Reading Your Bookish Kryptonite

Last week I shared about the words and phrases that are my book description kryptonite: the ones that make me immediately put a book aside as not for me.
bookish kryptonite
(I also forgot a few, and was reminded of them in the comments. A second post about additional ones may be forthcoming, especially focused on cover kryptonite.)

But what about when you “have” to read a book that hits one of those otherwise red flags?

This month’s selection for my in-person book club is The Lake House by Kate Morton. I love Kate Morton’s books. I wanted to dive into this book.

Except: the description mentions a baby who has disappeared. Children being harmed is #1 on my “don’t read this” list. I put off reading the book for months, in part because I was dreading the read.

And then I finally picked the book up, faced my fears, and dove in.

Hours later, and waaaaaay past my bedtime, I closed the book. Yes, the central mystery of the book is one that I generally won’t read, but I am *so* glad I trusted Morton to not be too graphic.

While I’m not going to say that I’m going to start reading all of those books I don’t read, I am glad that I didn’t stick to my list without budging. I’d have missed out on a great book.

Now I’m wondering what other books I really should try, even if they are ones I’d usually ignore. 🙂

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Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: 5 Translated Novels I Want To Read, and 5 More I’m Considering


  1. I, too, am feeling gratitude that I stuck with a book containing personal kryptonite – more than passing description/focus on sex – because I am feeling blown away by the author’s skill in weaving three separate tales that converge in an unexpected way, all the while sucking me, as a reader, in further and further (The Husband’s Secret). Could she have told the story without so much sexual emphasis? Probably. Am I still going to highly recommend the book (even though my parents would pick it up and be mortified by my recommendation)? Probably. So glad I didn’t put it down early on.

    • Hmmm, you’ve got me thinking I should try this book – I’d passed on it because it didn’t sound like one I’d like, but I love it when authors can bring together separate stories.

  2. Book Club is a great way to read outside your comfort zone. I’m glad it worked out for you. It is really hard to read those Kryptonite books, but I do it sometimes as well – usually if enough people have recommended a book or when it’s for book club.

  3. I am reading Horns by Joe Hill. Seattle Times says “Sometimes gorgeously sensual, sometimes wrenchingly grotesque…A wild ride…filled with thrills.” Normally, I’d give this a WIDE pass. I am having a very hard time putting this book down. When lunch is over, I feel kind of mad that I have to go back to work. It is SO good.

    • I came across that title ages ago and thought it wasn’t the sort for me, but now I’m wondering if I should rethink that. Let me know if your opinion remains the same after you finish it?

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