Blog Housekeeping

Schedule Shift!

Hi Readers!

I’ll be working a lot of overtime at my day job for most of October, so while that’s going on (and cutting into my reading time!) I’m shifting from my usual M-W-F posting schedule to T-Th. This is just a temporary shift until my workload returns to normal.


Blog Housekeeping · Fantasy · Science Fiction

Why Read Science Fiction or Fantasy?

I keep coming across this question in book groups and it’s one of those questions that just knocks around my head. “Why do you read about things that aren’t real? Why read science fiction or fantasy? (Those are separate genres, for the record… a rant for another day.)

And I just keep coming back to “Why not?”

Non-fiction and general or historical fiction are all well and fine, but they’re planted firmly in reality, which is honestly pretty mundane. Don’t get me wrong, the right memoir or the right historical fiction story might spark something for me, but in general, I’m not drawn to stories about real life.

Simply put, I read for escape. I’m perfectly happy with my normal, drama-free life but I love to live vicariously through the eyes of characters experiencing what is impossible for me to experience. No matter how exciting my life might turn out to be, I’ll never be chased by a dragon or launched into space. I’m never going to dine with fairies or participate in epic battles with magic trees and elves.

Not only that, but there’s an extra layer of imagination from the author to craft a good science fiction or fantasy novel. Not to knock writers of general fiction, but there’s less imagination required to describe how a middle-class neighborhood and social circle functions than there is to create a functional system of magic or define a new society ruled by technology.

There’s something special about cracking open a book and discovering a new take on elven society or a system of magic that’s unlike anything I’ve read before. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve finished and simply marveled at the amount of imagination it takes to create something like what I just read (Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence comes to mind.)

I’m not drawn to the fictional tales of people’s sad, broken lives. There are only so many stories of brokenhearted wives discovering their husband cheating on them that I can stand. I lead my own mundane life and while I’m happily married and leading a drama-free life, I find it somewhat voyeuristic to consume the stories of others’ run of the mill unhappiness.

You’ll find the occasional non-fiction or general fiction novel featured on this blog, which will hopefully signal when I’ve found something that does catch my fairly narrow fancy.

That’s why I read science fiction and fantasy – but what about you, Reader? Do you read scifi or fantasy? If so, why? If not, why not?

Blog Housekeeping

Finally Fall and Looking Forward to October Reading

It’s finally fall here in the Seattle area, and typically the weather can’t make up its’ mind. Last week I was wearing fleece lined tights and last night we ran the air conditioner at bedtime. For the first time in memory, I’m excited for the summer to end and for fall to descend. It’s been long, hot and very smoky here and I was *done* with summer by mid-July.

One of the things I’m looking forward to most about fall is Halloween at our new house. We bought a house earlier this year in a neighborhood full of kids. We never got trick or treaters when we lived in apartments. One year the guy who lived below us brought his two kids up, but that was only because I mentioned that we had some candy and would be generous. This year, our neighborhood is teeming with elementary and middle-school aged kids, so I’m anticipating at least a 300% increase in doorbell rings. I love seeing kids in costumes.

Okay, so back to the books – this is a book blog after all. I’ve got an exciting lineup for you this month – lots and lots of ARCs!

This month, you’ll see reviews for:

  • Our Native Bees
  • City of Lies
  • Digital Branding
  • Deadlands: Boneyard
  • Plague of Giants
  • Tethered Mage
  • The City of Brass
  • Booke of the Hidden

I also have an enormous stack of library books sitting next to the bed. I’ll squeeze in as many of those as I can as well.

I think this might be the most “seasonal” TBR list I’ve ever had. I don’t usually read seasonally since I generally read whatever comes in from the library, but Deadlands is definitely a Halloween-feeling book.

What about you, Reader, do you read seasonally?

Blog Housekeeping

September, already?

Where has this year gone!? I can’t believe it’s already September. My life, Reader, has been so full of things this year that time has evaporated around me.

Just two months ago, a friend talked me into starting the book blog I’d been waffling about – and here it is! And here you are! Thank you, thank you, Reader, for being here spending time on Alex Can Read. I appreciate it.

I’ve got some fun things lined up for September, and can’t wait to dive in!

This month I’ll have ARC reviews of:

  • The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill. I have seen bits of this cute comic on Tumblr. I’m excited to dive into the whole story!
  • Nyxia by Scott Reintgen. Nyxia is a YA sci-fi space thriller!
  • Distillery Cats by┬áBrad Thomas Parsons. I love spirits and cats – and can’t wait to read about the cats who reside in distilleries.
  • Queso! by Lisa Fain. My husband loves queso dips, so I’m looking forward to trying some new variations out.

That’s what I’ve got planned, but I also have a large stack of books from the library to fit in. I like leaving myself unplanned reading time, to read what appeals to me in the moment.

What are you planning to read this month, Reader? Do you plan your reading for the month or read whatever appeals to you in the moment?