Wendy the Super Librarian is Sharing the Shallows

The first time I remember seeing SuperWendy’s name mentioned was in the early 2010s and someone was discussing a librarian who was running readers’ advisory training for Harlequin Mills &Boon category novels at her library. I just died of envy! I wanted to be at the training! I wanted to be the librarian that ran the training. I wanted to KNOW the genius who was able to run with this. At that point, I had been running readers’ advisory training in my own workplace for close to five years but never once did I have the opportunity to run any training that was genre specific, let alone on my favourite genre ever. Having discovered Super Wendy, I started following her on Twitter, chatted with her, followed her excellent blog, I take part in her most excellent TBR Challenge and one day, I know, we will meet in person. In the meantime, I am so happy that she has agreed to share my shallows today.

Avatar of a comic book super hero caped and masked womanWendy the SuperLibrarian

Wendy is a librarian, working in administration these days.  According to her Mom, she is a “big shot.”

Can you describe yourself?

Wendy fell in love with romance shortly after accepting her first professional librarian gig.  Prior to succumbing to romance, an addiction that took hold with frightening speed (seriously, like three books in and she was hooked!), she preferred her books with at least one dead body, by no later than page 50.  While she still reads suspense, it’s romance that truly has her heart and she reads it almost exclusively.  Wendy’s been kicking around the online romance community since 1999 – and her various scribblings have been on so more online walls (some defunct, some still in existence) that she can barely keep track anymore.  A Midwestern girl at heart, she now lives on the US west coast where, when she’s not reading romance, she’s obsessing over her Detroit Tigers baseball team, drinks more tea than is likely good for a person, and devotes way too much time to Law & Order (the original and best flavor) reruns. Continue reading

Ainslie Paton is Sharing the Shallows

I met Ainslie Paton online years ago but we really got to know each other on a three hour drive from Canberra to Sydney two years ago. You get to know a lot about a person as you drive down an expressway flinching at the roadkill count that interrupts your conversations. The two of us continue to chat online and occasionally we get to lunch in person. Regardless of the physicality of our meetings, we always end up laughing and chatting like old friends.

Ainslie's cat

Ainslie Paton


Can you describe yourself?

For a writer, Ainslie Paton is crap at description.  All of her training trained her out of it. So in describing herself she’d say.  She’s a girl, who always wanted to write, and got lucky because she has done that for most of her career both corporately and for love, and is still surprised at the stupid mistakes she makes.

She’s not very tall and not very thin and not very blonde and not very young but has enough height, weight, hair of varying colours and years of experience to muck on with.

Her daily work is supervised by two cats.  They both go to bed before she does.  She can do limited sleep and forgetting to eat and going without to write. Continue reading

Elbowlass is Sharing the Shallows

I first met @Elbowlass in Kindergarten. Well our sons’ kindie to be exact. Ours was one of those slow growing friendships. One that starts as parents standing around the school playground being bored. We discovered we both love reading, we go to bookgroup together, we gripe about our sons’ (now former) school, we swap academia stories, I cry on her shoulder, she swats me and says “get a grip” and then, in her ever-so-British ways, offers me a cup of tea and somehow I fortuitously ended up with an absolutely excellent and dear-to-me friend.

Elbowlass eating fish and chips

Can you describe yourself?

I am currently employed in various jobs in the academic world. I am from Manchester in the UK originally and although I have been in Sydney for over twenty five years  I still feel like I am a stranger here in so many ways.

I am @Elbowlass because Elbow the band, are from Manchester and so am I. It’s also a crap name which I like.

Vassiliki and I have such different tastes in reading, music, films and television shows it’s brilliant and amazing that we are still friends. We have a love of cutting through bullshit and a passion for social justice and good shoes.

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

LumberjanesI read most nights before I go to sleep and still occasionally curl up during the day for hours if I have an unputdownable book. I read all sorts of books, graphic novels,  blogs, cartoon books, poetry, gardening books whatever takes my eye. At the weekend I  indulge in the luxury of reading The UK Guardian online which takes me ages. I also have to read everyday as part of my job. Not sure I can add up how much reading I do but it’s a lot.

Ben Aaronovitch's The Rivers of LondonWhat or who is your joyful reading (guilty or otherwise) pleasure? 

I love all kinds of books but especially  those where the author has a sense of humour or sense of fun in the way they write so Terry Pratchett, Janet Evanovich, Ben Aaronovitch. I really like fantasy/crime fiction books including steam punk novels. [My son] introduced me to the Lumber Jane series which I think is fab but sadly there are no more. I have no guilts about reading.


Janet Evanovich's One for the moneyDo you have a favourite storyline or plot? And do you have one you will not read?

No favourite story line or plot, just books that make me want to read on because of the beauty of the language, great characterisation, humour or the intrigue. Not a fan of books with gratuitous graphic violence or those hard core sci fi genre books full of ‘I know more than you do’ facts. I have never made it past the first few pages of Catch 22 couldn’t relate to it at all.

