Q: “Quick! It’s an emergency! You just got an urgent call about a family emergency and had to rush to the airport with barely time to grab your wallet and your passport. But now, you’re stuck at the airport with nothing to read. What do you do??

And, no, you did NOT have time to grab your bookbag, or the book next to your bed. You were . . . grocery shopping when you got the call and have nothing with you but your wallet and your passport (which you fortuitously brought with you in case they asked for ID in the ethnic food aisle). This is hypothetical, remember….”

A: Heh. There have definitely been times when I’ve gotten to the airport without a book, but mostly because I consider the time I spend waiting for a plane as my “browsing” time. I say “browsing” because I usually end up buying at least three books (mostly because there are usually deals, but also because I can never decide on just one). Past airport buys have included Three Junes, The Da Vinci Code, Shopaholic and Harry Potter. I loved them all.

Also, if you have a super long flight and only one book to tide you over, you can always consider trading with the person next to you once they’ve finished what they’re reading. I did this once on a trip home from France. The woman next to me was flying home to Seattle from India and had been in transit for nearly 24 hours. As soon as she saw me turn the last page of my book and shut it, she asked me what it was about, then politely asked if I’d be willing to trade. I remember my book was The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella, but I can’t remember what I traded it for. Anyway, I usually leave finished books on the plane anyway. I figure the stewardesses or the next traveler could use some new reading material.

And NOW for our May book club selection!

This month our selection comes from LisaMM over at Books on the Brain. She suggested Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, and I was convinced because I find the plague to be a really interesting time period, I’m out of my own ideas, and she had the only suggestion. So thanks Lisa for throwing in your two cents. I’m really excited about this book because I probably wouldn’t have chosen it on my own, but it sounds like it will be really great. One of the things I love most about being a part of book club is reading new things that I probably wouldn’t otherwise pick up. And, as always, here is a short synopsis of the book from Amazon:

Geraldine Brooks’s Year of Wonders describes the 17th-century plague that is carried from London to a small Derbyshire village by an itinerant tailor. As villagers begin, one by one, to die, the rest face a choice: do they flee their village in hope of outrunning the plague or do they stay? The lord of the manor and his family pack up and leave. The rector, Michael Mompellion, argues forcefully that the villagers should stay put, isolate themselves from neighboring towns and villages, and prevent the contagion from spreading. His oratory wins the day and the village turns in on itself.

Cocooned from the outside world and ravaged by the disease, its inhabitants struggle to retain their humanity in the face of the disaster. The narrator, the young widow Anna Frith, is one of the few who succeeds. With Mompellion and his wife, Elinor, she tends to the dying and battles to prevent her fellow villagers from descending into drink, violence, and superstition. All is complicated by the intense, inexpressible feelings she develops for both the rector and his wife. Year of Wonders sometimes seems anachronistic as historical fiction; Anna and Mompellion occasionally appear to be modern sensibilities unaccountably transferred to 17th-century Derbyshire. However, there is no mistaking the power of Brooks’s imagination or the skill with which she constructs her story of ordinary people struggling to cope with extraordinary circumstances.

OK then, I hope to see more people at our online book discussion this month. It should be good! Also, if any of you are in the Sacramento area, let me know and we can plan a live book club meeting. Happy reading!

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