The other contenders for book of the month were Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies (moderator's choice), Junot Diaz's Drown, and Kazuo Ishiguro's Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall. Carver's most popular collection of short stories won in both the online and offline polls, and while it wasn't my personal choice, later on I actually felt thankful that it did win -- the stories, being highly subjective and open to interpretation, were a rich source for a stimulating discussion.
The face-to-face (or what we have coined as "F2F") discussion was held at Cafe Adriatico, Remedios Circle, Malate, Manila (when I'm F2F moderator, the choice of Manila as venue is a given) and was a well-attended affair -- I had counted 24 people, excluding myself, to be there based on the event RSVP and sign-ups for the activity that I prepared, but 27 people showed up! To be honest, I was worried that the area I reserved for our purpose might not hold our number, but thankfully, it did. But it was a huge challenge to be on top of the discussion when there are so many people wanting to talk all at the same time. We did create quite a racket that day, much to the obvious annoyance of the waitstaff.
Still, it was a fun discussion -- I'm glad that people were game in answering questions
At the end of the discussion, I gave lootbags to everyone. (Okay, everyone who responded to the RSVP, that is.) Each lootbag contained the bookmarks that I have personally designed (featuring WWTAWWTAL book covers and other fan art), Microsoft Pain-ted, printed and cut (hence, the misaligned edges for some), chocolates, a Valentine bookmark with a cute, cute owl, and a handful of craft-punched paper hearts that my daughter helped me make. I sealed each bag with washi tape (note: they don't adhere all that well) and wrote each recipient's name in front of the bag. Everything was made with much care, and I hope they were appreciated. :)
For the nth time, thank you, my dear friends, for making it an afternoon to remember. Until the next time! :)
|The attendees of F2F26. Photo by Ella.|