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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

Wendy in Port Townsend has commented on (21) products.

Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses by Claire Dederer
Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses

Wendy in Port Townsend, December 25, 2011

I enjoyed this book by Claire Dederer about learning from different yoga teachers while raising a family while recovering from her parents' separation when she was a child. I also appreciated that most of it takes place in and around Seattle, since I'm reading a lot of books set in the Pacific Northwest these days. The book is cleverly structured, with each chapter named after a yoga asana, and each chapter explores her development in yoga, the complexities of her home life, and her memories growing up, especially as all of those relate to the asana. It's a very honest book, and often very funny, as she captures the absurdity of the intense young mothers in North Seattle.
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The Cook and the Gardener: A Year of Recipes and Writings from the French Countryside by Amanda Hesser
The Cook and the Gardener: A Year of Recipes and Writings from the French Countryside

Wendy in Port Townsend, December 23, 2011

This is a really lovely book that captures the author's experience working as a chef in Burgundy, and getting to know the elderly gardener who grew all the vegetables she cooked. Amanda Hesser carefully observes the passing of the seasons and the changes brought to the garden and her kitchen. I liked reading about each month in the French countryside, what vegetables were harvested, and how she used them in her cuisine. I always like reading Amanda Hesser's food writing in the New York Times, and it was fun to read a whole book from an earlier time in her life. I also tried a couple of her recipes, and love the unusual way she baked bread with branches of rosemary pressed into the loaf. These days I read a lot of food blogs, and none are as well written as this book.
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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Wendy in Port Townsend, December 12, 2011

Unbroken is a fascinating story of a remarkable life. Although I had read many books about World War II, until now I hadn't read about the experience of being a POW in Japan. Laura Hillenbrand's exhaustive research about Louie Zamperini's careers as an Olympic runner and bombardier in the War of the Pacific, then his experiences barely surviving on a raft followed by horrifying daily life as a POW, create an absorbing experience for the reader. The old photographs added to my understanding of the military history, so I was glad I didn't listen to this as an audiobook. I was exhausted by the end of this book, but also grateful to have learned about everything that happened.
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The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True

Wendy in Port Townsend, November 29, 2011

In The Magic of Reality, Richard Dawkins explains natural phenomena in clear scientific terms, contrasting his explanations with myths from many cultures and religions that attempted to explain them. Every chapter answers a question, including "What are things made of?", "What is a rainbow?", and "Are we alone?" He uses clever analogies to illustrate his points, and the book is also filled with gorgeous illustrations by Dave McKean that enhance the written narrative. I had heard so much about Richard Dawkins, an acclaimed British evolutionary biologist, I was eager to read this latest book. However, The Magic of Reality is really intended for a younger audience- perhaps a bright middle schooler- and at times I felt like he was talking down to his readers. Nevertheless, it does do an excellent job filling in gaps in scientific learning for adults (like me) who haven't studied astronomy since college and who never studied physics. And now I'm very curious to read more of his writing to understand more from his brilliant mind.
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Room by Emma Donoghue
Room

Wendy in Port Townsend, November 23, 2011

When I heard of the plot of Room, I knew I didn't want to read it. Then after reading all the positive acclaim, I decided to give it a try, and couldn't put it down. Emma Donoghue has created a brilliant book, telling the story of 5-year-old Jack, born and raised in a tiny shed by his young kidnapped mother, all through his own words and understanding of the world. Jack's insights and use of language are fascinating, and the story of their escape from the psychopath and reentry into the world is thrilling, shocking, and heartbreaking. Having been an elementary school teacher and administrator for over 30 years, I spent a lot of time with school psychologists, speech therapists, and child protective services. I am in awe of Emma Donoghue's research and skill in the creation of Jack, his wisdom, and his developmental struggles. This is a book I'll never forget.
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