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Mini Max

Expo 58 Exposed

One of the nice things about Crystal Palace is local indie bookshop The Bookseller Crow on the Hill, promoter of literature and general force for good. (Nearby is a reptile and snake shop with the baffling slogan 'More Balls Than Most'.) The Crow's last email newsletter mentioned that the Book Club would be discussing Jonathan Coe's Expo 58 on April 1st, and since I'd read it very recently (on the Eurostar to Brussels, no less!) I thought I'd go along.

I arrived to find that a) everybody except me seemed to know each other, and b) everybody except me had brought a bottle of wine. Fortunately b) helped me cope with a), and I felt qualified to voice my opinion. I could even get a word in edgeways, so considerate was the company.

A couple of those present had worked in the Civil Service, and several were old enough to recollect the era of the novel, so the discussion was interesting and soon veered on to social mores of the 1960s and when exactly flavoured crisps began to appear ("Smokey bacon is a very 80s flavour"). Lots of hands went up when we were asked who had actually visited the Atomium, and I shared my story of checking out the exhibition about the 1958 World's Fair with the book fresh in my mind.

I'll definitely go along again, though only if I've read the book in question. Next up is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, of which I know nothing.
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Oh, looks like a nice place. Have you decided what brand of wine you'll be bringing next time? ;)
Whatever's on offer on the day, I suspect!
A lovely bookshop that I keep meaning to visit more frequently.
The reptile+fish shop is excellent, though more reptiles these days as demand for fish declines. I hope to have a new tank by the end of the year.

Will look out for the Expo 58 book.
I walked past the reptile shop on Saturday and overheard a woman outside on the phone ask "What size snake did you want, Jessica?" o.O

I really like Jonathan Coe! He was unlikely to fail in my book with a retro novel about spies.
You've encapsulated the essence of a real bookshop so beautifully here; it hardly matters what was going on, but that the people involved were utterly drenched in it. ^_^
Yes, and the passion for books was palpable!