Thursday 7 March 2013

Be My Guest: Stephanie from Read in a Single Sitting

Read in a Single Sitting was one of the very first book blogs I discovered - and Stephanie was the first ever commenter on my blog! So I'm definitely honoured to have her as my guest today. Stephanie always posts insightful, thoughtful and in-depth reviews for a range of books, from The Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum and Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery to We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver and Tantony by Ananda Braxton-Smith. She also does some great, informative features like her themed lists and publishing news. If you want to stalk her like I do, you can find her on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Now on with the fun...

What are we eating and drinking at this party?
Double espressos and chocolate so dark that it's positively astringent. Or we could have the best of both worlds with chocolate-covered coffee beans!

What part of the world do you hail from, and what's something not many people would know about that place?
I'm from Melbourne, Australia. You might not know that Melbourne has a flourishing tango scene, a market that's reputed to be haunted, a wonderful art deco cinema with its own special cinema cat, and that it was once the home to a chocolatier whose fame and achievements were not unlike those of Willy Wonka! I could talk about Melbourne all day—it's probably dangerous to get me started.

Tell us one random fact about yourself.
I absolutely cannot stand the smell of bacon and egg McMuffins. And for some reason, whenever I'm in a lift, someone is always eating one. Why, world, why?

What do you do when you're not reading/blogging?
I'm a freelancer and author, so I'm basically here at my computer! You can also find me dancing tango several nights a week, or catching an arty movie with my poor long-suffering husband.

What kind of books do you read, and what is your ultimate favourite? 

Literary fiction and middle grade fiction are my two great loves, but I'll happily dip my toe into most genres. There are many books that I adore, but the one that I keep forcing on to others is The Three Loves of Persimmon by Cassandra Golds. I can't help but feel that that book was written just for me.

Describe your blog in three words.

Verbose, ambitious, analytical.

What is your favourite thing about your blog/blogging?

I love that blogging has opened up so many avenues for me as a writer and author. I'm always amazed at the relationships that I've been able to develop, and that people have a genuine respect for and appreciation of bloggers. I also love that I have a record of everything that I've read over the past few years—it's fascinating to be able to go back and see how I've changed and developed as a reader.

What post or review are you most proud of, and why?
I'm quite fond of my The Story Girl and Anne – Why We Need MoreQuiet Books post; my post on whether buying second-hand books makes us bad people; and my post on culling my book collection. These seem to have resonated with other readers, which is always nice. :)

What are your top three favourite book blogs, and why?

I enjoy The Uncustomary Book Review for its, um, uncustomary book reviews. I love that the reviews are written as a given book is being read rather than after, as I think that it lends them a certain sense of curiosity and discovery.

BrainPickings isn't a review blog as such, but I adore the curious tidbits that Maria Popova manages to dig up and share with her readers. If you're after strange and wonderful pieces and extracts on all sorts of arcane topics, you'll love this site.

TheWalker Books Walk-A-Book blog is wonderful as well. It features a variety of guest posts from authors, editors, and other bookish people, and it's utterly inspiring.

Can you think of a time another blogger's review made you actually buy/borrow/read a book?

Hmm, not a particular review as such, but I've definitely bought, borrowed and read books based on recommendations from fellow bloggers over Twitter and in the comments on my site. I have I Capture the Castle to read thanks to Violet from Still Life in Books, and I'm thoroughly looking forward to it. :)

What was the last book that made you...

-Laugh. Shaun Micallef's Preincarnate. Absolutely hilarious.

-Cry. Hmm, not quite cry, but I was definitely feeling pretty emotional by the edge of Michael Kimball's
Big Ray.

-Throw it across the room in fury. The Forsaken by Lisa M Stasse. My review of that one is just a wee bit grumpy...

-Push it onto others. The Emperess of Ireland
by Christopher Robbins. I have a friend who's enjoying it as we speak!

-Stay up til 2am reading. Robert Cormier's
I Am The Cheese. Cormier always keeps me up late!

Thanks for joining me Steph! Here is the embarrassing part where I admit I've never been to Melbourne. It sounds delightful though, hopefully I get down there this year!


  1. Great interview! I'm checking out The Story Girl post right now. It's one of my favorite books.

    1. I haven't read it but I feel like I should!

    2. Thanks so much, Alison!

      Belle: the Story Girl books are lovely--I hope you enjoy them. :)

  2. Yay! I love Stephanie's blog because she's always so thoughtful in her reviews. Great interview, ladies!

    1. She is so thoughtful! Makes me feel inadequate sometimes haha.

    2. Aw, thanks so much, both! :) I make very good use of the delete button, believe me. ;)

  3. OMG I looove bacon and egg McMuffins.

    Great interview.

    1. Ha! I haven't had one in years but I have good memories.

  4. I am sure I've visited Stephanie's blog and in this interview she comes across as a really passionate and intelligent blogger ;)