Below is my note recently sent to the Seattle Men’s Book Club advocating to review this book this April 2024.

I had volunteered to host the club’s January meeting next Monday, but have bowed out because I decided to take a woodworking class which conflicts. Enjoy!

Gentleman –

I have received the Draft 2024 Selections list and wanting to (a) express my contrition for pulling out on hosting this month’s meeting; (b) soon reschedule in lieu; and (c) host the month that we will be reviewing my favorite book – The Ox-Bow Incident …

I would like to propose hosting review of Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s “The Ox-Bow Incident” on Monday, April 15.

April’s draft book selection is The Coming Wave by Mustafa Suleyman (320 pages).

That’s a compelling choice because big changes happen in the Spring … and it would be able to think ahead about the future implications of AI.

Yet, I would argue that Tilburg’s classic (288 pages) is an even better choice for April this year.

The book explores “mob justice” and I have come to understand it as the crucifix story provided in the form of a western.

Notably, “The Ox-Bow Incident” was published in 1940 and demonstrated the need for people not to get caught up taking on the passions of the crowd … as was the case in Germany.

I believe that the timeless message of stopping to think as to what is the truth, instead of just allowing the crowd to passionately sway opinions, would be a great idea to discuss well ahead of the election season.

As a final not incidental aside, our discussion date would fall in between Easter (March 31) and Passover (April 22), so though I am a gentile … I would like to attempt to make our meal something on the order of a seder – and in doing so remember that the Last Super was the Passover Seder.

Regarding dinner preparations, I would be willing to take advice. If my enthusiasm is misguided, please advise … we may in addition/in lieu consider how to make the meal suitable for review of a Western novel.

Perhaps you all could discuss this on Monday when you meet and advise if my offer is acceptable.

Sincerely, BZ/JUSTICE SMILES, pllc