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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


Customer Comments

vzwick has commented on (3) products.

Shift by Em Bailey

vzwick, May 14, 2013

I have never read anything quite like this young adult fantasy.

Olive is trying really hard to take her meds and go to therapy and help out at home by cooking and watching after her little brother but after a new student comes to town, her life is turned upside down for the second time in just a year. The first time the "incident" occurred and after that Olive dropped all her old friends and took up with a new one, Ami much to Olive's mother's dismay.

Now Miranda, shows up at school, rumored to have killed her parents. Olive, gets a glance at Miranda and her strange mirrored eyes and knows something is wrong. With Ami's help she sets out to discover Miranda's secret.

This book is an interesting take on the destructiveness of the "popular" student clique. When can you choose to be an individual? If you try to be just like the most popular will you lose your identity and your life?

Ms Bailey, has a gift for language. Describing Katie, the popular girl, she says: "I could just about feel the gleam of Katie's teeth, so radiant it was probably causing skin cancers on my face."
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The Round House by Louise Erdrich
The Round House

vzwick, April 12, 2013

Unforgettable, brilliantly written, horrific, hilarious, deeply moving, educational, sad, heart warming and hopeful, The Round House is my favorite book of this year. Erdrich creates characters that become so real to me that I know them like long lost friends. And there are a lot of characters -- each different and each wholly developed. Sometimes the story meanders but the characters are still there to delight. It is a very difficult story to take about a 13 year old Ojibwe boy whose mother is brutally raped. His father is a judge and tries to get justice for his beloved wife, himself, and his son but is handicapped by the conflicting laws -- federal, state, and tribal. The boy is the narrator and so we absorb the story from his point of view. Thankfully it is interspersed with lighter, sometimes genuinely hilarious moments -- I laughed out loud twice, and with history and interpretation of Indian law, mythology, and magic realism.

The Round House is reminiscent of To Kill A Mockingbird in its portrayal of family love and in the quality of writing. It is probably the best written book I've read in years. I highly recommend it!
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Pure by Julianna Baggott

vzwick, April 7, 2013

In this world, after the Detonations (atomic bombs) people either live in The Dome, a protected environment, or on the earth. Those not in the dome are all damaged in some way -- most fused to whatever they were standing next to or holding at the time of the explosions-- eking out an existence in the ruins of civilization, among dust and decay and dangerous mutated life forms. Once children reach the age of 16 they must surrender themselves to the OSR, a militia group that will take them as soldiers or use them as live bait. Here, Pressia, almost 16, lives with her grandfather in the back of an old barbershop. When she turns 16 she hides in a cupboard so she can care for her grandfather. In the Dome, Partridge, son of one of the leaders, lives an unhappy life. When he discovers his mother is not dead as he was always told he escapes to the earth to find her. Pressia flees the OSR and on the run hooks up with Partridge and from there the plot unfolds with one spectacular scene after another.

The various mutated life forms in this book are among the most imaginative I have ever encountered. Baggott writes in a breathtakingly visual way that allowed me to see them standing in front of me

I liked this book as much as The Hunger Games, maybe more so. The incredible setting, the likable characters, a plot that holds up and keeps you reading as fast as you can, all make for a highly enjoyable read.


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