Tonight we spent a couple of hours at a cafe in Brunswick (formerly a bank) called DeVault. Get it? We go there each month, quaff a few vino’s and meet up with others to theoretically discuss the book we’ve spent quality time absorbing in recent weeks. Only, hardly anyone ever reads it. There’s a lady there that I’m going to call “50 pages” in future, because she’s been saying that’s as far as she’s got for nearly a year now. In my case, I’m as guilty as the rest, as a lot of the time I’ve read it years ago, so tend to turn up armed with shonky 8 year old memories and then make an embarrassing gaffe about the plotline. But heck, I’ve got too many other books to read. If only I could remember what they were when I go to the meetings – people love to be able to talk about other great stuff they caught up with.
For me, this month it’s been David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas” and Vikas Swarup’s “Q&A”. One a multilayered “polyphonic spree” of a book with some deep themes that I only recognised when reading reviews afterwards, and then thought I’d been reading the work of a genius. The second, a simpler read, – the closest thing to a literary Mills and Boone really, but a captivating page turner about a poor Indian waiter who wins the TV quiz show “Who wants to be a billionaire” and is accused of cheating. We received our bookclub novels for the next month, and it’s Roddy Doyle’s “Paddy Clarke, Ha Ha Ha”. About time I bookmark some web reviews to make my August fibs over dinner a little more convincing I think.