It was Lebanese bibliophile community The Cube's first anniversary last night and many people did gather at charming little drinking spot Knock On Wood in funky Hamra for a meet-up, book-swap and readings from myself and Lebanese poet and writer Pascal Assaf.
I gave a quick talk about how publishing works and why I spent years banging my head against the brick wall of conventional publishing before taking matters into my own hands, then gave a reading from the book (the scene where Aisha takes Paul house hunting). Standing around chatting afterwards was a pleasure that segued nicely into a slightly later evening than I had planned as a number of reprobates from Dubai visiting for ArabNet joined us and proceeded to demonstrate quite how much fun Hamra can be.
Coincidentally, The Cube's review of Olives - A Violent Romance went up yesterday as well.
A great big thank you from the bottom of my heart to the Cube Crowd - lovely people with a passion for reading they share on the website and in their meetings, which manage to circumvent the 'traditional' book club format of 'dicatating' what people should read for each meeting.
And now it' off to Librairie El Bourj in Beirut's Place Des Martyrs for the 'official launch' of Olives in Lebanon. There's been quite a bit of interest in the book, particularly in face of the little controversies around the book's content, each of which is no controversy at all, but people do love a little drama, don't they?