I loathe animals narrating books. From way back when I first read Watership Down and Animal Farm, I have not only not loved anthropomorphic animal stories but have actively disliked them. People can rave all they want about the latest dog-narrated tale, but I am putting that book back on the shelf the second I see Fido telling the story.
Sometimes I enjoy sitting down with a romance but if it's a romance with children, I am dropping that book like a hot potato. I have enough children in my own life that I do not appreciate cute, precocious children romping through the pages of my story. And if they have a hand in getting the couple together, well, just ::gag::.
If I pick up a book and the word thriller or psychological is included in the jacket copy or in the blurbs, it can't go back on the shelf fast enough. Some of this is because I am a coward and thriller seems to be code word for mildly scary but some of this is because I have yet to really like anything breathlessly described in this fashion.
I once belonged to a book club that would reject any book that was touted as an "international bestseller." Experience showed that these books were always destined for failure in that particular group. And I have to admit that I have picked up a mild case of this prejudice too although I have a slightly better track record for success with these books than the group as a whole did.
More often than not, I will return a book to the shelf if it is set immediately preceding, during, or immediately following the Civil War. There just seems to be so much dirt and horror involved in this period of history. And speaking of historical turn-offs for me, I don't like medieval set tales. Again with the dirt and filth. Apparently I want time periods where authors don't feel compelled to mention the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of their characters as a way to authenticate their time period.
Throw the words politics or political intrigue into jacket copy and I envision reading an extended version of election year political ads. This is no way to spend your free time, in my opinion.
I'm probably missing a few things that cause an immediate push back onto the shelf, but because I am generally so easily persuaded where buying books is concerned, I had to think quite hard to come up with these. What about you? Are there triggers that automatically disqualify a book from going home with you too?