a chapter or two of the book and have a good idea whether or not you want to invest in reading the whole thing. Sometimes, we can tell by the blurb alone, that we don’t even want to read the first opening sentence. A couple of weeks ago, this was the recommendation from the “Romance” genre:


He’s a man who burns as hot and free as a wildfire–and where love is concerned, he’s twice as dangerous…

Rio Kelly knows what he wants when he sees it–and he wants the ebony-haired, fair-skinned beauty with the extraordinary blue eyes, Turquoise Sanchez. But in the battle for her love, this bold vaquero is competing with a Texas senator who’s used to getting his way, at any cost.

Turquoise knows the sensible choice would be to marry the wealthy senator and enjoy a lifetime of comfort and status. But her heart has chosen differently. If she dares to follow her passion–and defy one of Texas’s most powerful and ruthless men–she and her defiant cowboy are in for the fight of their lives…

CD Squee says, “Shoot me now”.

Squee1313 is going to be Turquoise Sanchez for Halloween.

Kimtastic is going to have Rio Kelly tattooed on her hip.

After all of this anti-inspiration, we at Songs in Squee Minor thought about other turn-offs in literary marketing:

· Unauthorized Biography of…

· As Seen on the 700 Club

· The Bicentennial Edition

· For the First Time in English

· Based on the Blockbuster Hollywood Movie

· Ripped from the Tabloids/Headlines

· Four Star review from the editorial director of Ichthyology Today magazine.

· It has the word “Zeitgeist”

· The Real Truth behind… or What the Liberal Media won’t tell you…or What the Right Wing Conspiracy doesn’t want you to know

· It comes highly recommended by the slightly Asperger’s guy at the office who only watches network TV talent contests.

· Now A Lifetime Movie Network original feature

· Recommended by One Million Moms

· Recommended by Nancy Grace

· Developed from fan fiction

· Twilight for grown-ups

· Self-published by Suzie J. Cutie-Patootie (Wow, she’s written a whole novel and she’s only 12!)

What kinds of things turn you off when it comes to picking out a new book?


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cdsquee
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 19:37:57

    Additionally: “from the beloved Milton Bradley game…”


  2. Elizabeth
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 19:46:31

    Is it crazy that I sort of want to read Rio after that description? It sounds like the best sort of trashy romance… you know, one where the heroine has to pick between a real cowboy and Rick Perry. Ok, he’s not a senator, but I am pretending he is for the purposes of this story. Because it would be even funnier that way. And I feel like the funniest things in life are the ones that aren’t supposed to be funny.

    Ok, and now that you know I have horrible taste in romance novels… I don’t pick up books that claim to be historical romance or really even historical fiction. I don’t pick up books that claim to be based on anything by Jane Austen (except that one time I read Bridget Jones’s Diary before I knew what I was doing). And I hate when I pick up a book thinking I’m getting a romance and I end up with a Christian romance. Could they have put a little Jesus on the cover to tell me God was going to be interfering with the number of sexytimes in the book PLEASE?


    • squee1313
      Apr 24, 2012 @ 22:15:00

      God interfering with sexytimes…OMG I almost peed my pants, so funny. I was looking for another blurb I got from Dear Reader’s Romance suggestion, but I couldn’t find it. It was so horribly bad/good. It was “historical” in that it was set in the lat 1800s and it was about a Native American man put in prison (for a crime he didn’t committ) and he’s working on a chain gang and stuff, and some high falutin’ white woman falls for him and of course he’s strong and silent and angry, but eventually falls for her too.


      • Elizabeth
        Apr 25, 2012 @ 01:40:38

        I love how “historical” basically means “racist” in that context. I dunno, I might have to sign up for this service just for the daily lols.

  3. Lucy
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 19:52:29

    I haven’t heard of this Dear Reader book club before-have you read any of the titles yet? LOL at being Turquoise Sanchez for Halloween! Viral lost me at geopolitics too.

    I have to agree with all of the marketing turn-offs you listed – zeitgeist, bicentennial, lifetime movie, nancy grace – so hilarious! Also, some author blurbs do more harm than good in my eyes. If I don’t like the author’s work and they blurb a book it’s a red flag for me.
    Fun post!


    • squee1313
      Apr 24, 2012 @ 22:19:34

      My co-blogger and another of my co-workers pick up lots of books based on the sugggestions from Dear Reader. I haven’t yet because I already have more books than I know what to do with, but it’s a great service to let you read the beginning of a book. They’ve got pretty much every genre you can think of and you can sign up for as many as you want.


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