Book Review: Station Eleven

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.
One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.
Twenty years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.
Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, 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

Station Eleven follows the events before and after an epidemic flu kills 99% of the world.  It follows a few people that are all loosely tied together.  Two of the people that it follows are an actor and a little girl (primarily an adult through most of the book) 

that acted with him on his final performance. 

This book takes us all over and spans over 20 years. It can jump back and forth and between characters that things can get a little confusing.  We also never really get to know any of the characters too well which makes it difficult to care what happens to any of them. 

I did enjoy the random connectedness between the characters that show whether in a small or largely populated world the six degrees of separation rule can still apply. 

I listened to the audiobooks version of this and the narrator did a good job,  nothing fantastic, but well read. 

Overall I give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars. The extra .5 is a bonus for the book taking place in my home state of Michigan and the general Great Lakes area. If you are a fan of post apocalyptic books this may not be the book for you as that is not really the main focus of the book and only about half of the book takes place in the “post” world

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T5W: Books I FINALLY want to read in 2017

I recently thinned out my TBR but there are still books I haven’t gotten to yet.  

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest by Sting Larsson

I read the first two books and really enjoyed them.  But have yet to get to the third.  I will have to wait to get in the right mindset for this book though. Such terrible things happen in his books and it can be hard to stomach at times. 

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

I own this book.  I started reading it but got distracted by other things.  I really need to pick it up again and finish it this time. 

Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

This is another book I own and started to read but never finished.  Lizzie Borden mixed in with Lovecraft creatures.  Why did I not finish it?  I will next year. 

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

I bought this book planning to read it and just never got around to it.  I have heard nothing but praise for this series and I really need to get with it. 

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A.  Heinlein

This one has been on my TBR the longest.  Probably since 2002. It’s time to move it to the “read” pile.

Here’s to hoping I can actually reach this goal in 2017. 

Have you read any of these? Which should I get to first in 2017? 

December TBR

For the month of December I have three books that I have already started and a few that I hope to start.  All my books come from the library and as of right now none are due back anytime soon so I don’t feel too much pressure to get to certain ones.

First are the books I need to finish.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

This is my first Christie novel.  I have been slowly getting through this during my down time at work. So far it is fun to try to guess who the killer is and Christie provides a plethora of suspects to keep it interesting.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

I am listening to this in audiobooks in my car,  mostly on my travels to and from work.  This is the story of a young girl whose mother commits suicide, and not to long after she becomes pregnant by the preacher’s son and decided to have an abortion and follows the events after this decision.

The Batman Chronicles 

These are the original appearances of Batman in the Detective Comics series. I have been reading this on and off for a while, getting through one or two stories at a time.

Now in to the books I plan on starting this month.

The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato

I picked this one up on a whim while perusing the sci-fi section at the library.  The cover drew me in and I really don’t know much about it other than its a steampunk novel where the heroine has healing powers and is on an airship where a murder has taken place.

The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket

The next booking my plan to get through all of the Series of Unfortunate Events. These books continue to delight and enrage me.  I want to get through them to see if my thoughts that there is an underlying subplot are true.

Station Eleven by Emily St.  John Mandel

This has been a book I’ve been wanting to read for a while.  It takes place in a world that has been decimated by a pandemic and follows a troupe of actors as they travel around putting on plays in this world.

Top 5 Wednesday :Favorite Villains

This one was hard for me to come up with 5. At first I couldn’t think of any then after going through some of the books I have read I came up with too many.  So somehow I have narrowed it down to 5.
5. The grandmother  from Flowers in the Attic

She is a horrible and abusive woman. The pain and suffering she inflicts on the children is nauseating and had me screaming at the book. She may or may not even be the worst of the villains for the children in this book, but that is a spoiler that you would have to read the book to find out about.

4. Charles Chiltington from Mr.  Lemoncello’s Library series.

This book is very much in the spirit of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and with that comes the spoiled child and that is Charles Chiltington. He is there to win and will stop at nothing to claim the prize, he cheats and uses people for his own gain and their demise.

