ShallowreaderBingo! June Edition!

It’s the end of June and there was some fierce competition with Bookthingo’s Kat Mayo winning this month’s Bingo in the spirit of a ShallowReader multi-media cross-platform effort. Let’s hear it for Kat!

As for my Bingo efforts, read on:

Penguin: the Lane BrothersPenguin and the Lane Brothers: The Untold Story of a Publishing Revolution

Stuart Kells

Bingo Square: Broken Pedestal

In May, I attend the Politics of Paperbacks at the Sydney Writers’ Festival so as to hear Stuart Kells talk about the Lane Brothers and Penguin books. Unfortunately, he was unwell and could not attend the talk so I read the book instead. This was a fascinating look at Richard Lane’s life and his influence on Penguin. Previous histories of Penguin have all focused on older brother Allan Lane as the head of the company but according to Richard Lane’s diaries which he had kept from the time he was a teenager, it was Richard and his younger brother John who had the business acumen and drive to see to Penguin’s success. Especially interesting was Richard Lane’s depressing years working in Australia as a teenager and how those years influenced his decisions in building Penguin and its paperback trade. Richard Lane’s

“interest in cheap books was far from mercenary. His own formative experiences in the book desert of the impoverished outback had brought home to him the importance of making inexpensive books more widely accessible”.

The impact that Richard Lane’s yearning for reading material when he was isolated has had a huge impact on literacy and reading. His understanding of accessibility and affordability of books and his ability to negotiate complex copyright agreements continue to reverberate through the publishing world and the information literate world today.

However, this book was more than just a treatise on the creation of a highly successful publishing house. It was also a look at how closely knit families can be torn apart through avarice and the need for power. Richard’s brother Allan sold him out, taking from him his company and his retirement funds. And yet Richard seemed to be such a kind soul, continuing to have a cordial correspondence with his brother right to the end of his days. This part of the book deeply touched me as my own mother had a similar situation (gee – Australia seems to be the place that greedy relatives relegate family to in a battle to claim what is not rightfully theirs) and yet, she too remains cordial and loving to those involved. There are so many lessons in forgiveness to be learnt from people like my mum and Richard Lane. This was an excellent read.

I borrowed a copy of this book from my university library

When a Scot Ties a Knot by Tessa DareWhen a Scot Ties a Knot

Tessa Dare

Bingo Square: Interrupted Intimacy

I do love an epistolary novel and this one starts out with a young teenage girl with social anxiety, on the eve of her debut to London society, fabricating a captain and romance to avoid having a season. She writes fake letters to this imagined captain and many years later he turns up at her castle where she resides alone with her widowed aunt and he demands that they marry. Despite its lightness, this novel touches on several serious issues from abandonment, war injuries, anxiety and of course, in the vein of most romance fiction, the need for belonging. As my Bingo Square hints towards, even though the main protagonists Maddie and Logan have a Scottish wedding early in the novel, their actual consummation does not occur until much later as there is, ahem, interrupted intimacy, each and every time they get close.

I borrowed a copy of this book from a New South Wales public library.

Theseus Discovers His Heir by Michelle SmartTheseus Discovers His Heir

Michelle Smart

Bingo Square: Mini

So Joanne Brookes had a baby to a summer holiday fling called Theodore who disappeared many years ago. She discovers that the Theodore of her fling wasn’t a Greek beach bunny but a Prince from a made up principality when she accidentally finds herself working for him. Of course, her (their) son is a Mini me of the prince.  I enjoyed this book. It even brought a tear to my eye. Though the infinite mentions of the heroine’s autumn tresses were too much and there were also TWO “or so she thought” phrases. Quelle horribles. Though overall, this was quite an enjoyable story.

I borrowed a copy of this book from a New South Wales public library.

Women Travelers: 1850-1950Women Travelers: A Century of Trailblazing Adventures, 1850-1950

Bingo Square: Au Revoir

This was a great read! These are the stories of 31 great women adventurers in history who bucked convention and travelled at a time when it was near impossible for women to have independence. Some embraced androgynous clothing and others insisted on wearing their full skirts and traveling in the style of a lady. I kept imagining Mr Impossible but without Rupert and it’s all about Daphne Pembroke.


I borrowed a copy of this book from a New South Wales public library.

Days of Our Lives

Bo and Hope = Bope

Bingo Square: Shipping

To the uninitiated who are reading, Shipping is when you have a favourite relationship that you want to eventuate between characters (or even real people). So many many many many years ago, I was a hard core Days of Our Lives fan. I shipped Bo and Hope when they were not yet together, I adored Bo and Hope, I cheered when he went all hero and kidnapped her from her wedding to Larry Welch and I would write stories about them and their desperate need to be together and apart (ha! Little did I know that I was writing fan fiction at the time). This is a seriously famous relationship, folks. So much so that Bo and Hope have their very own wikipedia page. I was such a hard core fan that at my end of Year 12 matriculation assembly (these days they call them graduations which is total shit because you can only graduate from university as you are an undergraduate at uni) my teachers awarded me the Bo and Hope award for the HSC as a soap opera as I was always sneaking into classrooms at lunch to watch episodes (and *ahem* sometimes even sneaking out of school). I used to get banned from the uni library TV viewing rooms for lying about the bookings I was making because the TVs were only for serious viewing (I always booked at 1:30 and they cottoned on – damn librarians! They hampered my need to study popular culture). Once my family got a video recorder (horrifying for most people but this didn’t happen until 1990) I started to tape every episode. But then life happens, work happens and I slowly stopped watching regularly but occasionally I would catch up on summaries of what was happening.

So I was having a reminiscing moment the other day and went searching and found out that Bo died earlier this year. He DIED! OMG! Like really died! Not pretend died to come back in the future died. No Phoenix rising from the ashes Victor Kiriakis died! No John Roman Black Brady died. But REAL died. Like on a park bench in Hope’s arms died. How can I ever! Like, but no! Bo and Hope (or BOPE in shipping circles) were my OTP. There was no equal. So I ended up viewing all the youtube clips, I read all the soap wikis and I still can’t believe that my Ship has sailed.

Other books that scored in Bingo which I have already reviewed during the month:

Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm: which scored both a Gold Star and With Pleasure.

Lynne Graham’s The Sicilian’s Stolen Son: which scores A Child’s Grief because heaven help little Nicholas when he finds out that he is the surrogate son to Jemima!EvilTwin (will romance authors never think of the children!).

Sara Craven’s Seduction Never Lies has a Mary Sue female protagonist. So much so that she made me grind my teeth.

If you have been playing, leave a comment or link to your lists. Check in tomorrow for July’s list!

8 thoughts on “ShallowreaderBingo! June Edition!

    • Thank you! I’ll look back to see what your new additions are.

      I take Time Zones into consideration when I make my posts live. I publish them at night Oz time so it is the same date in Europe and the Americas.

  1. Penguin and the Lane Brothers is sitting on my bookshelf right now! It languishes next to a whole row of penguins classics and made me a little sad because all my penguins are orange and the blue kind of breaks the flow of it all…

    It’s the small things…

    I don’t know why I forgot about it. I am going to dig it back out!

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