Kit only from Bookgroup is Sharing the Shallows

It is the second Saturday of the month, and once again, a member of my bookgroup is sharing today’s shallows. I met Kit when our bookgroup started over 16 years ago. Always funny, always foodie and always insightful. Like me she is the only other bookgroup member who would bring her son along to our meetings from a young age. Our bookgroup topic today was “crafty” and Kit won the most-tenuous-link-to-the-topic award with her book on the gut. A-ha. That’s the way she rolls.

Kit

I am a mother, a carer and sometime banker, originally from Melbourne, but diehard inner westie (Sydney). I live a very vanilla life with lots of irregular influences.

What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?

I’m ashamed to say facebook but with links to loads of good news sites and a really interesting friends group who post articles and thoughts I would never see otherwise. I also have several books next to my bed that get read sporadically.

What or who is your joyful reading (guilty or otherwise) pleasureKerry Greenwood's Devil's Food

Kerry Greenwood – Corinna not that 20s bird or Kurt Vonnegut

Do you have a favourite storyline or plot? And do you have one you will not read?

Unhappy endings or not the way you think its going to go. Pretty much happy to read anything but am using the patented Vassiliki method of reading the first chapter and if it hasn’t grabbed me, give up. I do struggle with “the classics” but keep revisiting them in case I’ve got grown up enough to enjoy them.

Why do you/don’t you use a public library?

We used to go when Ben was little but I think I was trying to be a “good” mum. Once I went back to work that pretty much went by the wayside. I think we were fortunate to be able to buy loads of books so did that instead.

Do you RUI*. If so, what?

Not really, my only vice really is alcohol and then my eyes get too fuzzy.

Do you have a favourite reading spot?

My new wiz bang office chair with all the levers or bed, occasional weekend magazine in the bath slightly soused (the magazine not me, keep up people!)

Toilet reading: 

Yep, but usually only magazines or Sudoku, occasionally phone. I don’t really see why this is an issue, long got over the bodily functions hysteria.

Romance fiction of the Happily Ever After (not the love tragedy) kind – are you a Lover or a Hater and why?

Sorry Vassiliki but ew, I guess I was lucky enough to have this IRL so made me want to puke in books, also couldn’t stand the predictability – will they, won’t they, well of course they will.

What would you give up reading for**?

Oh geez, daughter of a book editor and publisher, don’t think I could – new ideas, hilarious jokes, bits of the world you would never see, how could you give that up. Even if I was blind I’d get talky books.

Gene Kelly dancing wearing white socks and black shoes

 

Can a romance/crime/super/etc hero be the driver of a hatchback?

Sure as long as they don’t wear white socks with dark pants

*Reading Under the Influence

**I like stranded prepositions

 

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Erika Statue is Sharing the Shallows

I first met Erika when I was going out with my husband who lived in a share house with her. I thought she was cool and funny and I loved her laugh. John and I had been married for a few years when Erika landed on our doorstep one late afternoon. She had just been out with a whole lot of couples before she arrived. She sat down and we were shootin’ the shit, as friends do, when she said “There are times I don’t want to be around married people. I just wanted to hang with friends”. We just stared at her and pointed to the baby in the corner. We took it as a compliment…..maybe….. *snort*.

Years later, Erika told me that when she heard John was going out with some unknown chick from his uni days, she thought she was going to lose her friend but instead we became wonderful friends and continue to be friends almost a quarter of a century later including Erika having lived in several different continents across the world. When she lived overseas we would Skype and write. It is great to have her living back in Oz and  I’m so glad I got to ask her to share her shallows in person. 

Erika Statue

Can you describe yourself?

I’ve just moved back to Australia after a long time overseas. I’m currently discovering beautiful Newcastle. I work as administration staff at the local university.

What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?

