A Fond Farwell

My Dear Readers,

This post will be, by far, the most difficult I have ever had to write. As most of you have probably noticed, with the exception of Moby-Dick, this blog has been relatively quiet as of late.  Aside from monthly check-ins about my reading and the monthly check-ins for the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge, there hasn’t been a whole lot going on here.

I’m failing at all of my challenges. I haven’t been reviewing any books. I’ve accepted no review requests, nor have I managed to write anything comprehensive about any of my readings since, I don’t know, Ulysses, perhaps? And that was during my winter break.

The truth is, I find myself absolutely mired in responsibilities for the Ph.D. I’m currently pursuing. I’m also teaching at two universities, writing for About.com, and trying to get back into my own writing. I’m preparing for doctoral field exams (to take place in January) and my foreign language exam (to happen soon). I’m on a number of departmental and university-wide committees, now, all of which are wonderful opportunities, but they stretch my time even thinner. And I’m even considering pursuing another part-time job (out of necessity).

Of course, I have a partner and a family, too. I’ve begun, in the last couple of years, to take my health and fitness very seriously as well. Most of you will not know this, but in the last couple of years, I’ve lost over 100 pounds.

With all that being said, I’ve spent the last few months considering what is to be done. And, the truth is, I must, for the time being, step away from Roof Beam Reader.

I’m not going to be deleting my blog or Twitter. I plan to keep up with the monthly TBR Pile Check-In posts, for instance, and will try to post once per month with updates on things I’ve been reading, articles I’ve been writing, etc. But, I will not be here regularly. I will not be posting reviews, hosting giveaways, participating in blog tours, challenges or events. For all intents and purposes, I am on a hiatus.

This will likely last a year or two, with some more active time during the summer months. Until I complete my Ph.D., I must, must, focus all of my energy and attention there.  Any “spare” time I find will not be spare at all, as I need to be working, writing, submitting, and attending things like symposia, conferences, colloquia, etc.

Believe me; it breaks my heart to write this. But, in the words of Eliott Smith, this is not goodbye, “it’s just a fond farewell to a friend.” I have every intention of returning to be a regular presence at some time in the future, and I’m sure I’ll be around every now and then, too.

To those of you who have been with me for these last five plus years, thank you. Your support, interaction, friendship, insight, and wisdom have meant more to me than you’ll ever know. From events like Austen in August to The Classics Club and beyond, I have done so much, learned so much, with and from all of you. I could never have continued this all on my own – you all have fueled my passion for reading, for literature, and so much more.

Although I’ve never met the vast majority of you, you’ve influenced me and inspired me in so many ways. I thank you, and I’ll be seeing you.

Adam

Austen in August: Sign-Up Post (#AustenInAugustLGR)

Roof Beam Reader:

Austen in August Starts Tomorrow! I’ll be reading Emma – what about you?

Originally posted on Lost Generation Reader:

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Welcome to the sign-up post for Austen in August, an annual reading event celebrating one of literature’s most well-known and celebrated writers! As many of you know, this event was inspired by a Twitter conversation between three founders of The Classics Club. That being said, this event wouldn’t exist and be what it is today without Adam of Roof Beam Reader. He took this massive event on two years ago and continued the fun last year. Because of his insanely hectic life of pursuing a Ph.D., along with several other endeavors that would take a lot of space to list (read more at his blog), he had to put aside this project and most of his blogging in general. Like many others (everyone), this was very sad news for me to hear, but the blogging must go on.

Now, I am a huge (HUGE

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2014 #TBRChallengeRBR Checkpoint 7!

2014tbrbuttonHello, TBR Pile Challengers!

It is July 15th (or thereabouts) and we are due for another checkpoint in our super-awesome and oh-so-achievable endeavor,  the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge!

Things have been ridiculously hectic, here.  My entire summer has been devoted to reading books for my summer course (in preparation for doctoral candidacy exams in January).  So, while I’ve done A LOT of reading, none of it has fit into this challenge.

I have read 2 of my required 12 books, The Complete Poems of Walt Whitman and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Next year, I think I’ll try to plan better and include a lot of books that I’ll need to read for my courses/studies, that way I’ll be sure to actually read them!

imagesQuestion of the Month: Has a book from your list really surprised you (in a good way or a bad way)?  If so, tell us about it!  

Below, you’re going to find the infamous Mr. Linky widget. If you read and review any challenge books this month, please link-up on the widget below. This Mr. Linky will be open until July 31st, so any books that you complete this month (and post thoughts for), can be linked-up in this first checkpoint. Any that you read/write about in August can be linked-up on August 15th, when the new widget opens.

Giveaway: This month’s check-in comes with a giveaway! Any books read and reviewed for this challenge, and linked-up below by July 31, will earn you an entry. If you haven’t yet finished/reviewed a book for the challenge, a checkpoint post of your own also counts. This giveaway is open only to official, pre-registered participants of the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge. The prize is a book of your choice, $15USD or less, to be shipped from The Book Depository.  Good Luck!

Keep up the great work and best of luck to you in the coming months!

LINK UP YOUR REVIEWS July 1 – July 31

Austen In August 2014!

austenLGRYes, it’s back!

Austen In August! My very favorite event of the year is here, for the third year in a row!  This year, I’m unable to host, unfortunately, so the wonderful Jenna of Lost Generation Reader has stepped in to help out.  I’m so glad that she’s willing to help me keep this alive during what is a very busy year for me.  Maybe I’ll be back next year to take the reins again!

Even though I’m not hosting this year, I am participating.  I will be reading my very last Austen work, Emma.  I started it during last year’s event, but didn’t have time to finish.  Having read all other Austen works (some of them many times) including her juvenilia and unfinished works, I’m now so excited to finally complete the complete oeuvre!

So, what about you?  Are you joining us for some Lady Jane this year? If so, are you a newcomer, or a veteran? And what do you plan to read!?

2014 #TBRChallengeRBR Checkpoint 6!

2014TBRbuttonGreetings, Challengers!

Somehow or another, we have reached June 15th, 2014, which means the year is already half over!  Or, for you optimists, we still have half a year left!

The date also means we are now at Checkpoint #6 for the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge!

So many of you have been making truly excellent progress through your challenge lists already – congratulations to you!

indexI have read 2 of my required 12 books, The Complete Poems of Walt Whitman and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I have plans to read Stephen King’s On Writing very soon, so I should be able to cross another off the list. And I’m about half-way into The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan, the completion of which (plus Stephen King) would bring me up to 4 books…. so far behind!  Next year, I think I’ll try to plan better and include a lot of books that I’ll need to read for my courses/studies, that way I’ll be sure to actually read them!

How are YOU all doing? Better than I am, I hope! How many books have you completed? We are now almost half-way into the challenge, so do you have any favorites yet? Or any that are coming up soon that you are pretty excited about?

Below, you’re going to find the infamous Mr. Linky widget. If you read and review any challenge books this month, please link-up on the widget below. This Mr. Linky will be open until June 30th, so any books that you complete this month (and post thoughts for), can be linked-up in this first checkpoint. Any that you read/write about in June can be linked-up on July 15th, when the new widget opens.

Keep up the great work and best of luck to you in the coming months!

LINK UP YOUR REVIEWS June 1 – June 30