Last Saturday, our book club had our last face to face book discussion for 2012, as well as our Christmas party. It was another awesome event, and really, I never expected anything less because weekends with my book club friends were always the highlight of my month. I’ve always meant to post about every meet-up like this, but I never got to, obviously (save for one post on my personal blog). I figure the year-end is always a good way to make a recap, so here we go. :)
Oh but wait – look we have a new logo! Thanks to Angus for bugging his friend to make one for us. :) Isn’t it purty? :D
A little background: our book club started out as an online book club that discusses books online but meets offline. When I joined, we didn’t have any book discussions offline, because our meet-ups weren’t always too many. We had about 3 big meet-ups every year from 2010, and then during those meet-ups we just talk books and gave away books and stayed together till everyone needs to go home. Late in 2011, someone came up with the idea to have a 100 Favorite Books List, which birthed the idea of finally having face to face book discussions.
I honestly wasn’t sure if it would fly. In fact, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to go to the first one because I was a bit busy then, and I was going through some personal stuff. But because I was made a moderator by late 2011, I felt that I was obligated to join them for that, even if it was my real first time to join a discussion. But again, we weren’t really sure if we could sustain the momentum, because a monthly meeting almost felt too much, especially coming from the meeting every quarter (not counting the smaller random meet-ups we have). I didn’t want it to die down, but I wasn’t really expecting it to really, really grow into a big event every month, you know?
But boy, was I surprised. :-)
F2F1: 1984 by George Orwell
January 28, 2012, Baang Coffee, Tomas Morato
Like I said, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to go here for some personal reason (which I honestly, really can’t recall, but I remember that I was sort of 50/50 with this). I ended up going, anyway, and it was really fun and intellectual. Honestly, there was a point in the discussion where I was just happy to be eating and listening to the people around me, because 1984 was a really challenging novel to read, and the questions were even doubly hard. I remember Maria saying after the discussion, I feel so smart! Haha, I did feel smart after it, too. :)
Most memorable moment: Everything? Oh, but the best was when Kristel asked a very difficult question to Ronnie, who was just about to eat a forkful of spaghetti. Lesson learned: never ask difficult questions when someone is eating spaghetti. :D
F2F2: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
February 25, 2012, Kitsch Cafe
I missed the club’s outreach event the week prior the discussion, so I was pretty excited to see them again to know what happened that week. The book for February was also very short, so I read it just the previous night, while rushing home to get some sleep before the discussion. The Little Prince discussion was epic in a lot of ways because the attendees doubled in number. We also had a quaint little venue, with lots of food and print out of quotes and it was just…really fun. Albeit a bit hot. And then we all hung out after to eat Japanese food at Little Tokyo, where I’ve been wanting to go to for a while. :) And even if I was running on little sleep, it was a very fun post-Valentine’s activity. ;)
Most memorable moment: The Angus vs. Jzhun debates. HAHA. I could’ve sat there and watched Angus throw comments at Jzhun all afternoon — but it’s all in the name of an interesting discussion. Also, who knew such a thin book could bring out such difficult questions?
F2F3: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
March 25, 2012, Chocolate Kiss
It’s too early to say that this discussion breaks the trend because we’ve only had two discussions before this. But this discussion is too early because it was done on a Sunday morning. At least it was a breakfast buffet, so that makes up for me going to a discussion with little sleep yet again. This was a light discussion because the book was humorous, and we discussed things about the apocalypse, and aliens and if we’d like to have babelfishes in our ears. Personally, I was really more focused on the food. I love breakfast. :P
Most memorable moment: The moment didn’t happen in the discussion itself, but after — since the discussion ended early, we all went to SM North to watch The Hunger Games. It was my second time to watch it but it was fun watching it with bookish friends. Like I posted on Facebook that night: Hitchhiked through the galaxy and then went to Panem. What a Sunday.
April 14, 2012, Max’s Waltermart
This isn’t a discussion, but I thought it’s noteworthy to put here. We celebrated our club’s 2nd anniversary! It was a fun lunch somewhere north, and we had a guest poet and read some poetry that we like, or poetry that we wrote. My own poems are old and icky so I just picked one that resonated with me years ago, which was kind of…well, emo. Haha.
Most memorable moment: Hm, the coffee meet-up after was quite fun, with us chatting a storm at the coffee place beside the venue. Oh, and it was on a Sunday, too, and I think we’re not too worried about not seeing each other soon because there was a discussion the following weekend anyway. :)
My discussion! :) It’s memorable mostly because of that. Haha. But I was kind of worried about how Jane Eyre would fare, given that it’s a classic and it’s quite thick, but the Bronte fans came out and joined us for this discussion! I was really pleasantly surprised at the number of attendees, and even if we were basking in the summer heat, I’d like to believe we all had fun. :D And it also got everyone reading more Bronte stuff (even if I’m really more of an Austen fan).
Most memorable moment: One of us actually going in Jane Eyre costume despite the heat! :) And all the newbies who attended — so fun!
