Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Published by: Harper Collins Canada

Published on: September 9th 2014

Pages: 333

Genre: Post Apocalyptic, Literary Fiction

Purchase:  Amazon   Book Depository    Chapters

Summary                        

This book is hard to summarize because it has a lot going on and is kind of all over the place but I will do my best.

Our civilization has collapsed after a deadly flu wipes out the majority of the population. We follow a cast of characters, seeing the lives they lived before the flu, what happened during the pandemic and fifteen years after.

 

My Thoughts                     

This book has soo much love surrounding it, everyone raves about how amazing this book is and I honestly don’t get it. I’m not saying it is a terrible book and I hated it because I didn’t I just thought it was ok. I guess I am just missing what everyone else is seeing and that’s ok, it happens.

One of the things that set me up for not loving this book is that it is quite different than what I imagined. Many people when describing this book is they say it is a dystopian and when I think dystopian I think of a society that is being oppressed by government or an individual. And I thought that individual was going to be this prophet but that wasn’t the main focus of this book and not a lot of time was spent there. I think of it as more post-apocolytic Instead the book focuses on a few characters and their lives before and after the flu. And each of the characters are in some way connected to a famous actor Arthur Leander.

Cons

  • I felt like something’s were poorly explained like the disease that wiped out the world. Also, everything went off the grid within a few days, I just didn’t find that very believable.
  • My main issue with this book is I didn’t connect with the characters and so I didn’t feel for them or care about their stories. I also found it confusing when she would say a side characters name and then call them by the instrument they played other times, I just didn’t know who was who half the time.
  • There are certain items that a character has kept that marks the end of the world for her and these items hold importance in the books themes and connects the characters. And in the end when it is revealed how the character received these items and the connection it was just not satisfying to me and I was like what is the point.
  • What is the point is how I felt about this book, there was not much going on and I guess the point of this book is to answer the age-old question “what is the meaning of life” and “what makes us human” and I think her exploration into those questions fell flat for me.

“If you are the light, if your enemies are darkness, then there’s nothing that you cannot justify. There’s nothing you can’t survive, because there’s nothing that you will not do.”

Pros

  • Well written.
  • I loved the atmosphere the author created for the post-apocalyptic scenes
  • I enjoyed reading about places I am familiar with since I live in Southern Ontario.

“No one ever thinks they’re awful , even people who really actually are. It’s some sort of survival mechanism.”

I have to say I am a little sad that I didn’t see what everyone else did while reading this book. Have you read Station Eleven? If you have let’s discuss in the comments below.

Bookish Matters

The Light Between Oceans by M.L Stedman

The Light Between Oceans by M.L Stedman

The Light Between Oceans by M.L Stedman

Published by: Scribner

Published on: July 31st 2012

Pages: 343

Historical Fiction

Purchase:   Amazon    Book Depository   Chapters

Summary                               

Set in the late 1920’s Australia, Tom Sherbourne and his wife Isabel live a sheltered life on a small island where Tom is the light keeper. Being the only people on the Island it is easy to lose ones sense of reality. And when a boat is washed up on shore with a dead man and a crying baby, Isabel sees this as a miracle and wants to keep the baby where as Tom wants to report it. Since, Tom feel he owes Isabel this happiness they don’t report it and raise the child as their own. But when they go back to shore their sense of reality returns and begins to weigh heavily on Tom’s conscience. Continue reading “The Light Between Oceans by M.L Stedman”

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Published by: Bond Street Books a division of Penguin Randon House Canada Limited

Published on: June 7th 2016

Pages: 305

Historical, Literary Fiction

Purchase: Amazon   Book Depository      Chapters

Summary                          

Homegoing is a profound generational saga following the descendants of two half-sisters, Effia and Esi. The sisters live in different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana where Effia is married off to British slave trader and Esi is sold into slavery. The British colonization of Ghana and war between villages will shape the descendants of Effia’s and the affects of slavery and racial discrimination will shape Esi’s.

Characters                         

Each chapter is from a different characters perspective, so in total their are 14 characters.  Yaa Gyasi is a skillful writer to create such real characters in such a short time we spend with them. Obviously I not going to give an overview and my thoughts on all of them but I thought it is important that I do Effia and Esi.

