Call for Jury Duty – a Good Time to Read


Today I sat in the Jury Duty Waiting Room all day. When we first arrived we were told the courts have a full docket and we were all fairly certain to go to some courtroom for the day. But that didn’t happen. I sat reading Sheri S. Tepper’s new novel The Margarets. At lunch I walked down the street about 7 blocks to a favorite used bookstore in downtown San Diego, Wahrenbrock’s Book House, and bought a 20 year old copy of Kurt Vonnegut’s Bluebeard to read for the August Book Club meeting.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldThis afternoon I got into a conversation with a man who belongs to a different book club. He pulled out The Great Gatsby, the book he is reading. We had a great conversation about what we had read for our different clubs. His concentrates on the classics a la the old Great Books book discussions. I already told you about what mine reads. Around 2:30 about half the room was still there. Only 5 or so jury panels had been called. But we were sent home. I guess the other trials couldn’t come to enough agreement to get a jury in the room.

The Fifth Sacred Thing by StarhawkBefore jury duty, I finished an interesting young adult urban fantasy novel, The City Not Long After, by Pat Murphy. In a post plague world, the city of San Francisco protects itself and its artists’ colony from invasion. I couldn’t help compare it to Starhawk’s Fifth Sacred Thing. Both novels deal with approximately the same generation of older people. Both have San Francisco residents sustaining their community without outside help. Both have military type invaders who want to take the city. But the two novels are very different in tone and solution. Both give a fascinating look into a post-apocalyptic world and the reason for the fall.

For you teachers, I have added a review of a book my friend Molly highly recommends. Classroom Under Construction by Rich Grimes is a book that can help teachers do their job effectively. She says she plans to give copies of it to her student teachers.