I spend about half an hour in bed every night reading a book. Continue reading

Miss Bates is Sharing the Shallows

The Shallows are back! Having taken a slightly longer hiatus than I planned, I am splashing back into the shallows with a post that I have anticipated for a long time – today, Miss Bates Reads Romance is answering my questions. I first met Miss Bates over on Twitter in 2013 and I am going to be effusive. The two of us clicked immediately. We both love romance fiction. Neither of us are fans of smexxy books. We both love Patrick Leigh Fermor. We are both Greek but with that cynicism and deep love of our heritage that makes it a sensitive area to navigate. We are both Orthodox, and Miss Bates has rekindled my long dormant interest in our shared belief, and I am especially thankful for her introducing me to the wry Sister Vassa. Just a few months ago, we finally met in person, and all I can say is that she was more wonderful than her wonderful online self. She is the friend, that had we met at school, we would have been κολως και βρακη (bum in undies or bosom buddies). We just absolutely clicked. I absolutely adore her. And one day, the two of us will write a romance with a proper dancing Greek hero/λεβεντη. But in the meantime, I will share her wit and wisdom……

jane austen imageMiss Bates Reads Romance

@miss_batesreads

https://missbatesreadsromance.com/

Can you describe yourself?

Miss Bates of the romance review blog, Miss Bates Reads Romance, works in education and spends her day tutoring, teaching, advising, and mentoring. By night and by summer, Miss B. reads, reads, reads, and blogs about her favourite genre: romance! She got her blogging moniker from a colleague as she sat musing a blog name. The colleague exclaimed, “Miss Bates!” and MBRR was born. It fit, as MissB is known to talk up a storm and lives with her long-suffering, precocious mum.

Miss Bates also loves a good cozy, woo-woo gothic, and any hybrid thereof, always with a good dose of romance. Though she’s been quiet about it so far, she reads a lot of non-fiction, mainly history, politics, and current events. Lately, she’s thinking of branching out to write about non-romance reading on her blog.

With Vassiliki, she shares a love of their common Greek heritage, with its penchant for story-telling and rhetorical flourish, romance reading and critique, twirly Greek dancing,  and the state of education in their former British colonies. Continue reading

A break in the shallows

Some of you may have noticed that there was no shallows to be shared last week. It was going to be my last post and, my goodness! It was a special one. Instead, Chaos decided to reside in his wicked guise of illness and hospitalisation (not me – but my husband) and the shallows took a back seat.

But now, I am signing off until mid-August. I’m off on holidays to Canada and the US. This is my first holiday away with my husband without our sons since 1996!!! Two (albeit older) teens on their own for a fortnight – yikes!!!! My family - me, my husband and my sons

And yes, I am going to the Montreal Romance Meet Up. I am so incredibly excited that I will be meeting USian and Canadian friends in person. I am also heading to New York for my first ever visit (excitement!) and I am meeting cousins in Boston (the excitement never ends!).

So, this Shallowreader is signing off. A planned hiatus! Adieu and I will write soon! Mwah!

DrScrabblette and DrFriendless are Sharing the Shallows – He Reads/She Reads Special Edition!

DrScrabblette is such a phenomenal woman. She is the first academic I taught for at university and she has since become a dear, dear friend. We talk about everything from reading and culture and information and life and il/literacies and her dog whispering skills and just her incredible ability to connect with every one she meets. Her students love her, and I have to say that this love is highly deserved as she knocks herself out for them. Through DrScrabblette, I have met DrFriendless a few times, and he too is an open and giving person who, despite his chosen pseudonym, is very friendly and always interesting.

DrScrabblette and DrFriendless

University academic and computer wizard, sharing a celebrity dog named Samantha.

Dog leaning on paper and pen

Can you describe yourself?