  • Effia Otcher was born on the same night a fire raged her village and because of that the villagers say she was born of the fire. She grows up unloved and beaten by her mother and the beatings are only made worse as she grows more beautiful and eventually is known as Effia the beauty. She is an obedient daughter despite her mother’s beatings and always tries to make herself seem small as to not be noticed. I liked Effia’s character and felt for her and her terrible living situation.
  • Esi Asare birth was greatly celebrated by her parents and grew up in the warmth of her parents love. Esi is spoiled by he parents love but remains sweet. I also liked Esi character and would have liked to kept on reading her story.

My Thoughts                       

I listened to the audiobook and read along with the narrator because I wanted to get the names correct, I knew I wouldn’t be able to pronounce them correctly even though it is just in my head. I did like this approach to reading the story even though that is the reason why it took me so long to finish. I started this back in April and finished it in June, for whatever reason I found it difficult to set a time to put the disc in and read. So, it wasn’t because I wasn’t enjoying the book because I did, very much so. I believe this is the type of book you take your time with anyways, to allow yourself to be fully immersed into the story.

Homegoing is not your typical novel, there are two veins to the story, and each vein flows into one short story, following a different generation to the next And even though each descendant’s story is complete and is wrapped up nicely to get to the heart of the story the book must be read as a whole. It is ambitious to write a novel like this for any writer but especially a debut one but Yaa Gyasi executes it like a pro.

“I love my people, James,” she said, and his name on her tongue was indescribably sweet. “I am proud to be Asante, as I am sure you are proud to be Fante, but after I lost my brothers, I decided that as for me, Akosua, I will be my own nation.”

Cons

  • I would have liked to have seen a date at the beginning of eachchapter. That way you know what time period you will be in before you start reading that characters story.
  • Since each chapter is a new POV you don’t get to spend much time with the characters as much as I would have liked to have.
  • The ending was a little too perfect and Hollywood-esque but I don’t hate it.

“The white man’s god is just like the white man. He thinks he is the only god, just like the white man thinks he is the only man. But the only reason he is god instead of Nyame or Chukwu or whoever is because we let him be. We do not fight him. We do not question him. The white man told us he was the way, and we said yes, but when has the white man ever told us something was good for us and that thing was really good?”

Pros

  • I loved the writing style. She is a natural and I was captivated by every word.
  • I thought that each character’s narrative was well done. I never felt confused by who descendant it was. And even though I could have kept reading their story I thought that each chapter ended perfectly.
  • Even though it is a slower paced novel I never felt bored and interested in reading the next generations story.
  • I appreciate that the author was able to write a story about slavery and racial issues without sounding preachy
  • It is a strong and impactful novel that often times had me in tears by the injustice of it all.

“What I know now, my son: Evil begets evil. It grows. It transmutes, so that sometimes you cannot see that the evil in the world began as the evil in your own home.”

It is hard to believe that this is a debut novel, it is well crafted and a beautiful work of literature. I highly recommend you pick this book up if you haven’t already.

4.5 Stars

Bookish Matters

 

April Book Haul

April Book Haul

Happy Mothers Day!

What is everyone doing for Mother’s Day? I will be heading to my moms for a visit and to take her to the movies. We are going to see I Feel Pretty with Amy Schumer. It looks funny and I am sure we will both have a good time.

I know I did one of these recently but I didn’t feature any books from April because it would have just been too long of a post, so here we are. 🙂

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

  • Kristin is one of my favourite authors and I will buy anything she writes. Even thought I haven’t read all her books but the few that I have, have all been great emotional reads.

An American Marriage

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

  • Solely bought this for the cover and didn’t even read the synopsis but the title does sound interesting.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

  • I borrowed this from the library and it was past due, so I had to return it before I was done reading it (still not done) and I am enjoying it so I figured I might as well buy it. It is a generational novel following two sisters, one who was sold into slavery and the other who married a slave trader, and it follows each of their family line.

April Book Haul

Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee

  • The blurb by Celeste Ng is what sold me on this book. “A Tender but unflinching portrayal of the bond between two sisters”

The Women in the Window by A. J. Finn

  • This book has been all over lately and I love a good thriller, so, had to buy it. Anna has agoraphobia and spends her days in the safety of her home but one night when she looks into her neighbours window she sees something that she shouldn’t have and it spins her life into chaos.

April Book Haul

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

  • So far, I have enjoyed all Chevy Stevens books and I hope that continues with Never Let You Go. This one is about a womenl who leaves her abusive husband and starts a new life.

