This year, our book club decided to hold monthly discussions of books selected through offline votes and online polls. At first, I was reluctant to give my “aye” to these because I didn’t like the idea of reading books that aren’t on my reading list. It was fortunate that the first ever book that we selected for the monthly discussions was 1984 by George Orwell. It’s a book that I already read and liked, and who would’ve thought that this would keep going for the rest of 2012?
I am happy to say that I didn’t regret reading the books of the month and attending their respective discussions. It made me a more diverse and disciplined reader, not to mention that it bumped up my social life to good heights. So when we finally came down to our last book for 2012, there were just a lot of good feelings going on despite the downs that our book club went through. There were definitely ups that overpowered those not so good times, so yes, it was overall a happy 2012 for our book club.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a very good and convenient choice for our December read because of all the festivities going on during this month. Heck, I couldn’t even touch my self-required books, so reading this book was a sort of distraction from the things that made me super busy.
Our book club decided to hold our Christmas party right after the book discussion. The discussion per se was quick and light and fun. There weren’t a lot of questions thrown; in fact, some of the questions thrown were recycled from the online discussion. The discussion leader even admitted to taking some of the questions from Sparknotes. He’s forgiven though; it was really a busy month. Besides, he made it up for the wonderful goodies that he gave away, mostly candies that are sure to make your teeth rotten if you don’t brush them.
I was one of the earliest attendees (surprise!) along Maria. We were even earlier than the host of the venue (Miss Ronnie) and the discussion leader (Kwesi). When he got to the venue, I helped him set up to make it look like there’s a children’s party going on. There were party hats and loot bags everywhere. Most of the attendees were late. The discussion started with the members trickling in one by one as each question was addressed to us.
One thing that I would like to bring up is the violent nature of children’s books. Have you noticed that there is more gore in children’s literature than any other books? What does this say? There were some reactions, but we were not in the mood to go down the path of deep thinking. I couldn’t even remember the reactions to it.
And then it was over, and that signaled the start of our Christmas party. But wait, before the discussion was officially over, I demanded for a prize for placing second place in the activities that the discussion leader asked us to do at the online discussion. These included answering his questions about the book and answering his word games. He only had a prize for the first placer, and because I am a sore loser, he was forced to give me a beautiful malong, a piece of clothing that was supposed to be for someone else (no, I won’t mention the name of the supposed recipient).
Our Christmas party had an informal program. Let me just roll it out in bullets:
- Invocation by Miss Louize.
- Introduction: State your name, your best read for 2012, and an optional worst read.
- Human Bingo, organized by Alexa and Tricia.
- The TFG Quiz Night, hosted by Tina and yours truly.
- The Surprise Round of The TFG Quiz, hosted by Aaron.
- Exchange gift.
- Book raffles.
- More food and booze and live piano music (by Reev and Alexa).
I was just running around everywhere. I was trying my best to have small talks with the newbies and catch up on the lives of the older members. There’s just too many things going on. I daresay that the time spent was not enough (isn’t that always the case?) that it was so hard to tear myself from the gang when time was up.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Book Discussion + TFG Christmas Party Details
- Date: December 15, 2012
- Place: A fully furnished transient house with a backyard swimming pool at New Manila, Quezon City.
- Time: 2 PM to 3 AM
- Attendees: Me, Aaron, Aenna, Alexa, Alona, Bennard, Biena, Cary, Celina, Chika, Clai (newbie), Ella, Ingrid, Jane, Jasper (newbie), JL, John, Joy (newbie), Kwesi (discussion leader), Lalaine (newbie), Miss Louize, Mae, Maria, Mavic, Atty. Monique, Patrick, Perla (newbie), Persis (newbie), Phoebe, Po, Doc Ranee, Reev, Rhena, Sheryl, Sophie (newbie), Tina, Tricia, Miss Veronica
- Food I Ate: spaghetti, pancit palabok, fish fillet, chicken lollipops, pork barbecue, lumpiang shanghai, chopsuey pichi-pichi, chocolates and candies and pastries (all sorts!)
Much thanks to Tina and Aaron for organizing the party, Miss Ronnie for the venue, everyone who pledged money for the food, and everyone who attended. And now, I will plagiarize Tina: One of the best decisions in my life was attending my first TFG meetup. Happy Holidays! :)
(Photos courtesy of Ella and Miss Louize.)
Oops! Also, I’d like to thank everyone who gave me these wonderful assortment of gifts. You know who you are. :)
I have an urge to list the books. As a part of my list of reading resolutions, I will read these all in 2013 (gulp!). Here they are:
- All the Names by Jose Saramago
- Angus by Charles Siebert
- Beasts by Joyce Carol Oates
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis
- England, England by Julian Barnes
- The Fish Can Sing by Halldor Laxness
- The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
- The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
- Max and the Cats by Moacyr Scliar
- War Horse by Michael Morpurgo