That’s right. There’s only one week to go until our Bridging Cultural Gaps Book Club [Thursday, April 13, from 7:30-9:00 p.m. at the Hyattsville (MD) Municipal Building, 4310 Gallatin Street]. The BCGBC was founded to build community by exploring cultural differences through literature and open conversation. All are welcome.
This time we will discuss a new novel called Masjid Morning, written by Richard Morris, a local author. Kirkus Reviews has just chosen it “as one of the 35 reviews in the Indie [independent publishers] section of the magazine [Kirkus Reviews 4/1/17 Issue, page 157] which is sent out to over 5,200 industry professionals (librarians, distributors, publishers, agents, etc.). Less than 10% of our Indie reviews are chosen for this.”
But now, the book club pressure is on. Some people have moved the book to the top of their stack and are looking over it as they gaze out the window, as opposed to looking it over or overlooking it. Some have laid down the books they are simultaneously reading for other book clubs until they read Masjid Morning, re-prioritizing their work so they can fulfill their obligations and responsibilities to their BCGBC members. Some are still waiting for their book in the mail or have decided to order the electronic version so they can start reading IMMEDIATELY.
Others are juggling their work and family activity schedules, to make time. Some have even called in sick, but sent their kids to school so they wouldn’t be bothered, in order to have time to read. Some are desperately searching the Internet for Spark Notes or Cliff Notes. Others have decided they need only read the first and last chapter and some online reviews. Still others have succumbed to the fantasy that they will benefit as much by hearing the discussion at the meeting as they would if they had read the book.
Some have begun suggesting to the other members that we read only half the book for this meeting, and half for the next. One suggested we read one-fifth each time, so we can discuss the book in depth. One couple announced that a sudden family funeral will prevent them from attending. But other unflinching members are losing sleep, reading late into the night, under the covers by flashlight so not to disturb their bed-mate.
Most of the above is FICTION, of course. We don’t have THAT many members in the club. I, of course, have the luxury of skimming this deathless prose, since I am the AUTHOR. (All I have to do is get ready to field their probing, poking questions — which I’m sure will be enlightening.)