The MARTA Book Club is a loose, very loose, confederation of people who read while riding the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority’s public transportation. There are no meeting times, no organization, no t-shirts, and no special fares. Very convenient. The only requirement to be a member of the MARTA Book Club is to read a book while riding public transportation. Newspapers do not qualify.
What We Are Reading: Of course, we have no way of knowing what EVERYONE is reading, but here’s a sample observed over the last month:
The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown (3 spottings). Not unexpected since advertisements are all over Kroger shopping kiosks.
State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey. The book’s premise is 50 different writers writing about 50 different states. Impressive since it is such a thick book to carry around.
The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. Published in 1978, it was on the bestseller list for about a gazillion years. (Perhaps mistaken for a travel guide.)
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. Can’t help notice Chip Kidd book cover art,
Exodus by Leon Uris. First published in 1958.
Traffickers by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV.
The Killing Hour by Lisa Gardner
Faceless by Debra Webb
The Throne of Bones by Brian McNaughton
Islam in Focus by Hammudah Abd Al-Ati
Granta: The Magazine of New Writing, Issue 106 – Not really a book, but a literary magazine. Includes one of those standard my-immigrant-mother-is-driving-me-crazy stories from Ha Jin. Also includes a very good short story from Amy Bloom, but the best piece is Nicola Barker’s “For the Exclusive Attn of Ms Linda Withycombe. This lengthy British humor piece is a 25 page letter of a man complaining to the authorities about a woman who collects waste from offending dog walkers and then hangs the plastic bags of feces in trees.
Oedipus Cadet by Willie Smith. Written in 1990, Oedipus Cadet is the story of a middle school boy Randy Cruikshank who wrestles with puberty while dealing with a difficult home life. Set in 1957, Randy fantasizes about being a World War II pilot and sees his father as Adolf Hitler.
What members thought: Readers are encouraged to keep their thoughts (and eyes) to themselves. No time is wasted talking about books when you could be reading.
Next assignment: Keep reading and get to work on time.