Book Club

The tower at the centre(ish) of UCL.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.

Go there now, and look at the comic a post or two down, for UK readers it’ll ring a few bells.

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…

UPDATE: Actually I was at Imperial College London not UCL. At least I didn't confuse it with UCLH.

19 thoughts on “Book Club”

  1. “Although there is the Great Britain Beer Festival coming up soon, and I do have that Wednesday off”I guess this means you won't be meeting up with me and the guys on the Friday then.


  2. Thats Imperial College London [], I assume you meant there and not University College London, as you have a picture up of the Queen's Tower at IC…. You won't be too popular for confusing the two. Not that I can talk, technically I'm studying at both!Did the medical students offer to take you to the Reynolds Bar at Charing Cross Hospital? Given it was obviously named after you *cough*, shame on them if they didn't….

    Kim, a lurker and IC/UCL postgrad

  3. Can't say I was expecting to find a picture of the Queen's tower here, but it was a nice surprise! (Even when attributed to the Godless institue on Gower Street…)Thanks for the blog; I really enjoy it.

  4. Your writing is much better than you think.Not surprising that with all the excitement you've forgotten to mention your second blogiversary – happy blogiversary for last Friday!

  5. Erm……oops?

    You should see how confused I get between UCL and UCH without adding in ICL.

    And OpenTech was inside the Reynolds building, and I did indeed spend a *small* amount of time at the bar.

  6. Sorry mate, but I'm working on Friday, so I have to go on Wednesday and *ahem* recover on Thursday before starting work on Friday morning.Otherwise I would.

  7. Hiya,Started reading your blog at work because I was bored, and it is one of the few websites I can access from here. Perhaps, a month ago? Anyway. I'm obsessive. Read from the beginning.

    And I made it to the present day!

    I felt like I needed to share that achievement…

    I like your blog. It makes me miss studying.

    Maybe I should backtrack and tell you that I'm a medical student in Perth, Western Australia, and having completed 4 years of the 6 year course, decided to take a year break and travel around Europe.

    Then I realised I didn't have any money. So I'm living and working in Dublin (typing/admin in the radiology department of a children's hospital), while saving the money to travel to the continent every month or so.

    I thought I'd enjoy the break, but I miss seeing patients, and studying medicine, and all that stuff (man, I'm sad). Searched for medical blogs (no, I didn't search for womble porn) and found this.

    So.. thankyou for keeping me amused and giving me my fix of stories about patients.

    May the blogging continue!

    (Sorry for the rather disjointed way I wrote this, I hope you can understand it. People keep coming into my office expecting me to do work, pfft, so it took me half an hour to type this.)


  8. wow, get you with the rich and varied lifestyle… what *don't* you do? Reminds me of a mug I saw around mother's day that had written all around it “taxi driver, short-order cook, counsellor, peacekeeper, financial adviser, social secretary, mind-reader, dietician, entertainments organiser, encyclopedia…”

  9. Er….and what about the documentary idea?!! It still needs/should be made/is receiving alot of interest. Maybe e mail me when you get a chance. Cheers.

  10. I only found 158 uses of”the first rule of” +”is not to talk about”

    as a joke on Google, not 207.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *