The Man Behind the (Blog) Mask – Roof Beam Reader

As part of The All Male Review Challenge, I’m featuring some of our male book blogger friends in this new interview feature: The Man Behind the (Blog) Mask. Each blogger answered the same 7 questions so that we can all get to know them a bit better. The men of the book blogging community are interesting, charming, funny, witty, and some of the best all around bloggers! If you like what you read here, be sure to check out their blogs – you won’t be disappointed.

My guest today is Adam from Roof Beam Reader!

1) Tell us a little about your blog – when you started, what your focus is, why you do it, etc.

Well, Roof Beam Reader is actually the final re-reincarnation of a string of blogs that Iâ??ve kept for the past 8 years or so. I started blogging in college, just to get my thoughts out of my head and onto â??paper,â? so to speak. By graduation, though, my personal blog had turned into a creative writing blog, which eventually became a website called Austere Adam. That was the first place I kept my own creative writing plus book reviews, editing services, etc. Finally, about a year ago, I decided that what I most enjoyed (and what I was best at) was reading and reviewing books â?? so I came up with Roof Beam Reader, where I started to track every single book Iâ??ve read, with a review â?? and slowly I began to incorporate challenges, giveaways, memes, and all the other goodies that come with standard Book Blogs.

2) Book blogging seems pretty heavy on the females. Do you think being a male blogger has any advantages or disadvantages?

It seems to be a bit of a blessing and a curse, really. As a male book blogger, I find it is more difficult to get other bloggers (and agents/publicists, etc.) to take me seriously and press that â??subscribeâ? button. That being said, though, I do find that once people decide to give me a chance, they tend to be pleasantly surprised, and I think it tends to open up the dialogue a bit more. Iâ??m not claiming to be a pioneer or anything, but as a male book blogger who reviews an eclectic mix of reading material (not just YA or just Classics or just Non-fiction), it does seem to help people realize that men do read too, after all, and they even have something to say about what they read. Who knew?!

3) Do you read a lot of books with male protagonists? Why or why not?

Actually, yes, I do. This is a conversation I had with myself recently, when looking back through my â??books completedâ? list. The majority of books Iâ??ve read do have male protagonists and are also written by males. A lot of this could be because I tend to read a lot of literature, classics, and literary fiction. Classic literature and the Classics (ancient) were dominated by men â?? as much else was – so itâ??s not surprising that most of what I would stumble across would be written by men or would feature male protagonists. Do I enjoy male protagonists more? Maybe â?? I think itâ??s natural for male readers to identify with male characters and for female readers to identify with female characters. Surprisingly, though, I have found that a lot of female writers have been appealing to me lately. I still love Salinger, Twain, Vonnegut, Shakespeare, and all my other â??dudesâ? â?? but I also really love Willa Cather, J.K. Rowling, Jane Austen, the Brontes, Jean Rhys, George Eliot, and on and on.

4) Give us three books you consider “must reads.”

Oh, no. The dreaded question! Must read for whom? Must read for what reason? See, this is impossible! I will give you three of my favorites from three different genres, how about that?

  • Young Adult: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
    • This book literally blew my mind and changed my life. It changed the way I saw myself and the world around me â?? and it helped me connect with myself, deeply and truthfully. I read it in college and very soon started passing out copies to my friends â?? we were all able to come together over this book, and itâ??s still something that we share years later. I tend to read this one about once a year.
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy: Enderâ??s Game by Orson Scott Card
    • This book gave me a new respect for Science Fiction as a genre, and for Science Fiction writers as simply â??writers.â? Itâ??s like when you hear a heavy metal rock singer strip down and sing a capella for the first time and realize that â??wow- this guy has a brilliant voice! I had read fantasy novels/seriesâ?? previously that I thoroughly enjoyed, like R.A. Salvatoreâ??s The Crimson Shadow series and Tolkienâ??s The Lord of the Rings, but Enderâ??s Game was something completely new and incredible.
  • Literature: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
    • Oh, wow. Where to begin? I really should just point you back to my review, as itâ??s hard to describe brilliance â?? I donâ??t want to even attempt it a second time. I loved this book because of its scope, really. It teaches the reader so much about French history â?? politics, religion, and socioeconomics. It is also written beautifully, by an author who was persecuted and exiled by the very people whose story he went on to re-tell. The book is a hefty tome â?? itâ??s long and complicated, but it is also lyrical, moving, and inspiring.

5) If you could be any literary character, who would you be and why?

Ha! Oh, this is an interesting question â?? and a tough one. I suppose I would want to choose someone who â??has it made.â? Letâ??s see â?? who out there in the literary world has it all: looks, character, money, family… itâ??s like a â??three wishesâ? question in a more interesting form! Okay, if I had to pick, I think I would choose Huckleberry Finn! Why? He is one of the most noble characters in all of literary history. Sure, he makes mistakes and he says and does some silly and stupid things but, ultimately, he comes to the right conclusions about human nature and friendship. At the end of the book, he leaves â??societyâ? behind to strike out West on his own, because he knows he needs to be true to himself.

6) When you’re not reading or blogging, what are you most likely doing?

Sadly, if Iâ??m not reading or blogging (or sleeping), Iâ??m most likely working. I work a lot. Too much, if you ask me. Itâ??s the only way to keep my reading and blogging habits financed, though. This is a boring answer, though, so I should throw in that I also love to travel â?? Iâ??ve been to a little over half of the U.S. states and, though I havenâ??t been out of the country yet â?? I do plan to soon. I go to concerts/plays/musicals every now and then, and I visit with my family (parents and sister/brother-in-law) every few weeks. I love to play poker and, whenever Iâ??m home alone, Iâ??m often listening to music and dancing with myself.

