Kimberly Denny-Ryder: I’m the founder/moderator/main writer of Reflections of a Book Addict. I have long wanted to be a writer, having had a love of books since childhood. While I’ve never thought of myself as a particularly strong writer, I have considered myself to be a strong reader. In 2010 I decided to challenge myself to reading 100 books for the year on top life and all the volunteer work I do. (Hence my moniker “Lifeand100Books”) In 2013 I also started freelance copyediting/proofreading. (You can email me if you’re interested in using me as an editor)
About my literary tastes – I’m a huge Jane Austen fan. Love love love. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book of all time, with Persuasion being a close second. Jane Eyre, One Day, The Other Boleyn Girl, Fangirl, Outlander, Angela’s Ashes and Running With Scissors are also personal favorites of mine. I try not to specify liking one particular genre over another because I do try to read diversely. I enjoy reading historical fiction, mysteries, romances, classic literature, plays, memoirs, Austen fan fiction and many other types. If you have books you’d like to recommend to me, please check out my contact page and tell me about them!
Todd Ryder: Hi everyone, my name is Todd and I’m Kim’s husband. Like Kim, I graduated from Quinnipiac University with my BS in 2008, masters in 2013. Currently I work as a scientist at Bristol Myers Squibb in NJ. I was never a big reader when I was younger, I stuck mostly to The Hardy Boys series and other mystery novels. I’ve gotten much more into reading since Kim began this blog, and I although I still enjoy mysteries, I also enjoy science fiction and memoirs in particular.
As far as my favorite authors go, I’m definitely a fan of Michael Crichton and Oliver Sacks. Although the increase in reading has made it seem quieter around our apartment, I really enjoy the new books that I’ve gotten to read. I’m currently the resident zombie and beer expert here at Reflections of a Book Addict.
Adam Gorsline – Buenos Dias book lovers! I am Adam, one of Kim (and Todd’s) good friends and former next-door neighbor. I also went to Quinnipiac University and received my masters in history and secondary education. Currently I work for Goodwill industries of Greater New York and New Jersey as a contextualized literacy teacher, basically a fancy way of saying I teach adults to read through the context of medical terms and concepts (I teach a precursor to a Home Care training course). I’ve recently started to enjoy reading memoirs, history based novels, and graphic novels. I got into graphic novels, when I was required to read Maus for a history class I took. I really want to read more books by Chuck Klosterman after reading and enjoying Killing Yourself to Live. I am also a huge New York Yankee fan, and have a huge passion for film, food, and theater. My current goal for 2014, outside of getting my reviews to Kim on time, is to run a half marathon!
Jen Miller – Hey fellow bookmongers! I’m Jen! *waves* So excited to be on staff here as I LOVE reading. I met Kim through Twitter – oh, years ago! And I was really excited when she had a staff call for Reflections. So, the basics: I’m 38, wife, mama, chronic illness battler, writer, Star Wars-Lord of the Rings-Avengers junkie and Janeite.
I love reading historical fiction. I’ve always loved history and I think starting off with Jane Austen spun me into the Regency Era and then from there other eras of British history, especially the Tudors. I’m a purist too, so if you take too much liberty in historical fiction, I won’t like your book. 😛 I also love reading biographies and historical non-fiction. I also like classics, fairytales and fantasy books. But you’ll find my shelves mostly full of historical fiction.
My goal for 2014 is to read 100 books. As my daughter says, “mama, you’re obsessed with books.”
Charlie Fischer – I am an entertainment guru, huge movie buff, Disney fanatic, Apple loyalist, avid sports fan, beer/bourbon advocate, gamer, collector of many things, fanboy, and 21st Century Geek. The list goes on and on. By day I work at 30 Rock, but at night I save the world and kill walkers on occasion. One day I aspire to provide the voice, both dialogue and singing, to the greatest animated character of all-time, have an action figure made after me, be a part of WDW one way or another, and win an Oscar for my work-in-progress screenplay that will defy a generation.
In terms of books I tend to cling to franchises with hype. (Harry Potter is my favorite) I’m also a big autobiography guy, and I read many many comics! When it comes to anything about movies or television, I am your guy. I love all genres, but am a nerd at heart. You don’t want to know what I would do to be able to wield a sword, fly in space, be chosen a member of Slytherin House, or be smack in the center of a Disney/Pixar/Marvel/Star Wars universe. J.J. Abrams has told me on numerous occasions that I rule the world in an alternative universe as a modern-day Walt Disney, and I will in fact be the actual creative genius behind the new Star Wars films…Ooo yea, one last thing, I’m proud to say I have found the my Princess Leia to my Han Solo.
Sam Gati-Tisi – “Gestures are all that I have; sometimes they must be grand in nature.” So reads the first line of one of my all time favorite books, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. I love this quote because I believe in it. Gestures, both grand and small, are all that any of us have, are they not? I have tried to live my life in a series of gestures. By day, I teach. This gesture is a nod to both my parents and teachers who came before me. I have learned so much through them that I can think of no better way to give back than to teach. I spend the better part of each week with my 6th graders. Together we read, write, and think deeply about the world around us. As a team, this is our gesture of respect for ourselves and others. I love to “talk shop.” I can talk about teaching all day everyday. There is nothing that gives me greater joy than thinking about how I can be better for my students. By night, I read, play with my dog, hang out with my husband, and watch tons of reality TV. These combined are my gestures of love, loyalty, and need to maintain perspective.
As far as reading is concerned, I can put up with almost anything, but I am seriously into science and dystopic fiction. I just get swept up in the idea of evil rulers, “perfect” worlds, and the plight of those trying to make the world a better place.I keep holding on to this idea that the reason I like these books so much is that they are us. Somewhere in the future these worlds could really be. And that gets me thinking…what are going to do when dystopia and sci-fi cross over that short bridge into the realistic fiction section?