I cannot believe that I have already been doing this for three months. I plan on doing a first quarter update sometime this week, but for now, I will stick with the books I finished this week.
I almost finished two new books this week, but instead of reading, I have been hiking and cooking this weekend (I made wontons!), so I will save those for next week. It works out however, because it means I can focus on one of my all time favorite books, which I re-read this week.
I know there are a lot of people who don’t like to re-read books, but for me, at least with my favorites, I love to read books again. So much of the reading experience is about where you as the reader are, and what you bring to the book, so reading a book again in a new stage of life always brings out other sides.
The book I finished this week, Station Eleven is perfect for this because it has many different layers, both thematically and storywise. Every time I come back to it I am struck by the way different characters and scenes stick out to me, and it makes me think about different things.
What makes you come back to a book?
Books I finished this week
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
This book defies description in a way I can only compare to The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. It is speculative fiction in that it looks at a world after the collapse of civilization, and yet it is a book about art and artists, from actors to musicians to illustrators. It is both a book about nostalgia, and about what it takes to move forward and create a new life from the ashes of the old.
Essentially, Mandel has created an epic book that manages to weave together many different themes and ideas, and she still manages to connect these bigger themes to a strong narrative story with characters who feel complex and real. Finally, she does this in under 400 pages.
I have realized that I like subtlety in my books, and while I would not say this book is subtle, the reasons I love it are based in the subtlety of some of its moments and the delicacy of its imagery. It may not strike you as much as it did me, but I encourage anyone who is intrigued by this description to check it out, and please finish it. It is a book that could be easy to put down at a couple of points, but there are some passages and descriptions that come closer to the end that shook me in a way I am rarely shaken.
If you have already read this and loved it, another book you might like is The Dog Stars by Peter Heller.
What went well
During my interview for The Rad-ish last week, they asked me what my favorite books were, and thinking about them inspired me to go back and re-read Station Eleven, and I am so so glad I did. It was even better than I remembered, which doesn’t happen all that often.
What did not go well
I only have one book to share with you this week, because I struggled to find time to sit down and really get into a book. I am hoping this will change this week, but with summer fully here, I find myself looking to be outside more than I want to read.
What I am reading next week
I have two books, including a David Sedaris book and a Coulson Whitehead book that I am pages (or minutes in terms of audio-books) away from finishing. Once I finish those, I will probably pick up Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I would also like to read more about Yellowstone, or even just some more natural history books, so I will probably be seeking books in that vein that I can read.