7) Share an interesting/weird/random/funny fact about yourself with us.

Hm. Well, I am a bit of a wanderer – partially by choice and partially by circumstances. Since 2006, I have moved 7 times. Yep, that is 7 times in 5 years. Two of those times were across-country (Illinois to California and back again). I hate the whole moving process and, now that Iâ??m relatively settled, I do enjoy having a place of my own â?? decorating the way I want to, etc. Still, Iâ??m pretty sure I will move around quite a bit again in the future â?? I love to experience new places, new people, and new environments. I see myself in the Pacific northwest, someday, and perhaps even living out of the USA for a while.

Thanks for sharing with us! You can follow Adam at Roof Beam Reader and on Twitter @RoofBeamReader.

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29 thoughts on “The Man Behind the (Blog) Mask – Roof Beam Reader

  1. Thanks for featuring me! What a fun idea. I'm cross-posting the link onto my blog right now, to direct my readers here. 🙂

  2. Woooooottt Awesome Interview! Adam has a great Blog and it's great not only girls are blogging. Plus he was my very first male client for a blog Design and I admit here and now that I was super nervous. Again, only because Blogging is so dominated by woman that all my layouts were girly… (I think Adam was nervous to *giggles*) Anyway, GREAT feature and AWESOME Blogger :))

  3. Such a fun interview! I agree with him though on the work bit. I do it too much. And then I don't keep up on the blog. I need to balance my life more!

  4. I love this! I definitely read Adam's blog a lot. It's fun to get a male's perspective on books I know and love.

  5. Adam – This turned out soooo well. Thank you for being a part of it! I may just have to continue this as a monthly feature.I love how varied your tastes are! I also like to read across genres, and the pressure to stick to one while blogging is immense, so I admire your ability to review across the board. Also – I would go CRAZY if I moved that many times. 🙂

  6. Adams was the first male book blog that i followed, and now i'm seeking them out. It's cool to get a guys perspective on books.

  7. @Logan – It turned out well because you asked some great questions! I was really excited to think about and answer them. Plus, you know, I rock a tiny bit. ;)@Tristan – Thanks so much! That is really flattering – I hope I've managed to keep your interest and whatnot.

  8. Adam has an incredible blog, and I do love hearing the male perspective. How wonderful that Adam enjoys Austen! It's rare to find a male that doesn't automatically dismiss her as being for females only.

  9. I've always found it hard to find fellow male book bloggers. Thanks for this.

  10. I love Adam's blog! He often introduces me to new books and I just love the way he reviews every books – it's all so in-depth. It's great to have a male perspective on literature. Great questions and answers!

  11. I'm a fan of Adam and his blog. It's great to learn a bit more about him. Dancing on your own – I used to do that! In my current house my neighbours can look in (if they want to) so I've stopped!

  12. @Kristi – thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoy my blog. I work at it all the time. 🙂 And, yes, Austen definitely has "male" appeal, mainly because she's hilarious. I think if guy readers take the time to really digest what she's saying, more would read her and find her to be as funny (and smart) as I do. :)@Colin – I agree! This is a great idea.@Irena – Thanks so much!! That review system took a while to establish, so I'm glad to hear that people appreciate it. @Leeswammes – I often find myself dancing around, only to realize the window blinds are wide open. Oh well – one life to live!

  13. I came here from RoofBeamReader. Fun to know more about a blogger who I follow regularly. I'm going to look into this series' archives to see if I can find anyone else I know!

  14. @smellincoffee – This is the first in the series, but there will be more posted all month on Sundays and Wednesdays. I hope you'll come back and meet the other men!

  15. I discovered Adam's blog through one of his challenges and I've never looked back! I love a good eclectic mix of books and an intelligent blogging style, which Roof Beam Reader has in spades.Oh, and dancing on your own? I do it ALL THE TIME in my little annex thingy – though I do keep checking to make sure none of my family have wandered through into my garden to watch! 🙂

  16. Adam is brilliant! I love this interview. His answers are so honest and insightful and you can tell that he just loves books!

  17. @Ellie – Thanks so much! I am glad to hear that people enjoy my style and such. It took a long time to finally get into a "zone." And, come on, sometimes there's nothing in the world better than dancing with yourself!@Missie – Haha Brilliant? Okay, I'll take it! Thank you for your words. 🙂

  18. Awesome interview! Roof Beam Reader is one of my favourite blogs, and genuinely one of the reasons I started my own blog. Also, you gotta love someone who loves The Perks of Being a Wallflower 🙂

  19. @Laura – you never told me that! Wow, what a great compliment. I hope you've been enjoying your blog! (And mine too haha)

  20. Great post! Les Miz is one of my favorite books! I was obsessed with it for a long, long time…

  21. This is such a great interview! I'm not sure anyone wouldn't love Adam's blog once they found it. His reviews are amazing and I always feel like I've learned something after reading them. I wish there were more men book bloggers out there. It's always interesting to read their take on particular books.

  22. @Carrie – Thanks! Did you see how I copped-out, though? I can never pick just one favorite. ;P@Loni – Thank you for that! I'm glad my reviews are helpful!

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