One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from the movie The Purple Rose of Cairo, in which Mia Farrow’s character falls in love with a man on the movie screen, a man who steps down out of the film to be with her. When referencing her new love, she concedes “He’s fictional, but you can’t have everything.” I write this to explain my regular use of Fictional in the themes we use for Book Club. We read non-fiction as well, but as in the case of Fictional Airlines, our travels are fictional. On the front of the airline ticket holder for our 2014 booklist I explained:
At Fictional Airlines, we don’t hire expensive pilots, flight attendants or ground crew – – so we can pass the savings along to you. We don’t believe in schedules or ETA’s. We think you should decide when or even if, you want to arrive. We let you choose your seat as well as the seat’s design – – instead of reclining a measly inch or two, heck, why not a bed? We don’t think you should eat a tiny bag of peanuts, if you can finish off the mac and cheese from last night. Our travel is fictional, and we’re OK with that.
The books we chose for 2014 were set in locations from around the world: the Hawiian island of Moloka’i; Cartagena, Colombia; Dublin, Ireland; Berlin, Germany; King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia; Eldar and Grozny, Chechnya; Toronto, Canada; Cornwall, England; Fox Corner in the English Countryside and London, England; Kilgali, Rwanda; Mumbai, India and various cities in the U.S., including Gravesend, New Hampshire. So, it made sense, to me, to break from the traditional bookmarks I’d been printing for the girls and give them an airline ticket.
Fictional Airlines Book List
January: Moloka’i by Alan Brennert.
February: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
March: Holy Orders by Benjamin Black
April: In The Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson.
May: A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggars.
June: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra.
July: Birds of a Lesser Paradise by Megan Mayhew Bergman
August: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
September: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
October: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
November: Baking Cakes in Kilgali by Gaile Parkin
December: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo