Pillars of the Earth: Flips Flipping Pages October book discussion

I was dragging my feet about reading this month’s selection, Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth (henceforth to be referred to as POTE), primarily because I didn’t expect to like it. I first mooched a copy of the book when Patti, one of my BookMoochers Pilipinas friends proclaimed it as her all-time favorite book and my curiosity was piqued, but I had the book languishing in my TBR for over a year until I lost my first copy in last year’s flood. I got a replacement a several months later, but I have to admit that if it wasn’t assigned for the book discussion, I wouldn’t have picked it up.

I’m not one to shy away from chunksters, but given the length of the book (973 pages), I started POTE one week before the discussion, figuring I’d have to read around 200 pages a day. I read the first chapter late Thursday night, and finished a few more chapters on Friday night.

On Saturday, I read the book after breakfast and on to the afternoon. I had planned to go to a friend’s bookshop opening that night, but it rained heavily and I got stuck at home because the street was flooded, and all my plans went awry. I figured I might as well make a dent in the novel (I was waiting for the street to clear out, but it didn’t until late that night), and I was reading and reading, and before I knew it, I had finished 900 pages — right up to the end of the book!

I hope you’ll indulge the lengthy post; it’s possible this book may be my best book for 2010 and I want to share the experience with you. Don’t worry, no spoilers!
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Fables and more

Saturday was the Flips Flipping Pages Book Discussion on Bill Willingham’s Fables: Legends in Exile, led by our youngest-ever moderator, 13-year old Paolo.

I read my Fables deluxe edition back in March (I had it signed by James Jean in December) and I enjoyed it a lot, so I was looking forward to discussing it with the Flippers.

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FFP sound trips to High Fidelity

After I missed last month’s Flips Flipping Pages (my book club) book discussion (The Shadow of the Wind, one of my favorite books!) because it coincided with the Ultimate Book Geek finals, I was glad I was able to attend this month’s book discussion: Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, as moderated by Mike, Ronald and Shani.

Holed up in an Irish pub, we had some music related games. We were divided into two teams (morbidly named Team RIP and Team Condolence), and for the first game, Mike produced a list of songs and read them aloud while we attempted to identify the songs’ album, artist, and year released. I was in Team Condolence and we got creamed by Team RIP!  Then we had an Anti Music Snob Name that Tune contest, where we managed (with Ronald’s help!) to squeak by with a one point win over Team RIP.

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Flippers go TagLish

Finally, the much-awaited Flips Flipping Pages April Book discussion successfully took place, after weeks of preparation, coordinating with National Book Store, Anvil, and the staff of Ricky Lee to mount this memorable event featuring the book Para Kay B.

It was a great discussion, revealing juicy secrets (please, let’s keep everything in confidence!) among the attendees, discussing which chapters we liked best from the book, love, character stereotypes, colloquialism, and Filipino reading habits.

The highlight of the event was getting to meet the author, the famous Filipino scriptwriter Ricky Lee, who fast became a Flipper favorite because of his friendly and engaging personality, candidly answering our questions, and showing genuine interest in what we thought of his book, as well as FFP activities, even the book swap, and BookMooch!

I also think everyone was able to gain better appreciation for the book after being able to discuss it with fellow book club members and with Ricky Lee himself.

Ricky Lee was also kind enough to sign our books, with special dedications for everyone — yup, we compared messages at the dinner buffet at Thai Kitchen!

Here’s mine:

We capped the night off with dessert and chitchat at Cafe Breton.

It was another great book discussion for FFP and I can’t wait for the next one!

More photos here: http://flipsflippingpages.multiply.com/photos/album/42/Flippers_Meet_Ricky_Lee
and here: http://flipsflippingpages.multiply.com/photos/album/41
and here: http://flipsflippingpages.multiply.com/photos/album/40