Why do you/don’t you use a public library?
I do use the public library, but did even more so when the kids were little. The new library at Dulwich Hill is lovely but doesn’t seem to have many books in it! I buy lots of secondhand books and use kindle too, especially when I am travelling.

Do you RUI*. If so, what?

Nope I don’t RUI because I would fall asleep too soon  and wouldn’t remember what I had read the next day. I enjoy the whole process of engaging in reading too much to not be fully present.

Do you have a favourite reading spot?

I love reading in bed, and on the big sofa in our lounge. In winter I adore reading in the bath with a strategically placed towel by the bath for drying my hands on before turning over a page. Never kindled in the bath though and wouldn’t recommend it.

Toilet reading: 
I don’t take reading material into the toilet when I am making use of the facilities, although I did when I was a kid. It was a sanctuary where I could be alone and wouldn’t get pestered to go out and play with the other kids. I do remember having a ring around my bum when I’d got lost in a novel. Thinking back on it I was such a twit for actually pretending I was going to the toilet and sitting there bare cheeked, I didn’t really need to do the method acting bit.

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

I have no idea how to answer this, romance maybe in the books I read but I don’t necessarily choose Romance books. Having said that I don’t  really mind what the outcome of a relationship is as long as it’s well written and convincing.

What would you give up reading for**?

Sorry I definitely can’t answer this because  I can’t imagine a life without reading. If I had no books I’d read the back of a toilet duck.

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

Of course they can, they can have roller skates, a bicycle and wear bicycle clips or catch the bus – I am not one to judge.

Pennyfarthing illustration

*Reading Under the Influence

**I like stranded prepositions

March 2017 ShallowreaderBingo write up

Lately, I have been whining a bit about being in a reading slump but in actual fact, I am only in a novel/fiction reading slump. The rest of my reading is pretty much buoyant and happening. So much so that I’m hitting those Bingo Squares for March. I could have doubled up on some of the squares but I have gone with only one square per reading. And I still fail at my own game as I can’t seem to score a straight run, dammit!

The circled squares for March are: Love thy neighbour, Bodily fluid, redundant, It's all Greek to Me, Comfort and Pretty.

Aaron Blabey's BustingBodily Fluid

I would argue that Aaron Blabey is in the top five Australian picture book authors evah! And his latest book Busting is a very funny, verse book about holding your wee in and bladder control.

Lou is BUSTING for the loo.
But the loo has quite a queue.
So what on earth is Lou to do?

This is an excellent book not only for kids who are being toilet trained but for anyone who enjoys the occasional toilet humour or struggles to find a toilet alternative. Continue reading

Mel Williams is Sharing the Shallows

Melissa Williams is one of my wonderful borrowers-turned-friend. I absolutely adored Mel coming to my library. We met in the 746 section and she introduced me to such incredible craftsers like Denyse Schmidt and Brown Owls. We would also joke and laugh and swap picture book recommendations. We (the library staff) went through her second pregnancy with her and her first gorgeous, shy child. To this day, I feel so deeply honoured and touched that when Mel gave birth, she left the hospital and came straight to our library to introduce us to her 2 day old baby. We felt loved by her and in return, we loved her back. I miss our weekly library visits but I love that social media has allowed me to keep up with Mel and her life.

Mel Williams with a Batgirl comic and To Cox's Under the PAwCan you describe yourself?

My name is Melissa Williams.  I am a public servant working for a deeply unpopular Gov department (although I’m not sure there is a popular one?)

I am a bush walking daydreamer who would love to move to the country and live a self-sufficient life, if only I could give up my addiction to fast and reliable internet. My Mum said from the moment I could read I would literally read anything and everything, and 40 odd years later I am still doing exactly the same. Continue reading

Wade is Sharing the Shallows

Wade and I started following each other on Twitter early on in 2009. We were both in readerly circles and in bookish and pop culture-ish conversations that continue to this day. I think we have passed each other at book and blogger events here and there in the way that Twitter users do. Wade Bowmer has been part of the Hatchback Hero debate right from the argument’s inception.

Wade Bowmer wearing bear ears holding his cat sitting in his lounge room with a couch, sewing machine, bookcases, computer screen and colourful lights

Wade Bowmer/@staticstan

Can you describe yourself?

My name is Wade Bowmer and I program for a website for a living. I usually call myself senior developer and database wrangler. I also sometimes call myself writer or story-teller because being able to see how stories work in the world seems to be an uncommon skill.  But learning how stories worked has helped me rebuild myself after a terrible life event about a decade ago. It has also helped me make a lot of new friends, opened me up to a whole new range of thinking and made me (I think) a better person for it.
Other than that, I live with my cat in a rather cluttered little town house, with too many hobbies and not enough days in the week. And if you follow me on Twitter you will have to endure bursts of K-pop-related tweets. I also blog occasionally about writing at justaddstory.com.

Continue reading