Please welcome Adam, who blogs at Roof Beam Reader. Adam's blog is particularly known for his review of the classics, but you can find just about any genre there.
NAME OF MY BOOK BLOG(S):
Roof Beam Reader
I HAVE BEEN BLOGGING SINCE:
Well, I have been blogging for years and years! I think I started around 2000 or 2001? But my first book blog (pre-Roof Beam Reader) was started around 2007. Roof Beam Reader came into existence in 2009 and has been going strong ever since.
GENRES COVERED MOST ON MY BLOG:
My reading (and reviewing) is pretty eclectic. I read everything from fantasy and science fiction to non-fiction (history, biography), young adult, gay fiction and critical theory. I would say, though, that my primary reads are literary fiction and the classics. I spend most of my time reading great works of American and British literature, so that tends to be what is most reviewed on my blog; however, I’m not exclusive by any means! You’ll definitely see a lot of different kinds of books read & reviewed at Roof Beam Reader.
MY EARLIEST MEMORY OF READING:
The first books that I can remember reading are the Goosebumps books that we used to get from Scholastic “book days,” back when we would order books once a month or so, in grammar school. But, the first books I vividly remember reading and enjoying are The Giver by Lois Lowry and And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. We read both in 7th grade, and I have read both many times since. They remain two of my favorites – and they are the books that first made me realize that reading could actually be fun!
FIRST BOOK I READ OVER AND OVER:
Harry Potter. All of them. When I was young, one of my good friends was my next-door neighbor, whose mother was a librarian. She introduced me to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone just before book four (Goblet of Fire) was published. Needless to say, I read the first three books before Goblet’s release date, and then read that one. I re-read every book in the series leading up to each new release (and then again before the release of each movie. Finally, a year or so ago, I re-read the entire series in order to review the books, which I had never done before. All in all, I must have read the entire series at least seven times. And I still crave them once a year (though I no longer have time to read them that often).
MY TBR LIST/PILE IS:
Outrageous. I have a few thousand books on my TBR list, some of which I own and many of which I don’t. There is added ridiculousness in the fact that I already own thousands of books (you should see my bookshelves – and my closets – and my storage unit!) but many of these books aren’t even on my list (I use Goodreads to add books to a “to read” list, but those are mostly books I haven’t purchased yet, and I often forget to add the ones that I do buy until I finally read them). So, yeah, it’s pretty ridiculous. Somebody stop me!
A BOOK THAT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE IN SOME WAY:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I read it when I was college, which made me a bit older than the likely intended audience (the characters in the book were primarily high school students headed to college), but it was exactly the right time for me. The book spoke to me on many levels, but especially in terms of personal issues I was dealing with and also in regards to my sense of self as a writer. Aside from Harry Potter, it is the book that I have re-read most often, and I only just forced myself to review it last year. I had been too intimidated to put down my thoughts on such a personal reading experience, but I’m glad I finally decided to do it.
A BOOK I DON’T LIKE THAT EVERYONE ELSE SEEMS TO LOVE:
Well, I know I’m probably going to get some grief for this one – but I really didn’t enjoy To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I read it a few years ago and, while I appreciated it, I just didn’t find it as brilliant or affecting as most people seem to; however, I do think I will be re-reading it in the not-too-distant future, because I think I might have missed something, or perhaps been in the wrong frame of mind when I read it.
A BOOK THAT INTIMIDATES ME:
There are three, actually. I have tried (and failed) to read all three, and they are: Clarissa; or, The History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson; The Mysteries of Udolpho by Anne Radcliffe; and Ulysses by James Joyce. I think I’m in good company with the first and third books, as many people try and fail at these (Clarissa is one of the longest books written in the English language, and it is rather boring and repetitive; Ulysses is, well, it’s Ulysses!). As far as the Radcliffe – I do think I would enjoy it if I could get through it, but I need a lot of uninterrupted quiet time to be able to do so, and that’s not a luxury I have right now. It is wordy, romantic, flowery… not really my style. But I do think it will be a good read, someday!
IF I COULD GO TO ANY LITERARY DESTINATION I WOULD CHOOSE:
I would really like to go the Edgar Allan Poe House in Baltimore, Maryland. Also, someday, I hope to see a play at the Globe Theatre – even though this is technically the third Globe (the first burned down in 1613 and the second was closed in 1642), I have heard that it is true to Shakespeare’s original and is only about 800 feet from where the first stood.
MY FAVORITE BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION:
This is so tough! Most film adaptations, of course, do not live up to the original book, but there are some that I enjoyed. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which released last year, was an excellent adaptation, probably because the author was involved in everything from writing the screenplay, to casting, to selecting the music.
MY MUST-READ BLOGS (PLEASE LIMIT TO 3):
Hm. Let’s see. The ones I go to most often are ones that not only read and review great literature, but also relate much of their reading to life experiences. They, like me, are on a journey of sorts – a quest, even. And it’s both entertaining and fulfilling to check-in with them and see how they’re getting along. They teach me a lot about myself by inspiring me to ask questions I may not have thought to ask:
Maple and a Quill
A Literary Odyssey
MY READING PERSONALITY (http://www.bookbrowse.com/quiz/) IS:
HAH! Well, apparently I am an “Eclectic Reader.” That’s no shock to me (see Question 3 above!).
Thank you for joining us today, Adam! Remember to check out Adam's blog, Roof Beam Reader, and leave a comment or question.