|Felicia, Adan, Myra, Catherine, Amelia, Kenneth|
The Saturday Night Out Book Geeks convened for the very first time to discuss John Boyne's book The Terrible Thing that happened to Barnaby Brocket, a quirky little book about a gravitationally-challenged little boy.
Though Kenneth and Myra set up the club weeks ago, and we had ample time to read the book, I waited till the last possible minute to start reading it, pretty much the same reading pattern I adopted when I was in school!:)
For the meeting, Kenneth suggested the same cafe near town where we hold our monthly SCBWI meetings - it's our version of Central Perk. So I made a reservation a week in advance, but I was told there was no guarantee that we would get the table that I asked for. What? I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Did they actually mean other people might be seated on OUR sofa, eating from OUR table? I was having none of it. So I showed up two hours early and sat my fat butt on our regular sofa.
Yes! I and my butt did it! We managed to get the table that we wanted, but the satisfying sense of achievement was soon over shadowed by something else: the realisation that I looked awfully odd, pathetic and actually quite sad sitting on a seven -person sofa all by myself, fiddling with my hand phone.
Not wanting to look even more pathetic, I picked up the menu and perused it for quite a while before deciding on the pumpkin soup, which is nowhere near as good as Catherine Carvell's homemade version, a cheeseburger, a basket of fries and a coke.
After downing my soup, I opted to doggie bag the cheeseburger, but noshed on my side order of fries. I still felt a bit awkward sitting there by myself, but a Whatsapp message from Kenneth confirming that he was in a cab and on the way made me feel somewhat better.
|My pumpkin soup|
When Catherine and Kenneth finally joined me at the cafe, it was proof to the other patrons I was not some pathetic sad sack who had nothing better to do than hog a sofa and have dinner by himself on a Saturday evening. While waiting for the others, we discussed our upcoming dinner with best-selling author Jacqueline Harvey, who will be in town for two weeks.
Meanwhile, Amelia was busy navigating her way there after Apple Maps misdirected her to a Martan Road, somewhere between Arizona and Mexico. Myra messaged us, saying she would be there by 8pm, and Adan and Felicia apologized for being stuck in a Saturday night traffic jam.
By 8:30, everyone was there and ready to go. After we placed our drink orders, we started the discussion in earnest. To sum it up: I can safely say we had a stimulating discussion about the 'stimulating' and non stimulating aspects of the book and its Dahlesque dreamlike quality. Throughout Barnaby's journey, he floats in and out of the lives of various characters and seemingly goes with the flow until the last few pages. All in all I would say I thoroughly enjoyed this book, though it does require you to suspend your disbelief for the most part, like all good books do.
Out next book is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. So till next month, keep turning those pages, people.