I attended the Helon Habila book reading this evening at Silverbird's Nu Metro bookstore. Or rather, I caught the tail-end of the Q and A. I sat the very back next to a crowd of people poring over the books on the shelf, deciding which ones to buy. Since I missed so much, of course I cannot do a blow-by-blow of the event. I haven't read either of Mr. Habila's books either, so I cannot write about them. However I purchased Waiting for an Angel, which the author signed and I look forward to the day when I will read it.
It felt like a long time since I'd been to a reading (could the last one have been Chimamanda's in January?). It was fun to sit in the midst of books, with people who like to read books and listen to people talk about books. In the brief time I was there, Helon Habila responded to all the audience questions with a quiet confidence (I think that's my favourite type of confidence. Hmmm, but 'quiet' as opposed to what? Showy confidence? Loud confidence? Does that even make any sense?).
I like the fact that he admitted that he likes books based on how interesting they are. He does not pay too much attention to genres. When a lady in the audience mentioned that she loved Coetzee's Disgrace (I think. I couldn't catch the author or the title), while her friend hated it and asked for his thoughts on the book (it felt almost like she was asking him to settle a disagreement between she and her friend), he politely shared his belief that what people like boils down to individual taste and preference. In short, we like what we like.