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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

David Is Doing My Homework!


Upright, angled, falling and on the ground

Book clubs, reading groups—call them what you will, they tend to become (especially the smaller ones, I’m sure) very tight-knit little fellowships as years go by. The reading group I’ve been in the longest—I’d say it’s been at least six years, maybe more, that we’ve been getting together as time permits—meets only five times a year. There are five of us in it (all women), and busy schedules make even our five meetings difficult to schedule, but we persevere, and so it happens that sometimes we meet even when all five of us have not completed the book under discussion. Not reading the whole book? Isn’t that heresy?

Here I must say, not so much boasting of a virtue as admitting to a compulsion, that so far in our history I have always come to meetings having started at the beginning and made my way completely through the book in question, but my perfect record is headed for the dustbin this month. I have been so busy with Dante and with book reviews and with proof-reading and with being outdoors (both with Sarah and without), keeping up with multiple blogs and wrapping up year-end bookkeeping, that when, of three possible dates for us to meet, the very earliest was fixed upon (not my preference, you may be sure!), my heart sank. “I’ll do my best” was all I could promise.

My outdoor companion, always ready to go
Then on Monday, having read only the first three pages, I handed David the book so he would have something to read while I visited a friend in the hospital. I told him he would find the story “gripping.” Understatement! When I got back to the car I don’t think he’d even realized I’d been gone, and he has been engrossed in his reading ever since. Now and then he puts down the book to give me a report on what is happening “now” to the main character. He has also been telling all his friends about this fabulous book.

What can I say in my own defense? David is not writing a paper for me. (If he wrote anything I would publish it here under his name, not mine.) He won’t be taking a test for me. (There is no test, or I would be reading the book right this minute!) And, really, would it not be unkind to separate him from a story he is enjoying so very much, just so I can complete an “assignment”?

Don’t you want to know what the book is? It is Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. And there’s another copy at my bookstore in Northport, if Bruce didn’t make off with it today after David’s rave review!

Sarah in the late afternoon sunshine

5 comments:

Dawn said...

Love when that happens, when you get so engrossed in a book that you lose all track of everything else.

Gerry said...

I think David should go to this particular meeting of the book group.

I think it is good to be completely engaged with a work of literature, or any of the other arts for that matter. It's the closest we come to truly comprehending a perspective that is not our own.

I think Sarah is quite beautiful.

P. J. Grath said...

I thought he should go in my place. Two group members thought he should come with me. He thinks I should read the book.

Sarah has no idea how beautiful she is!

Kathy said...

I would like to read that book! We have had many book club meetings where half or so of the club has not finished (or started) the book. Unfortunately, that's why we're more of a social club than a book club...

P. J. Grath said...

It seems to me, offhand, that the smaller the group, the stronger the pressure on everyone to finish the book. There is always a social aspect, I think, but both the small groups I'm in formed out of very strong reading intentions, and we've stuck to them.

And now I HAVEN'T YET READ THE BOOK! I think I will devote the entire day Sunday to seeing how much of it I can devour before our meeting! David has been officially invited to the meeting (7 p.m.) and is mulling over the invitation but won't yet commit. Tick-tock, tick-tock....