Because survival is insufficient

Listen up: Station Eleven is about a traveling symphony that performs symphonies (duh) and Shakespeare all across post-plague ravaged Michigan

Quite a nice cover as well!
Quite a nice cover as well!

because survival is insufficient. Oh yeah, that’s a Star Trek quote (Voyager, but STILL) and a comic features quite heavily. Despite the fact that I was reading about a plague that kills 99% of those exposed while I have a cold and Ebola is breaking out all over, I could not put this down. It really does have so many elements that I knew I would like: music, literature, comics, Star Trek, post apocalyptic life, and amazing writing.

The novel seamlessly weaves in the stories of a famous actor who dies the first night of the outbreak, the paparazzi-turned-paramedic who once interviewed him and tries to save his life, the child actor who was on stage with him when he died, his first wife, and his best friend. Mandel sees the connections between them but it’s not in a grand, structured Cloud Atlas David Mitchell sort of way, but more of the real life bonds we make that are sometimes passing and sometimes deep.

There is perhaps more I’d like the write about it (the friendship between August and Kirsten?!), but it’s still settling in my mind. It’s really lovely and engaging. I heartily recommend.

Oh and I forgot to recommend Andrew Smith’s 100 Sideways Miles as well. Just briefly: a kid whose father wrote a well-known sci-fi novel with a character eerily similar to him feels trapped in the book. He thinks of time as distance (it takes the earth one second to revolve 20 miles so 5 seconds is 100 sideways miles) and goes on a road trip with his friend. Classic Andrew Smith with great insight into the mind of a teenage boy; always a winner.

I’m now looking at my hold shelf to see what’s coming up for me next. Here’s what I have active or what I am very much looking forward to:

Rooms by Lauren Oliver – I liked Oliver’s writing and this sounds like a nice, creepy read.

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber – Jesuits/missionaries in space! Need I say more?

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Steifvater – Book 3 of the amazing YA fantasy series, the Raven Boys.

Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson and more – A Muslim teen becomes Ms. Marvel. Huzzah for diversity in comics!

I could list more but then it’s just me listing the other 22 items on my hold list. That gets a bit dull.

Anything I’m missing and I should have on hold? What are you looking forward to reading this fall?



4 thoughts on “Because survival is insufficient

  1. Loved, loved, loved Station Eleven. I was also incredibly excited about The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, which I read last month, and really pleased with The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman (which I know you already read).

  2. I want to read Bone Clocks, too! Since reading Cloud Atlas I’ve wanted to read more of Mitchell’s books. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob DeZoet is one of my friends favorite books of all time.

  3. I have the entire Magicians trilogy queued up, along with Eula Biss’s On Immunity (which Jenny blogged about a while back) and Marilynne Robinson’s Lila. A good season for books…

    1. Both Jenny and our friend Maura (did you know her? librarian in Weymouth?) have raved about On Immunity, so I should probably read that, too! You’ll have to let me know about the Marilyn Robinson, but I’m sure it’s amazing. If it wasn’t, it isn’t Marilyn Robinson.

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