Gabby is Sharing the Shallows

I first met Gabby at the Australian Romance Readers Convention in Sydney in 2011. She was in a group of young university students who were attending and I clearly remember sitting around the hotel foyer laughing with this bright, young woman. And this pretty much cpatures my every meeting with Gabby. Whether we would bump into each other at uni, chatting on Twitter, when we would go out for drinks with friends or whether we were at an author or romance fiction event, Gabby makes me laugh with her funny stories, her chaos life and her all round fab presence.

Gabby sitting holding her coffee. Her face is obscured as she is incognito Gabby @penneclearwater

Incognito: Possible Spy

Can you describe yourself?

Gabby is a mess of human who experiences way too many emotions and can’t seem to moderate the volume of her voice. She loves friends to lovers tropes and has a complicated relationship with a lot of authors that she finds problematic but can’t stop reading. Because of that, she complains a lot but usually does so with a good heart. Gabby used to work in publishing but switched to a job that she can’t talk about because she may or may not be a spy. Shhhhhhh.

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

BOOKS BOOK BOOKS. I used to spend on average 2 hours a day reading which was mainly on public transport. But then people kept laughing at me for not being able to drive so I got my license and it ruined my life. Now I barely scrape in 2 hours a WEEK. Save me. Continue reading

Kevin is Sharing the Shallows

Kevin from my bookgroup is sharing the shallows today. Kevin has been in my bookgroup for the best part of the past two decades. Kevin keeps track of all our topics, he emails us to remind us that our second Saturday is upon us and in general, is our most organised member. Kevin also is our music guy. Occasionally, if one of our topics really inspires him, Kevin will bring along his guitar and he sings music that he has either written or that he thinks suits the bookgroup vibe.

A photograph of Kevin smilingKevin

Can you describe yourself:

A Canadian who has lived in Sydney for over 25 years, I’m a former marketing executive/consultant but now retired with music as a serious hobby which leaves some time to hang out with friends at my local cafe. I have always loved reading – my parents and my siblings have all been avid readers. Most of my friends read. My partner reads. It’s in the genes I think.

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

I’d say the weekend papers (SMH and AFR), some online news sites, emails and books. I used to read quite a few magazines but when the pile of unread magazines became fortress like, I had to stop the subscriptions. I probably spend 10-15 hours a week reading, maybe more. I think we need “readbit” glasses that capture how often we read and what we read – imagine getting graphs at the end of the week!

Life by Keith RichardsWhat or who is your joyful reading (guilty or otherwise) pleasure? 

I have a growing collection of music related books and magazines: biographies/autobiographies/memoirs, essays and analysis, lyrics and music, a rhyming dictionary and music magazines (ranging from fan like to music production). But definitely not guilty. Currently reading Life by Keith Richards. I managed, in our theme based book club, to have music as part of my contribution each month over one year and still usually weave it in quite regularly. It’s in the blood.

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

In fiction, I like quirky (think Italo Calvino) and great use of language. Not so big on romance. But when I look at my various book shelves (and I have a few), my books cover quite a range of fiction and non fiction such as art and photographic books, cookbooks, Canadian, literary fiction, Australian, mysteries, almost a full shelf of humour (including The Far Side), philosophy, personal development, a shelf of financial/investment/trading and much more – I like variety.

Far SideWhy do you/don’t you use a public library?

Used to but not so much now. I have also slowed down in buying books so I can get through those that I have. But I do love books shops.

Do you RUI*. If so, what?

Don’t think so. Never woke up with a headache and a book in hand. Though Charles Bukowski has some great poems about drinking and writing poetry.

Do you have a favourite reading spot?

Newspapers at the kitchen table and books in bed.

Toilet reading:

Never have, never will!

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

Well, I have read some – I was helping to sell them when I worked in marketing for Harlequin Mills and Boon. I never really got into them though I have read some that Vassiliki has passed on and I did enjoy them.

What would you give up reading for**?

I can’t imagine giving up reading unless my eyesight gave way…and then I would take up audio books.

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

I’m not sure the new super hero series, Hatchbackman, is going to really take off but sure, detectives, romance or other heroes can drive them – why not?