We started sharing bookshelves in 2006. She didn’t know how to read at all until she was ten. Homeschooled until ten on her Indian grandmother’s fantastic stories, myths, and legends, she has a lifelong obsession with fairytales and retellings. Once she learned to read, she consumed a lot of beautifully illustrated Russian Fairy Tales from Soviet bookstores, Tinkle magazine, Archie comics, Amar Chitra Katha stories, and Mad magazine, alongside tons of pulp fiction and cartoons in Tamil magazines. After completely skipping several phases of reading “chapter books” and YA fiction etc., she read Future Shock at fifteen, and has never stopped reading since.

He misspent his youth reading Enid Blyton, then heroic fantasy, then classics and literary fiction. Then he learnt French and read French classics and “polars” – noir detective stories. He read “The Hobbit” and the first couple of volumes of Harry Potter to his son when he was young, and the son grew up to read Chuck Palahniuk. These days he just reads computer texts, but has aspirations to write when he grows up.

She introduced him to Robert Coover, Indian mythology, and Luigi Cavalli-Sforza, and the son to Ryu Murakami. Both are avid players of tabletop board games, and he loves reading the rules diligently whereas she just likes breaking them. Continue reading

Fiona from Bookgroup is Sharing the Shallows

As it is the second Saturday of the month, a member of my bookgroup is sharing today’s shallows. Fiona and I met at bookgroup, and at first, that was our only contact – she was this lovely woman who would talk about women in politics in her reading choices. This kinda intimidated me as she seemed so über intelligent to me as politics is not my forté but I also learnt that she did English Folk dancing, with all those flowers and bells so at the same time, I was not intimidated but just thrilled that someone I knew personally could do the steps I read about in E.J. Oxenham’s Abbey books. Then, several years into knowing each other, Fiona invited me to join her to see a show at the Sydney Opera House. This was the first time we did anything at all together outside of bookgroup. I don’t remember what or who we went to see – but I do recall our dinner conversation beforehand and I always think that it cemented our friendship. Our theme for today’s bookgroup was Friends and I love that Fiona brought a friend along, rather than a bringing along a book that she had read. An excellent contribution!

Fifiramous lying on her side with her bookcase in the backgroup piled horizontally and vertically

Fiona from Bookgroup

Tweets @fifiramous

Can you describe yourself?

Fiona is a bit of a wannabe girly swot, who has a healthy capacity to be distracted by conversation (doesn’t need to be deep, but meaningful is good), food and singing – all improved with good company.

She works in higher ed management, and has a study addiction that she is hoping to kick in the next 12/18 months.

She is pictured here with one of her bookshelves at home. When she was a librarian at school, she managed to keep shelves more tidy. Continue reading

Keira Soleore is Sharing the Shallows

In my continuing saga of guilting fellow readers into answering my questions, wonderful Keira Soleore took time out of her holidays to send me her answers. Keira and I have been in the same Romancelandia circles for many years. We have often ended up in tweep deep twitter threads discussing romance fiction, our respective weathers and our cities. But the two of us have always had another little side reading thing going on –  in years past, we often discussed reading recommendations for younger kids, especially those (darned) learner readers. I love that Keira lists her picture book and kids book reviews alongside her romance reviews on her blog – I wish that more bloggers did this! 

Keira with a gorgeous smile, wearing a lovely white and pink dress with long white gloves.Keira Soleore

My Twitter @KeiraSoleore

My blog http://keirasoleore.blogspot.com

My site http://www.keirasoleore.com

Can you describe yourself?

I’m an amateur student of medieval books and manuscripts, taking online classes from universities, such as Stanford, Cambridge, and Harvard. I review books for All About Romance, and I’m a book editor. In addition, I’m also a writer, reader, singer, sun saluter, beach-lay-abouter, a lapsed engineer, a Midwesterner turned West Coaster, a fledgling political activist — basically an all-around good egg. If I had the choice, I’d love to be found visiting England in the summer and Hawaii the rest of the year. Alas, I’m stuck in rainy, cold, gray (but green!) Seattle year round. If I were to be reborn as an animal, I hope to be an elephant or a mountain gorilla. Continue reading