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Kameron Hurley author of God's War (review here)

Brent Weeks author of The Black Prism (review here)

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Brandon Sanderson author of The Way of Kings (review here)

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Ian Tregillis author of Bitter Seeds (review here)

Sam Sykes author of Tome of the Undergates (review here)

Benjamin Parzybok author of Couch (review here)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch author of Diving Into the Wreck (review here)

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Cherie Priest author of Boneshaker (review here)

Lev Grossman author of The Magicians (review here)

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Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

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How often do you read outside of SFF?

You'll notice two polls in the upper right. Yesterday's cover post made me think about this since it was the first non-genre cover I've put up here. Most other SFF fans I'm friends with read mostly SFF and hardly ever step outside that box, which brings me to the polls as I would like to get a handle on other people's reading habits.

Fantasy and Science Fiction have always been my mainstay reads since I was little, but I've always considered myself a pretty varied reader on the whole. Although, I don't normally talk about it here, if much at all, given the standard purview of this blog I've been an avid reader of most every section of the bookstore except for Romance and Westerns. Something about frilly dresses and cowboy hats generally don't do much for me.

I've read a heck of a lot of what I'd call fun yet informative History books such as 1491, A History of the World in 6 Glasses, The Little Ice Age, and Guns, Germs, and Steel. Arm chair Science books also pique my attention from time to time. The World Without Us is more eye opening than most other apocalyptic novels and makes humanity seems so fragile and insignificant in comparison to the world, which will endure in some form. I've been in love with Edge.Org's series of short essay books the last few years with What's Your Dangerous Idea? being the best. And than there are the books that my wife and I enjoy together, which tend to be travel narratives and memoirs from odd people or people in at least an unusual situation. Think Bill Bryson, who I can't get enough of and if you haven't read J. Maarten Troost's The Sex Lives of Cannibals, get on with it! There are also my guilty please reads about Secret Societies, Pyramids, and Ancient Mysteries that I sneak from time-to-time. You won't regret it.

I also like my normal fiction as well often called Literature, but isn't it all literature? I can't go on vacation without at least one Nick Hornby type book. Hanif Kureishi's The Buddha of Suburbia was the first book I ever lent the woman who would go on to become my wife and to this day I think that is what sealed the deal on our relationship. It was exactly the type of book she loves that has odd characters placed in questionable sexual situations.

These sorts of non-SFF spurts have happened less and less the past couple of years, partially due to the blog I'm sure, but I still can't go too long without a romp on the wild side. Sometimes I read a non-SFF just as a palette cleanser as I try not to read the same type of book back to back, which is why you see me going from a Fantasy review to a Sci-Fi to Urban Fantasy to Steampunk and than a Epic Fantasy.  I've gotta mix my reading up lest it all seem the same.

You Might Also Like:
Confessions of a Bibliomaniac (My book pledge)
Science Fiction Where Have You Gone?
What's the Weirdest Book You've Ever Read?
What Author Haven't You Read, But Know You Should?


Magemanda said...

I very often read out of SF/F - I have chosen the option every other book or so (although it doesn't pan out as regimented as this - for instance, I'll read several SF/F books at a time, and then go on a stint of historical fiction or chick lit books). In the summer I will always read more chick lit and women's literature - they just *fit* with the bubbly mood of the summer. I enjoy many different genres and genuinely will give any book a chance :-)

Andrew Liptak said...

I tend to read a lot of non-SF/F, when the mood strikes me. My background is in history and military history, and I do a bit of writing in those fields, so I have a comparable collection of books and articles on my bookshelves.

Moreover, I think that reading a wide range of material, from fiction to non-fiction, helps to provide a good perspective on the world, and on what we tend to focus on extensively. Outside influences are always good.

Robin M said...

I'm all over the place when it comes to reading. Back in the late 70's, early 80's all I read was fantasy and science fiction. Now I read many different genres including mysteries, romance, historical fiction, paranormal, classics, chick lit plus sf/f. I'm not big with horror, but love psychological thrillers. My reading is based on mood and just go with the flow.

Ryan said...

I'll read just about anything, but like you I stay away from romance... and westerns for the most part. I tend to read one novel, then alternate with a graphic novel. If you took just my reading of novels, then I probably read 3 fantasy/SF books for every one non-SFF book...this is the first time I've really given my reading habits much thought though.

Adam Whitehead said...

I read some non-fiction, biographies and historical books mostly. Sometimes I review them as I do SFF stuff, but a lot of the time I don't. It's sometimes relaxing to read a book without having to consider what you're going to say about it in the review afterwards.

On the non-fiction front in the last year or two I've read Paddy Ashdown's book on his time as UN high commissioner in Bosnia, BBC military correspondent Frank Gardner's biography and a bunch of history books. I also read the utterly hilarious 1421: The Year China Discovered the World, which starts off well (strong and compelling evidence for Chinese sailors discovering Australia centuries before Cook) and descends into the realm of fantasy (Chinese ships visited New England in the 15th Century). An excellent example of bad history.

However, I don't read as much non-SFF as I would like, or as I used to before the blog. I am hoping to start rectifying that soon.

The Mad Hatter said...

Very happy to hear I am not alone by a long shot it seems. Mixing up my reading gives a deeper appreciation for each book.

@Ryan Ack, I forgot graphic novels and the poll won't let me add them. I use them to take a break during a lot of thick books as well.

@Adam That's the way I feel too. I got tired of reviewing nearly every book I read about six months into blogging. It can take some of the fun out of it, especially when you break the reading flow to jot down a note here or there. I read 1421 as well and put it more in my Ancient Mysteries camp with the likes of Graham Hancock. Fun while it last, but no totally believable. One book in this camp I'd recommend to you is The Baltic Origins of Epic Tales. The author makes a very persuasive case that the stories originated more in the Baltic Sea instead of the Mediterranean.

Scott said...
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Scott said...
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Scott said...

I read a lot of crime/noir/pulp stuff. I'm a huge Elmore Leonard fan as well as Charlie Huston's crime stuff. Michael Connelly is good as well his book The Poet is really good. I also am a huge fan of Dennis Lehane.

I am also read biographies and I'm a huge fan of baseball so I like to read books on the history of the game.

ediFanoB said...

Around a quarter of the books I read are out of SF/F - crime, thrillers, mystery and historical books.

That is not related to a season. After reading several SF/F I mostly feel the need to read something different.

The latest book I reviewed - Getting Old Is TRÈS DANGEREUX (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0440245421] by Rita Lakin - has been a non-SF/F and I enjoyed it a lot.

But that does not mean that I review every book I read.
First and foremost reading should be fun. It is my counterpart to the real world. And reviews are the medium to share the joy.

What I would like to know:
Do you read a dailyneswpaper?
I can't imagine to leave the flat in the morning without reading newspaper before.