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Powell's Q&A | September 3, 2014

Emily St. John Mandel: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Emily St. John Mandel



Describe your latest book. My new novel is called Station Eleven. It's about a traveling Shakespearean theatre company in a post-apocalyptic North... Continue »
  1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Station Eleven

    Emily St. John Mandel 9780385353304

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Customer Comments

Alan Winston has commented on (4) products.

To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal
To Be Sung Underwater

Alan Winston, January 31, 2013

Don't our favorite characters in literature tend to be people we like or admire or wish we could be friends with or at least find utterly plausible? Judith doesn't quite satisfy any of those criteria, and perhaps I am cutting her a little too much slack to suggest "doesn't quite."

Yet she haunts me.

And I am so glad she has become part of my life.

Several months after I read a library copy of this book, I looked for a bookstore copy and opened it to several random pages, just rereading a few paragraphs on each page. I'm not sure any page I opened it to didn't have a favorite passage on it, and I don't think that that happened by random luck - I think that just about every page in the book probably has at least one passage that upon rereading would strike me as being a favorite passage.

I bought a copy to keep. I may never reread it, but I will get my money's worth - it will earn itself shelf space - by the number of times I pick it up, open it to a random page, and reread a favorite passage.

I want to sing its praises in a way that makes it clear how wonderful this books is, but it is very difficult.

Perhaps it is like trying to sing underwater?


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Wild Beauty: Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge, 1867-1957 (Northwest Photography) by Terry Toedtemeier and John Laursen
Wild Beauty: Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge, 1867-1957 (Northwest Photography)

Alan Winston, December 14, 2010

Wow. Thoroughly & repeatedly, throughout the book: Wow. In the first chapter, devoted to stunning 19th century photographs by the amazing Carleton Watkins, you wonder how the rest of the book can measure up. Somehow it does. If you love the Gorge, as so many of us in these parts do, this book is a must-have. Or if you simply love seeing wonderful photography.
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Alas, Babylon (Perennial Classics) by Pat Frank
Alas, Babylon (Perennial Classics)

Alan Winston, July 15, 2010

I read this book when its apocalyptic visions were current and frightening, shortly after the first paperback edition came out in 1960; I read it again after the 35th anniversary edition came out in 1993, and was pleasantly surprised how well it had held up. I returned to it again recently after rereading Nevil Shute's "On the Beach," and again am quite surprised at how well it sustains its value, even though it was written to describe contemporary issues and technology of the late 1950s. There may be a certain quaintness about some aspects, some unfortunate racial and gender biases of the era - reported, not endorsed - in others, but I found that those informed and reminded of where we were more than they detracted. Having recently watched, or re-watched, both video versions of "On the Beach," I think "Alas, Babylon" could make a good film project in today's world. Certainly it is worth reading (or rereading) for the fiftieth anniversary of the first paperback edition.
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Diana F by Lomography

Alan Winston, May 8, 2010

This is listed as title "Diana F" but with the ISBN for "Diana +" [True Tales & Short Stories] - buyers looking for "Diana F+" [More True Tales and Short Stories] should hesitate before buying.
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