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This week’s topic was a little tricky for me because I’m an adventurous and eclectic reader. I don’t regularly read romance, non-paranormal horror, westerns, or mysteries, but I have no problem picking up a book from one or more of those genres if a trope or clever plot twist in them tickles my fancy.
Of course, I still draw boundaries about what I’m willing to read and watch. I do not consume stories that make excuses for violence, hatred, or any form of abuse.
That is to say, I may read about these topics if they are themes in a story that otherwise appeals to me. They are a sad part of life, after all, and some authors have marvellous things to say about how people have risen about these experiences and helped others to escape them, too.
I will not read authors who make abusive relationships sound romantic or normal or who demonize entire groups of people for immutable characteristics like race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, disability, etc.
Luckily, authors who write this way generally give hints that they will go in those directions within the first chapter or so based on the ugly comments they often make about their characters while introducing them. Older novels are more likely to share such views in some cases, although there are still plenty of them that do not cross this line.
The beautiful part of reading book reviews is that many of them will mention stuff like this. I have only had to write a few such warnings in the hundreds of reviews I’ve written, but I think it’s better to let people know in advance than it is to give them a terrible surprise when they were expecting to read something nice.