Today I am featuring Pam from 100 Books. 100 Journeys. She reads some really interesting books - they are all from the Modern Library's Top 100. I always see so many books on that list that I can't wait to read.
Tell us something about yourself
My name is Pam, and I live up in the Great White North with my husband and 12 year old daughter. When I'm not busy shoveling snow and going into the basement to avoid tornadoes, I am an audiologist by profession, which means I test people's hearing and if they need them, fit them with hearing aids. I have hearing loss myself so it was an easy career choice. My daughter has played soccer since 1st grade (she's now going into 7th grade) so I've been a sideline soccer mom for almost a decade now. She also is a big reader. Her favorites are the Twilight series and another new YA paranormal series called City of Bones. Needless to say we don't share books. :) I met my husband on EHarmony about six years ago; we've been married now for three years. He's not a big reader, but we do share a love of all things sports-related. I've lived all over the country, and I do mean all over. I have lived for a year or more in thirteen of the 50 states.
What was your favourite book as a child or young adult, and why?
The Great Gatsby was definitely a fave. There is something so haunting about past and/or lost loves I think everyone can relate to.
Why do you love to read?
I've always loved to read, since forever. I was reading Nancy Drew books in kindergarten. Seriously. Child genius when it came to reading. Too bad I was math illiterate! I used to read under my blankets with a flashlight after my parents made me go to bed. I think reading was an escape for me because I was a really shy kid. Even as an adult, getting lost in a book is still a great escape from life's harsh realities like bill-paying and raising a pre-teenager. I still read to my daughter every night before she goes to bed. It's such a great way to relax and bond. She prefers the Little House series...Farmer Boy is her favorite. I am not allowed to read On The Shores of Silver Lake because she doesn't want to hear about Jack dying and Mary going blind.
How do you choose your books?
The Modern Library has sort of chosen the next 70 books I will read for my blog. I decided to read them in order from #100 (the "worst") to #1, primarily so I stay on track and won't skip over books I'm stressed out about reading, but also in the hopes that the books will get marginally better as I go further up the list. It's been interesting to see some really great books up in the 90's, and then some real woofers in the 80's. Sometimes I think the Modern Library threw all these book titles into a hat and picked them out randomly.
What are you currently reading and what's been the best book you have read in the last 6 months?
I'm currently finishing up Clea, the 4th book in the Lawrence Durrell Alexandria Quartet. One of the dirty little secrets of the Modern Library's list is that it's not really 100 books. There are several trilogies and series that they threw in there under one title, so I think the list actually ends up being something like 121 books. The Alexandria Quartet has taken about a month. The best book I have read on the list so far...hmmm...I think I'd have to go with Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose. Really fantastic.
When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog about 11 months ago. I had hit a really rough patch in my personal life and needed something new, positive and empowering to focus on. I sat down and thought about all the things I liked to do, and starting a blog about books just seemed like a natural and fantastic idea. I looked at all the 100 books lists out there, and chose the Modern Library list because there were so many books I had never read before. Plus I really love classic books. I'm such a dork. :)
How did you choose your blog's name?
The original name of my blog was 100 Books. 100 Weeks. I really thought in the beginning I could read a book a week. I did that for about three months and then was close to burning out. I realized that by putting pressure on myself to get through a book in a certain amount of time, I couldn't really savor and enjoy them, which is what reading is really all about, right? So I chose to go with 100 Books. 100 Journeys., because each book has been a journey to a new place, and a journey away from the real world.
What do you love about book blogging?
I love trying to think of a new and interesting angle to bring up when I review books. I especially love seeing what other people have to say about books I've read. I always laugh when they agree with me, and always think twice about a book I really disliked when others have enjoyed it. There has to be something amazing about every book on the list, and I've tried to make it my job to find out what's special about all of them. I think what I have discovered while blogging about books is how personal an experience reading a book can be.
What tips do you have to offer to other book bloggers?
Do what you love. Love what you do. Don't worry about writing the perfect review. The reviews I enjoy most are the ones where a blogger's personality really comes through, not so much the bare bones summary of the book.
I used to think of being an audiologist or a speech pathologist when I was choosing my career. I learnt sign language (auslan) as a teenager and it seemed like something that I would enjoy doing. I often wonder if I would have been good at it.
You seem to have such a different life to me - shovelling snow and hiding from tornadoes are definitely not things you would ever have to worry about in Sydney. It's very tame in comparison.
The Modern Library List seems like a great way to choose your books. You get a variety but you can be assured that they are all worth reading (even if you don't necessarily like them).