Adventures in reading club 2.0

After many months of waiting, the reading club at my local library started again. Even if I thought I was on the mailing list, they failed to inform me of it restarting. I find out about it on a visit to the library, sometime in January. I collected the book for February: Confessions of an English Opium Eater, I re-added myself to the mailing list, collected a bookmark 

reading club

with the upcoming dates and went on my marry way. When adding the dates in my diary, I noticed a discrepancy between the club being on the 2nd Thursday of every month and the February and March dates being on a Wednesday, but I genuinely thought it was intended that way, so I haven’t double checked with the library. Big mistake!! 1 day before the meeting I decide to check it’s going to be on, only because it wouldn’t have been the first time I experienced a cancellation out of the blue. Guess what: they apparently noticed the mistake and reprinted the bookmarks but nobody bothered to actually send an email or contact me in any way! Fuming!!! Another 2 months of waiting because of human error, grrr!

So I sweat my way through Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, but at least that’s a classic and it was on my reading list anyway. Then The Classic Slum: Salford Life in the First Quarter of the Century – something that I just couldn’t read, the author came across so patronizing and the constant quoting of Engels, as in the father of communism, simply did my head in! And when it was finally possible for me to attend the met-up, they ascribed Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. WHAT THE … I just couldn’t believe that, after all that happened, I had to make myself read something that I would have never picked for myself, something that I knew it would be a lost of time…

On the day, I must admit, I was a bit wary. I was thinking how my English will fail me, what would other think of the dislik I have for the book etc etc. But to my surprise, it was a sort of race who will “insult” the book more hihihi. We are a small group, 4 people including me. All of them way older than me, almost double my age, but I seriously like them and enjoy our chats. We obviously disagree, or better said have different ways of seeing life, but I so like to hear them talk and especially learning from them 🙂 They are films mad, and it’s so impressive how they seem to have seen the same movies ( I actually suspect they’ve known each other for years) and it’s really funny how scenes from the books we’re reading reminds them of certain movies. We’ve been together through 2 books and I feel they started to accept me as part of the group. They ask me all sort of thinks, feels like an experiment. I am their little guinea pig, but I seriously don’t mind as I really like them 🙂

So far we’ve read Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.

Salmon fishing YemenSalmon Fishing in the Yemen – not much to say. My first impression was correct. I did want to watch the movie at a point in the past, but I got a bit bored after a few minutes and decided it will have to be at another time, time that didn’t come yet 😀 But as I’ve said, I would not have read the book if it wasn’t for the reading club. Definitely a book that works better as a movie, it almost felt like a script and not a novel. Bad delivered, a mass of memos, emails, diary entries. Jumped from presenting the project to an interrogation, throwing me in the dark. People answering the investigator with pages and page of “literary” description doesn’t make any sense to me and the story is soooooooooo boring….

The only highlight I made is a little dialogue between the main 2 character after walking in the high heat of the desert and someone gives them some water:

Harriet and I looked at each other as the girl walked back to her house. ‘That was so…biblical,’ said Harriet.
Can you imagine that ever happening at home?’ I asked. She shook her head. ‘That was charity. Giving water to strangers in the desert, where water is so scarce. That was true charity, the charity of poor people giving to the rich.’
In Britain a stranger offering a drink to a thirsty man in a lonely place would be regarded with suspicion. If someone had approached us like that at home, we would probably have assumed they were a little touched or we were going to be asked for money. We might have protected ourselves by being stiff and unfriendly, evasive or even rude.” I thought it was an interesting observations and quite true at the same time. My group said it’s just a cultural thing. You don’t just go to strangers like that on the street, even if it’s meant to be helpful, as it’s not polite 😀

Of Mice and Men – was a bit of a miss as well. In my case I am not at all impressed by Steinbeck, at least not so far! I find him quite predictable(I’ve read The Pearl previously) and fails to grip me in any way. He fails to make me care about his characters, about the story, about anything. He is a classic, he deals with important subject, tough subjects but that’s where everything stops for me. I always feel like a side spectator, observing everything but without feeling anything!

They wanted to make us read David Copperfield next, but we protested. Seriously, I’ve read it already and while I actually loved it, and think it’s a brill book, I wasn’t feeling like reading that tome of a book again. So it’s going to be Frankenstein next 😛 Fingers crossed 😀

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