Notes on a Luncheon

Ladies who lunch: 13 of the The Montreal Book Bloggers (names will follow)

The luncheon yesterday with the Montreal Book Bloggers was quite fun. There were thirteen of us; big surprise… all women! We started with the best part: trading books (see the dozen I brought home below). It took us a while to settle down with newcomers like myself getting acquainted with the members of the group who were able to attend, then there was comparison shopping of e-readers something I haven’t yet seriously considered (until I received a copy of War and Peace earlier in the week.) There was a big group of Japanese tourists seated just behind us who kept staring and were obviously wondering what the heck was going on with us milling around with piles of books multiplying on our long line of tables. One Japanese woman asked me what we were doing and were we book sellers? I tried to explain to her what we were about, but I don’t think she quite got it, so I summed it up with “We’re all just crazy about books”, which she seemed to think was very strange. We had… well lunch, obviously, chatted a lot about books (duh!) and time flew. After 2-3 hours, we made our way to Indigo, our big box Canadian bookstore, which was, not coincidentally, practically across the street. We had a look at the sales section, where I picked up the only book I actually paid for, the Sarah Dunant, and also swung by the Graphic Novels section which was filled with plenty of tempting treats—I discovered two books by Lynda Barry—who is, according to Wikipedia “One of the most successful non-mainstream American cartoonists”. One of the two titles was called What It Is, about which Wikipedia says: “What It Is (2008) is a graphic novel that is part memoir, part collage and part workbook in which Barry instructs her readers in methods to open up their own creativity.” The other, published in 2010 is called Picture This: The Near-sighted Monkey Book. Both show amazing creativity and a very unique mix of styles and influences that show the artist behind the cartoonist. I very nearly, against my better judgment purchased them online when I got home, but then checked out the library catalogue and found they had them both, so have done the reasonable thing and reserved them. Which is not to say I won’t end up purchasing them anyway but whatever the case, I will of course show as well as tell when the time comes.

I should point out that this was the very first time for me seeing people in RL (‘real life’) that I’ve met via online book-related sites (dating sites, well… that’s a thing of the past now, thank heavens.) Nice bunch of ladies too.

Here are the books I brought home:

When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson (Audiobook)
Peony in Love by Lisa See
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
The Gendarme by Mark T. Mustian
Master Georgie by Beryl Bainbridge
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton
Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant
Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh


8 thoughts on “Notes on a Luncheon

  1. Hope you don’t mind that I nabbed the pic the waitress took with your phone for my post too. I’m still haven’t issues with uploading photos from my camera. :(

    Hope you manage to get your hands on Barry’s books!

    • Of course I don’t mind at all! Just too bad it’s such a terrible picture. I want to steal you list of names and corresponding blogs, but it won’t all fit into the little box I’ve got reserved for that purpose. I’ll figure something out.

      Lynda Barry: I put both books in my shopping cart on ChaptersIndigo, then thought to check out the library, where, sure enough, they had both books, so have reserved them. Much more reasonable for now.

      • Hmm, I may have to check out that second Lynda Barry book too. Have you gotten them yet?

      • Yes! I got both of them checked out from the library. Haven’t had a chance to look at them yet, but I look forward to it. :-)

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