When I fly I often play a little game. I don’t pack a book in my carry-on bag but, instead, wait to see what I can find for reading material at the airport shops. I know, I know — for a book-a-holic this sounds like a risky approach to travel. The fun part, however, is that by doing this I’ve often come across books I wouldn’t think to look for in larger, more diverse bookstores. And for all the flying I’ve done in the past few years there was only one time where I just couldn’t bring myself to buy any of the books for sale in the airport.
On my recent trip to Boston I played this game and bought a book at the Buffalo airport. I bought Lisa Genova’s debut novel, Still Alice. I’m not sure if it was the striking cover design or the fact that the book was set in the location I was about to visit, but something made this book jump out at me from all of the others that day. I hadn’t heard of this book before and, like all books bought while playing the airport book game, I had no idea if it would be a waste of money and time or not. As it turned out, I really liked this book. I finished it a few days ago and am still thinking about it (always a sign of a good book!). I don’t want to give away too much, but the novel is about a Harvard professor who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. While, of course, this subject matter means that the book does have some heart-breaking scenes, the story is not as bleak or depressing as it might first sound. In fact, I found myself looking forward to getting back to the book each evening as I wanted to know more about the characters and how they were learning to live with this major change in their lives. Quite a compelling read!