3. The Joker from Batman and DC Comics 

I love The Joker in all his incarnations.  From the deranged to the comical. He is a mastermind, psychotic  and silly. Every writer adds their own take and insight into this madman.   He is my favorite of all the Batman villains.

2. Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events 

Now I haven’t finished the series, but so far Count Olaf is a fun and predictable villain.  I love seeing his new disguise in each book.

1. IOI/The Sixers/Nolan Serpentine from Ready Player One 

Evil,  just plain evil. An evil corporation with Nolan at the center of their evil deeds.  They cheat and use their numbers, power and money to manipulate the game and the world. They brought out a hate in me and I was fuming anytime they showed up.

November Recommendations: Family 

The recommendations I have come up with are all books where the family is a main focus in the book.

1. VC Andrews

Flowers in the Attic series

Heaven series

Dawn series

My Sweet Audrina

All the books by this author are heavily focus on family dynamics and the evils that the adults inflict on the child or children.  I am mostly including the original works by the author and not those by the ghost writer.  Trigger warning :Most if not all the books contain abuse and sexual assault

2. Little House on the Prairie series 

These books follow the Ingalls family on their ups and downs,  and various adventures through pioneering days.  A loving and supportive family that sticks together through some of the harshest times.

3. Dark Matter


Family is the main driving force for the main character, Jason Dessen, in this novel.  After being kidnapped Jason goes to great lengths to be reunited with his wife and son.

4. Everything I Never Told You 

This books gives us the insight into one families past and present after the death of their daughter. I am going to quote part of the Goodreads synopsis because it sums it up wonderfully.

A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

This book is all about the said and unsaid in life even to those we love..

Top 5 Wednesday Top 5 Books I Want to Re-read

I feel like I am not a big re-reader of books.  Of recent the books I have re-read have been because it has been so long since I read them (like 20+ years)  I want to see if I still enjoy them or I re-read them because I wanted to do further evaluation on the book for my own personal reasons.

Here are some of the current books I have been thinking that I need/want to re-read.

1. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

I originally read this book in high school after finding it on my Drama teachers bookshelf in her classroom. I remember it introducing me to a new culture and making me feel a range of emotions. I want to see if I still enjoy it as much as I did then and also try some of the recipes in the book.

2. Perks of Being a Wallflower  by Stephen Chbosky

I have read this book numerous times, at various stages of my life and enjoyed it every time.  I plan on reading this many more times in the future.

3. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

This was a book I was originally hesitant to pick up just because I really don’t like this cover. I was so pleasantly surprised by what was inside.  I loved all the characters, the satirical story and diversity that the book contained.

4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

This was a really great reading experience. Brought out my love of the 80s in a world that is very possibly our future.  I knew immediately after reading this that I would eventually re-read it in the future.

5. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

I just recently read this and it was the perfect book for me at the perfect time.  I can see myself picking this book up again in the next few months.

Something New

I have decided to try something new.  Most of my reading sources come from my local public library.  I love my library,  they have access to books, DVDs, CDs, internet, board games,  video games, newspapers and magazines. They also have digital downloads of audiobooks, movies, TV shows,  comics, ebooks and music 🎶 . Numerous events are held each month from reading groups,  trivia contests, concerts,  crafts, and lectures. At any given time I will have between 30 and 40 items checked out.  The majority of these are books 📚 and DVDs.
But when it comes to the books, I will checkout so many and never get around to reading most of them.  So I have decided to do a purge of my library books.  For the rest of the year I will TRY to only have 2-3 books out. I have decided this will not include the trade comics or audiobooks as I get through those pretty fast.  But as for physical books I plan on only checking out 1 that I have really wanted to read for a while, that has been on my TBR for months or years and 1 that passes my fancy at the time of my library visit.  Currently the 3 books I will keep are The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood


which has been on my mental TBR for over a year,  The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato

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which caught my attention on my latest visit and

Calamity Jane by Kathleen Backs

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which I have been slowly making my way through during my downtime at work.. All others will be returned to the library ASAP.  The goal of this is to keep me more focused and mindful of what I am reading and to keep the clutter of my house to a dull roar. Wish me luck and happy reading!