Thursday, January 29, 2015

January Book Review : Station Eleven

I've mentioned my book club on the blog from time-to-time and wrote a detailed post here. Our group just celebrated 13 years together and we have now read a total of 144 books. We have shared laughter and tears and everything in between!

Our January book was Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. 
The moment I finished it, I knew I had to share. 

I am a pretty fast reader and generally start most books within a week or so of our discussion so it's all still fresh in my mind. Well I didn't have to worry about finishing this one on time because I read it in one day! I was totally hooked on page one. There just weren't any good stopping points for me. I became completely lost in this book. I could see, hear, smell and feel every single page. It was almost like watching a movie. I could not put it down for more than a few minutes at a time!

Paraphrased from the author's website .....

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Within hours, a flu epidemic begins and the world as we know it begins to dissolve.

 Moving back and forth in time—from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as The Travelling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel vividly depicts life before and after the pandemic and charts the strange twists of fate that connect the main characters.

  Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it."

Okay, I know what you're thinking ... you want me to read a book about a flu epidemic that wipes out most of the world's population? How depressing is that!

That's exactly what I thought when a friend recommended this book to me. The words post-apocalyptic usually make my eyes glaze over. But that's the great thing about being in a book club. Sometimes you take a chance on a book you never would have picked on your own. And believe it or not, we've had some great discussions on books we really weren't too fond of!

In short ... our book club found Station Eleven to be beautifully written and provided us with hours of discussion. If the post-apocalyptic genre is your thing, this book is really probably too mild for you. But it was perfect for us. It took us out of our comfort zone just enough. We loved the way the connections between the characters unfolded and the importance of art and culture in survival. It also made us think about all the things that we find so important in our world today. I could go on and on. But most importantly for me, I cared about the characters and I know they will stay with me for a long time to come!

And funny thing ... my favorite spot to read is a big comfy leather chair in my sunroom. Last week I shared my winter mantel on a snowy day. I actually read this book on the same day I took the pictures for that post. The book opens during a snowstorm and I read it during a snowstorm. Every time I looked up from my book, I saw the snow. Talk about a perfect book for a perfect day!

Our next book pick is The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. Feel free to read along with us. If you're interested, I'll let you know what we think at the end of February!

And if you have any book recommendations for us, we'd love to hear!


Our Pinteresting Family said...

This sounds like a fascinating read. I put it on my kindle wish list. Hope to read it soon.

the cape on the corner said...

i'm going to have to try this one, then. i've seen it on so many lists, but each time i read about it, i'm like...yeahhhhh...i don't know. but now, maybe!

i just read some really good ones, the good girl, by mary kubica, and that night by chevy stevens. they were both sort of gone girl-esque, twisty easy reads.

Laurel Stephens said...

I just finished my last book last night, so your timing is perfect. Immediately after reading your review I had this book delivered to my Kindle. I can't wait to start it tonight! I loved seeing your reading chair. It's like mine, only your view is better. Have a great weekend, and happy reading!

Cassie Bustamante said...

it sounds very interesting!!!! i will have to remember this!

Unknown said...

I will have to pick up this book. I read a lot and fast. I like books with a big "strangeness" to them. I am sure you have read the thirteenth tale or the night circus but if you haven't, they are great.

Hetty said...

Oh Sharon, this books does sound very interesting! We're so busy creating things with our mind and hands, it just seems so tempting to grab a book, sit back and read. Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

I love getting recommendations for good books, so thank you! I loved seeing your reading place. How perfect on a snowy day.