Note: The irony of  post is that neither Kevin nor I are attending Bookgroup today. This will do in absentia 🙂

 

Peter Elliott is Sharing the Shallows

When I asked my son Peter to write a guest post for my blog, I honestly expected him to answer with an outright “No!”. Instead, he surprised me and he wrote up his answers in a matter of minutes – and I only had to veto one! When he was little, I would read him Berkeley Breathed’s Edward Fudwupper Fibbed Big which is a really funny story about the consequences of a kid who lies – a bit like Hilaire Belloc’s fabulous Matilda Who Told Such Dreadful Lies. He was always enthralled by this book. His eyes wide and excited, so I kept borrowing it and reading it to him. Many years later, when he was 15, I went to the library and borrowed it again to read to my 7 year old nephew. Peter saw the book and was aghast and said “You are not reading that! I hated that book when I was little. I thought you read it to me as a warning to not be a bad kid”! I guess my skillz in reader responses assessment isn’t  as well honed as I thought.

MEA CULPA!

Peter at work in a cafe Peter

Son of blogger

Can you describe yourself?

Caucasian male adolescent, 5’10, cobalt blue eyes, dark, blond, wavy hair, moderately pale complexion.

 

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

I spend at least 30 minutes every day reading Australia’s oldest newspaper, The Betoota Advocate. Continue reading

Elessa is Sharing the Shallows

I am so incredibly excited by today’s Sharer of my Shallows! Elessa is my first blood relative to share my shallows! Elessa is my first cousin’s daughter and I have known and adored her since the day she was born. When she was little, at family parties, she would excitedly tell me about her favourite books that she found in the library and my heart would go all happy melty. As she has grown older, through her teen years, uni years and now as a teacher, whenever we see each other, it is inevitable that the two of us will have a reading conversation.

Elessa holding Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies in front of her faceElessa

Teacher

Can you describe yourself?

I’m a primary school teacher who loves to read a little bit of everything. Some of my best life lessons have come from quality picture books. I don’t like to discredit any genre or text type.

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

Books (I try to read a bit every week), Facebook and Instagram news feeds (daily scrolls) and a quick flick through the top stories of Online news. Otherwise, I’m often looking through various teacher blogs for classroom inspiration. Continue reading

Kaetrin is Sharing the Shallows

Kaetrin is another of my Twitter friends. I don’t know when we first met online but I do know that she has been one of the people who often get caught up in spider and snake discussions with me along with our obigatory romance discussions. We met in real life at the Australian Romance Readers’ Convention in Canberra in 2015 and she is lovely. I stand back in awe of Kaetrin – her reading and writing output is phenomenal. I feel as though every time I look online she has listened or read another book and she is posting reviews here, there, everywhere. And she is a font of knowledge! She remembers titles and always has a recommendation at the ready.

Kaetrin age 5Kaetrin

Blogger and tweeter @ www://kaetrinsmusings.com or https://twitter.com/Kaetrin67

Can you describe yourself?

Reader, blogger, audiobook lover, all about the HEA. Talking about books on Twitter is one of my favourite things to do. Also wife, mother, baker and eater of cake (though not as much as I’d like).

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

I mainly read books but Twitter does take up a lot of my time – and I read more news since the Trumpocalypse happened. These days I mainly read on my Kobo reader – I read a paperback recently and it was hard work! No backlight, no highlight function, no dictionary and I needed two hands to hold the book while I turn the page instead of swiping with a finger. I hadn’t realised how much I preferred ebooks until then. LOL

Also I’m a keen audiobook and podcast listener so I’m most always reading one way or another – either in my ears or with my eyes. Continue reading

April with a touch of May

I just realised that it has been a while since I wrote in my own shallows so I am going to use April’s Bingo sheet and SuperWendy’s super convenient TBR challenge topic of “Something Different” to describe my last 2 months of life as well as my reading:

 

Now (contemporary)

I have been incredibly busy. After a 12 month break, I am now teaching Digital Literacies at my uni’s pathway college. The content is really engaging and it is proving to be quite a different teaching space to what I am used to.

Dark Apollo

I continue to work twice a week at a public library in a ‘burb far far far away from my home. I am in awe of the excellent study culture in the community I work for. It is such a buzz seeing youth so deeply engaged in their studies. I am also a deselector for my library and there are times when deselecting feels like I am the more ominous Apollo of the Library World. The Apollo that brings down plague and pestilence to the world. Kill me now, for I hate deselection yet it has somehow become my specialisation over the last decade of library work. There are some gratifying moments like when you get rid of a book caked in snot but pleasssse, pleeaaaaase someone in the library world give me a selection job. I miss it desperately. Deselection makes me just want to tell all authors and publishers to give it up and stop fucking writing.

 

Burning library

Continue reading