Meeting People Is Easy when you're reading Paul Wells in public...
If you read Right Side Up -- Maclean's columnist Paul Wells' account of the rise of Stephen Harper and the fall of Paul Martin -- while eating pizza in London, strangers will talk to you. This has happened 100% of the times I have brought it out with me to consume a pie of an evening.
The first time, in a Pizza Express (nice restaurant chain even though it sounds like a fast-food chain) in Wapping, a middle-aged woman came over with a pen and paper and said, "What book is so good that you didn't look up once despite being surrounding by screaming children?"
I said, "Uh, you won't be interested. It's a book about Canadian politics."
"Oh." But she still insisted on getting the title. We chatted a bit; it was pleasant.
That was two weeks ago. Tonight (I'm a slow reader and I got caught up in High Fidelity; sue me), I was at La Porchetta, a friendly joint near by flat with cartoon pigs in the window, and once again engrossed in Right Side Up. A man named Pete, tipsy as all Londoners are if they're out after 9 p.m., leaned over and asked me what I was reading while his girlfriend was in the bog (that's washroom to you, Canadians). Anyway, said girlfriend, it turned out, was a) named Belinda, and b) from near Ottawa. Soon, I was invited out for a drink at this amazing pub, The Faltering Fullback, that's quite near where I live, but hidden away on a side street. New friends... for an evening anyway.
That's all I have to say about the book at the moment. I'll reserve judgement until it's finished. I'm still enjoying it by page 248, mind.