Sunday, June 30, 2013

Wherein the book club talked about books that talk about music

This rainy weekend, the book club gathered once again for our monthly book discussion. This meet-up differed from our recent ones, as we discussed two books which had music as their themes. For July, the books chosen were Salingkit: A 1986 Diary by Cyan Abad-Jugo and Talking to Girls about Duran Duran by Rob Sheffield.

Now it's no secret that I don't have love for new wave music of the 80s, which the 2 books heavily touched on. Still, I finished the books. I've read a lot of books that have themes I didn't particularly like, but I ended up enjoying them. But Salingkit and TtGaDD, my goodness, I found them terrible.

I loved the venue of the discussion though—Commune. It's a very artsy place in the central business district of Makati that serves good food. It's the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon just reading or staring at the people passing by.

One of the walls of Commune
They have books! Woot woot!
I see Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon, which is one of my favorite travel books.
Several Flippers are so into the 80s. This discussion was therefore an opportunity to dress up once again. Because, you know, we do love our costumes.

The 80s were indeed a decade of excess. Who can ever forget the big hair (on both men and women), shoulder pads that extend to the heavens, metallic accessories, over-the-top hairstyles, and what-have-you. It was a very fun decade, yes? It didn't take itself too seriously.

Shani and Gege dressed up as the Tears for Fears duo.
Marie came as an 80s rocker chick.
She won best in costume!
R. even had a rainbow mohawk wig.
Before we went to the discussion proper, Vlad the moderator invited this theater actress for an interpretative reading of song lyrics. The activity was a great way to emphasize the poetry of the lyrics of songs. I loved her reading of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now."

She's so fabulous and talented.
Life is unfair.
The 80s is a significant period in Philippine history. During 1986, People Power happened. Marcos, the decades-long dictator, was exiled to Hawaii with his family. Cory Aquino was the person whom people believe will bring about much needed change. People became hopeful once again during the 2nd half of the decade.

The discussion moderator asked Flippers to bring People Power paraphernalia to show to the group. We were all awed by the items brought by two members.

Gege showing her husband's collection of People Power paraphernalia
Her husband had lots of news clippings and election-related items.
Mike brought his first edition hardcover on People Power.
The discussion was very spirited, especially since a lot of Flippers love new wave music. Also, a few of us were already children during the 1986 People Power revolution. We talked about music too—our favorite music genres, how the music theme influenced our liking of the 2 books, etc.

Several of us were highly critical of Salingkit and TtGaDD though. I found the books so disappointing. (I wrote my thoughts on Salingkit earlier.) The discussion was very stimulating however. And I admire how Flippers can shift from fluff to profound conversations.

One of the many light-hearted moments during the discussion
I believe we were talking about our respective ages.
Best book club ever!
To be honest, I was apprehensive to show up for this month's event. My frustration and non-love for Salingkit and Talking to Girls about Duran Duran were things I felt I didn't want to share. I wouldn't want to railroad the discussion, much less turn it into my own personal rant fest.

A few friends convinced me to attend though, saying that it would be nice to have a balanced conversation of the 2 books. Besides, I missed last month's book discussion so it would be good to reconnect with fellow bibliophiles.

So it's true: No matter how bad the books are, you can still have great conversations about them!

Game face!
All photos, except the first one, were taken by R., who has a huge love for the 80s and for new wave music.


Monique said...

LOL at the last photo! :))

I don't particularly love the 80's (like you, I was already a child during this decade, too) but I don't hate it, either. But that decade had its own identity, so it's fun to talk about it from time to time. :)

Peter S. said...

Hehehehehe. I was just hamming it up! I agree with you -- it really was a fun decade.

Kaz said...

Hi Peter,

Sounds like an interesting session for the book group!

Completely off-topic, and I don't know if you follow this blog, but I'm sending you the link cos I just KNOW how much Penguin envy it will create for you - and the pics are SO pretty...



Peter S. said...

Hi, Kaz! Thanks for the link! I'll check it out!