Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Club : Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wa barakatuh...

As I mentioned before, the Outpost ladies came up with few activities to keep us occupied in the camp. An email came in last week to remind us on the next few week's activities. There was a planned book club session. I emailed them back to get the details, it turns out I missed out the earlier email, that gives the book details that is up for discussion.

After searching high and low, I finally get myself an e-copy of the book. (Lemah nak baca...I am an old fashion book reader, I need the hard copy). Nonetheless, I am making an effort to blend in. I am an introvert in many sense, and now, living in the guest house, I am even more isolated from the rest of the community. These kind of activities will help me a bit. Besides, its important for me to build rapport with the ladies. I will not be there in most of their activities on day time, hence I have to at least show up once in a while.

I didn't even finish the book, I only managed to read some reviews online and with the very limited knowledge and opinion of the book, there I was, attending my first ever book club meeting. Only the 'mat saleh' ladies showed up. I kinda guessed so. The Asian ladies are not really into these kind of things.

The discussion went well, they all have rounds and rounds of wine, vodka and soft drinks. Me? I had nothing..hehehe... I was there to observe the discussion, I didn't even contribute. I came clean much earlier that I have not finished the book yet, and I have not read that much yet. Its interesting on how they analyze the book. Few of the ladies are teachers, and they obviously has seen enough of the social issue where they came from. My take away from the session.
  1. Book club is a legit session to speculate, delve on other's life and judge on how a certain things should be. We do this everyday, its called gossip...hahaha....but the beauty of a book club is, you are not actually talking about a real person, its just the character from the book that was put under scrutiny.
  2. Moving forward, I would also use this session to practice my communication skill. I am intimidated by the 'mat saleh'. They are speaking in their mother tongue, and I have to step up. At the office I am interfacing too much with the locals, so much so, I can sense that my English is deteriorating, badly. Their use of grammar is poor, and sooner or later, I would go down to that level and I don't like that, therefore, I have to do something. It will be a monthly affair, but at least I will spend more time to prepare and up my game.
  3. The club is a way for me to expose myself to other people's culture and get to know other people. As I mentioned, the Asian ladies, are not into this. My session with them revolves around recipes, home care, which is nothing wrong, but sort of limited to a certain topic only. 

About the book, having read only the reviews, and coming out from the book club meeting, I would definitely try to finish it. The fiction is based on actual issue that happens in US circa 1920s-1970s. Its a heavy topic but according to the ladies, its an easy read. We'll see how I will survive.....hahaha. Till then, wassalam.....

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“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you." ~ William Arthur Ward...

So what say you? ;)