The first rule of Book Club is not to talk about Book Club.
Person #207 to use this ‘joke’ according to Google.
Some time ago I was asked by the strangely named, but very lovely, Giskin Day to come and have a chat with her medical humanities book club about Safelight by Shannon Burke. So I read it yesterday (and finished it in the bath today) and found myself in West London in University College London with a glass of wine and some depressingly young looking medical students.
Everyone was really nice, even though I wasn’t too impressed with the book itself. Partly technical – Eyes ‘bulging out’ after hanging for three weeks in a fly filled room when there wouldn’t be any eyes left. And partly because of the style of the writing – lots of short vignettes written in a very detached way, nothing flowing very well, and one of the cheesiest end lines of any book I’ve read.
And I know I’m not a great writer myself, glass houses, stones, and all that notwithstanding.
So I had a nice little chat, and discovered that the department has a blog! It’s an interesting one, I’d describe it as the ‘Boing Boing’ of medical humanities.
Asked what advice to give to the medical students, my reply was to find a good nurse, and listen to them, as they are the ones who have been working the job day in and day out for years.
One of them mentioned that the vignettes in the book are a bit like blog posts, and was I going to write a book? I did a bit of hand waving on the subject…maybe if some publishing houses started knocking on my door I’d do it, otherwise it’s a lot of work for something that no one would want to publish.
So, this week I’ve spoken at OpenTech, been on the BBC website, and been a guest at a Book Club. On Friday it all settles back to normal when I start the first of four nightshifts, and it’ll give my ego a chance to deflate as I wade through the vomit and blood of East London.
Although there is the Great Britain Beer Festival coming up soon, and I do have that Wednesday off…