Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Station Eleven

"One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, 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 Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains-this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. 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." (GoodReads)

This book captured my attention and imagination from the outset. I normally don't gravitate to post-apocalyptic scenarios, but this one was different. It was actually filled with characters who had something more than simply surviving motivating them. The concept of the Traveling Symphony, a hodge-podge collection of musicians and thespians determined to enlarge the lives of the people they encounter on their circuit, was novel. Perhaps it was them who made this apocalypse bearable for this reader.

As I devoured the words to discover what would become of my new-found-friends, I found my mind also wondering what I would do if put in their place. How would I adapt to no electricity? Having to hunt/fish/gather? No working plumbing. Most of the niceties I taken for granted simply gone. The only transportation, my own two feet. How long would I last? What sorts of things would I resort to? Would I be able to carve out a place I could call home? With people who became family?

I thoroughly enjoyed Station Eleven. I recommend it highly!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Long, LONG Time Coming!

Phew! Where have I been? Life fell apart for a while there for me with family issues. Sorry about that friends! The reading DID continue, however, despite my absence from the written page. Here's what I read in the interlude:

Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan

Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Savage Girl by Jean Zimmerman

Hidden Child by Camilla Lackberg

Getting In the Gap by Dr Wayne Dyer

Meditation For the Love of It by Sally Kempton

Secrets of Meditation by davidji

The Cold Song by Linn Ullmann

Two titles by Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now and A New Earth

Shadows In the Sun by Gayathri Ramprasad

The Ultimate Happiness Prescription by Deepak Chopra

The Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

The Miracle of Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh

Right now I am completely immersed in Emily St. John Mandel's latest novel, Station Eleven. It is a fascinating story about the end of the world as we know it and one possible future that exists beyond the pandemic that changed the planet. I am half done, and likely to finish quickly as the novel is so compelling that I cannot wait to get home from work and finish it!

If any readers would like to know more about any of the books on my list above, just leave a comment and I will be happy to let you know my thoughts on the books. (I enjoyed them all and I really enjoyed several of them!)