For Love of Books and Story


Hello! I’m Cahleen.

Welcome to The Alt Story, a website that exists purely for the love of books and story. I have loved books for as long as I can remember. In fact, reading has pretty much always been my only hobby. Why go running when I can lie on the couch and read? Now that I’ve got two small children, reading is pretty much the only thing I have time for. It fits into the free slivers of my constantly interrupted life very nicely, and I can read on my Kindle Paperwhite (my precious that never leaves my side) in the dark next to sleeping children who won’t let me leave the room.

I want to take my love of books and reading to the next level by sharing that love with all of you. I no longer want to just keep reading all the things like a machine (although that is fun). When I finish a book, I want to pause and sit with it a minute before I start the next one. I want to think thoughts, feel feels, and ask questions. I want my reading to move beyond the realm of pure entertainment and escapism and into a more thoughtful, intentional space.

This blog is an evolving side hobby for me. I don’t know exactly what I want it to look like yet and I’m figuring it out as I go along. As of now, here is what you can expect:

  • Probably only about 1-2 posts a week, plus the occasional book-related share on the blog’s Facebook page.
  • Not a ton of not-yet-published ARC (advanced reader copy) reviews. I will read and review them occasionally, but I don’t want that to be the main thing my blog is about or feel pressure to always keep up with the latest titles.
  • Hopefully some great book discussions in the comments, Goodreads, or the blog’s Facebook page, which is about all the social media I can handle if I still want to actually have time to read.
  • Hardly any negative reviews because I drop books if I don’t like them. I am a diehard DNFer (DNF=did not finish) and I feel absolutely no guilt over this. I may push myself a bit more to finish an ARC I don’t like so that I can give it a more fair review, which is why I don’t even request very many ARCs.

Favorite genres are contemporary literary fiction, historical fiction, dystopian, speculative fiction, literary sci-fi, fantasy, biography/memoir, occasional poetry and short stories. I DON’T typically enjoy YA, classics, cozy mysteries, romance, or non-narrative non-fiction. Also, YES to audiobooks and NO to re-reading (that’s just me).

So that’s what this space is for. You won’t find a lot of highfalutin literary criticism here. What you’ll find is a pure desire to share my experience with a great story. Books give me a beautiful lens to view the world through, and I want to invite you over to take a peek.

And please, come on over to my Goodreads for more book love! I like making new friends there and spying on their bookshelves, so don’t be shy.