One of my favorite discussions, and it touched me so much that I posted about it in my personal blog. :) I didn’t choose this as my favorite discussion just because it is one of my favorite YA books, or because my adopted brother was the moderator. I loved this discussion because somehow, after it ended, I felt closer to everyone. It may be because of the nature of the book, which dealt about family and friendship. This discussion just had all the ~*feels*~ to it. :)
Most memorable moment: Getting a question about sex. HAHA. Of all questions that landed to me. Also, the laser tag activity — rematch soon! :D I also really liked our souvenir for this discussion. We had a song exchange activity, where we dedicated songs to the people we picked and went home with a CD of all the songs. :)
The Fellowship of the Ring is one of those books that surprised me this year. I was very excited for the discussion because I wanted to talk more about the book that I never thought I’d read in my lifetime. It was a pretty chill activity, and the questions weren’t that hard, and overall, it was a fun, fantasy filled afternoon. :D
Most memorable moment: We were shooting a video as a birthday gift for someone during this discussion, so most of the memorable moments happened before and after the discussion. :D Haha, the hilarious video that still makes me laugh when I see it.
Another memorable moment: the song line sharing! It was like a level up from the previous discussion’s song dedication time. It gave me a chance to get to know fellow book club friends based on their own experiences. :) I wrote more about my song line choice here.
F2F7: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
July 28, 2012, Uncle Cheffy, Ortigas
Oh, what a wonderful night this was. :) We had this discussion in time to celebrate one of our old moderator’s birthday, and it was a formal (ish) event. Everyone came in dresses and suits (or long-sleeved polos and ties), and we had the best souvenir, too — a folio of our stories on love, loss, hope and regret. This is another night full of ~*feels*~, and I went home (at 5 in the morning!), with a heart full of love to these people who I now consider as my family. <3
Most memorable moment: Tweeting during “class”. Haha. Showing the video that we shot during the previous discussion in full glory. Walking around Ortigas in formal dresses in the rain, while waiting for 5am to keep one of our younger members company until she can go home to her dorm. (Never staying out until 5am, though :P)
2nd Filipino ReaderCon
August 18, 2012, Filipinas Heritage Library
Again, this isn’t an official discussion, but our book club was present here and we had a small discussion on The Little Prince as part of the program. I was deep into ReaderCon preps because I was a part of the core committee, so I wasn’t able to really organize things with our club. But I was so, so, so grateful that they made it, and that we hung out after. :) Thank you so much for supporting this event!
Most memorable moment: Raffle winners! Alexa‘s exuberant shouting! :D Long palengke meet-up at Ayala Triangle! :)
August was a taxing month in my personal life, and I was terribly busy almost the entire month that I almost dropped Noli because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish it. I managed to finish it about 7 hours before the discussion started, so yay. It was a surprisingly chill discussion, though and I loved how relaxed it was and how I saw Noli differently after. Even if I’m not really its biggest fan after I finished reading it. :P
Most memorable moment: Role playing different Noli characters! Oh so much fun. And being in the presence of cardinals, too! :D
September was an interesting month in terms of the club itself, but I’d rather not elaborate about it here. But I must admit that I was kind of worried about this discussion and just how everything else in the club would fare. But my book club friends have proven that even if people go, what really matters is the people who stay. :) So this discussion almost felt like a make or break for some people, and I’m glad it was the former for most of us. :) I wasn’t a big fan of the book — it was just okay — but the company that Sunday morning up until the afternoon was well worth everything that happened in the past month. :)
Most memorable moment: Palengke meet-up at Eastwood! My friends are in my turf, yo. :P
F2F10: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
October 20, 2012, Starbucks The Grove
Another classic book for our discussion. :) This was probably the most creative and activity-filled discussion, much thanks to our moderator. We had so many giveaways, gimmicks and things from before the discussion all the way to the very end. It was a lovely afternoon discussing a book I really like, and I loved how there were so many newbies that came, despite the things that happened in September. On a more sentimental note, this discussion came just in time for us, and I really felt that it was a saving grace for our club. :)
Most memorable moment: Tea tasting and phone call. Also, our first ever live stream! :) The palengke meet-up after the event was fun, too, where we made plans for 2013 and talked about whether there is a bad boy in our book club. (There are none, if you really want to know :D)
F2F11: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
November 17, 2012, Shawarma Snack Center
This was another challenging book, but because I love the moderator, I told myself I’d read the book all the way to the end. :D I was juggling between this book and planning the Christmas party and doing NaNoWriMo, so I wasn’t able to participate much in the online discussion. But this discussion showed that even if not many people liked the book, the discussion will always make up for it. :)
Most memorable moment: Trying sheesha for the first time. This tells me that I will really never ever smoke. :P
F2F12: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl + A Very Merry TFG Christmas
December 15, 2012, New Manila, Quezon City
This just happened last weekend, but I still have a massive hangover from the party. :) Talk about ending the year with a bang. The discussion was short and (literally) sweet, and the party was fun and filled with sweets and food and good company. :) Lots of good food and good company and laughter, and even an impromptu sing-along with the piano (who says we need the best karaoke machine to sing our hearts out?). Best. Weekend. Ever. :)
Most memorable moment: Too many! But if I had to choose only one? The Quiz Night. Loved the quiz night. It was so quizzing people with their TFG knowledge, and it was so fun preparing the questions because it gave us permission to stalk all around the threads and walk down memory lane. :)
It’s been a very, very good year for our book club, and I am really, really excited to see what’s in store for us next year. Like what I told everyone in my thank you message: joining this group was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life (as I’ve said several times), and I have found some of my best and closest friends in this group. :)
Edited to add: *puts moderator hat on* To everyone who’s been a part of TFG’s 2012: thank you. You made this year wonderful, and whether we got to talk once or twice in person or online, I am really, really grateful for you. You’ve been a blessing to the club, and I hope to see you guys again next year. :) I am really and truly honored to be one of your moderators. :)
So here’s to 2012. And here’s another for 2013. Have a very merry (TFG) Christmas, everyone!