Booking Through Thursday, and May Book Club Selection!

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!

Published in: on May 1, 2008 at 3:09 pm  Comments (15)  

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15 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Oh, cool!! This is great. I have to admit that I had selfish reasons for suggesting this book.. I have to read it anyway for my own (real life) book club (our discussion is on June 8). So I’ll be killing 2 birds with one stone. One good thing- I can probably entice some of my book club members (12 of us) to swing by here and comment on Year of Wonders once the discussion starts.

    Geraldine Brooks also wrote “March”, about the dad in the Little Women stories. I haven’t read it yet but I’ve heard good things!

  2. I really like the idea of leaving books behind – in theory. In reality, I have a difficult time letting books go, even those I don’t intend to read again. I need to work on that.


  3. Hey Becca, I randomly came across a review of Year of Wonders on another blog today (serendipity?) Here’s the link:

  4. Ha, that’s neat that you switched books with a fellow traveler. It’s something I’d never think of, but it definitely appeals to the bookcrosser in me. I read Year of Wonders a summer or few ago – it’s an excellent read – hope you enjoy it!

  5. You’re the first Becca I’ve met online! Yea! 🙂

    The Year of Wonders is a fantastic read!

    I like the idea of leaving the books in the airplane. Have you visited It’s a fun site.

  6. Lisa: Thanks so much for the link and for the suggestion! I’m guilty of trying to convince my real-life book club to adopt my online book club books too. It’s just hard to add anotehr “required” book to the list (as if any of them are required, haha).

    CJ: I have a lot of friends who think I’m crazy because I have the ability to give away my much-loved books. Once I gave up my Roald Dahl collection and John Grisham hardcovers, there was no turning back. I give ’em all away now. I like the space!

    Megan: Thanks so much for the comment! Glad to hear you liked it.

    Becca: Yeah, I learned about book crossing right after that trip. I joined it and even found a couple of book crossing books, but I’ve never had a computer handy when I’ve had the urge to abandon a book …

  7. Oh, I loved Year of Wonders! It wasn’t a perfect book, but it was perfectly lovely.

    Happy reading and have fun with the discussion!

  8. I just started Year of Wonder last night. So far it is very good. I hope to finish it tonight if I don’t fall asleep! This is the first book I have read by Geraldine Brooks and am now hooked. I may have to run out tomorrow to buy March.

  9. Yeah I have a tendency to buy books at the airport as well. And I don’t buy tons of books these days. I might settle for a Reader’s Digest though so that if I get really tired, I can use less brain power.

  10. Thanks for the great suggestion! I ordered this from and it’s on the way to me now. I’d love to be part of the online discussion!

  11. Heather: I’m so glad to have more participants! I can’t wait to see how it goes next month.

  12. I heard about this from Lisa at Books on the Brain and wandered over. I read Year of Wonders a few years ago, but would still like to participate in the online discussion and possibly future dicussions. This is my first time to your blog and I wanted to compliment you on the layout and the content.

  13. Hi Beastmomma! It’s so good to have you over here at my blog. I’ve seen you quite a bit around the blogsphere so I feel honored to have you. I’m looking forward to the monthly discussion! It should be a good one this time around.

  14. Sacramento?? Oh, man, I’m in Santa Rosa. I’d be willing to meet you half way at some point. I’m getting married June 7th, so maybe sometime after that?

  15. Oh, super fun! I’d love to meet another book blogger in real life! And I DEF wouldn’t mind driving out to wine country either 😉

    Have a fab wedding! And we’ll talk after about a meetup!

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