Still Life by Louise Penny

  • Katie from Life Between Words recommends this series and I trust her opinion. I also like supporting Canadian authors and it was only $8.

April Book Haul

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

  • I have seen this book on few vlogger’s channels and they all say great things about this book. It is a dystopian, about a travelling symphony and their travels lead them to a violent prophet.

April Book Haul

The Light Between Oceans by M.L Stedman

  • Set in 1926, Australia a light keeper and his wife find a baby and a dead man in boat that has been washed on to the shore. The wife wants to keep the baby thinking it is a miracle from god, since they have had trouble conceiving but Tom doesn’t think it is a good idea and that the mother is missing the child.

The Poisoned Crown by Maurice Druon

  • I seen this on BookOutlet and it is blurbed by George R. R. Martin saying “this is the orginal Game of Thrones” but I didn’t realize that it was the third in the series. Hate when that happens

April Book Haul

The Tutor by Andrea Chapin

  • Set in 1590, recently widowed Katharine moves into her uncles manor in Lancashire. While there she meets the schoolmaster, William Shakespeare, and is captivated by Shakespeare’s verse. I haven’t read a fictional account of Shakespeare so that is what intrigued me to pick this up.

The Beguiled by Thomas Cullinan

  • This movie adaptation looks great and I want to watch it but being a book snob I feel like I need to read it before I watch the movie. The Beguiled is about a wounded union solider who is brought to the Seminary for Young Ladies. The solider begins pitting the girls against each other to gain his freedom.

April Book Haul

Secrets of Sloane House by Shelley Gray

  • Roaslind Perry has moved to Chicago, to work as a housemain for the privliaged Sloane family in hopes that she will find out what happened to her sister Miranda. I have started reading this and it is more of a romance than it is a mystery.

The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

  • I’ve read The Shadow and the Wind and loved it and this one has the same dark mysteriousness to it but for young adults. The Carver family moves into a new house and after they have moved in strange things begin to happen.

April Book Haul

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

  • I  picked this up for the cover, it is soo beautiful. I don’t even know what it is about, I tend to that a lot.

Perfect by Ellen Hopkins

  • Second book in the Impluse series. I haven’t read Impulse yet but I will eventually.

April Book Haul

Tricks by Ellen Hopkins

  • Five moving stories remain separate at first, then interweave to tell a larger, powerful story – a story about making choices, taking leaps of faith, falling down, and growing up. A dark story about kids figuring out what sex and love are all about, at all costs, while asking themselves, “Can I ever feel okay about myself?”

Identical by Ellen Hopkins

  • I have already read this but borrowed it from the library and loved it, so needed my own copy and plus I am on a mission to own all her books.

There you have it all the eighteen books I have added to my shelves recently.

Have you read any of these?

Bookish Matters

 

 

 

 

The Nightmare by Lars Keplar

The Nightmare by Lars Keplar

 

 

The Nightmare by Lars Keplar (Translated by Laura A. Wideburg)

Series: Joona Linna #2

Published by: McClelland & Stewart(First Published by Paganinikontraktet)

Published:July 3rd 2012 (First Published 2010)

Pages: 500

Mystery, Crime, Thriller, Nordic Noir

Purchase: Book Depository Amazon

Summary                                                      

Detective Inspector Joona Linna has received two calls for a couple of suspicious deaths, one for a suicide and the other for a young women who drowned. Others might think this is an open and shut case but Joona believes something more sinister is at hand.

Characters                                                     

Since, this is told in third person omniscient we are introduced to several characters in this book but I am only going to focus on the following three characters.

  • Joona Linna is a detective inspector with the National Criminal Investigation Department in Stockholm, Sweden. The Nightmare is the second in the series and I feel like I should know Joona better but you know very little about him. He is Finnish and he is held in high esteem for his ability take one look at a crime scene and know exactly what happened. Oh and he is always right.
  • Penelope Fernandez is a peace activist who finds herself caught up in tragic and murderous events. I liked Penelope, she is smart and strong-willed.
  • Axel Riessen a former violin prodigy who now is the General Director for National Inspectorate of Strategic Products. He also is an insomniac with a liver condition. I found Axel to be an interesting character as well as his “relationship” with Beverly.

Continue reading “The Nightmare by Lars Keplar”

Top Ten Tuesday// Books With My Favourite Colour on the Cover

Welcome,

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I have had such a busy day I haven’t had time to do this post until now but I didn’t not want to post it because I love this prompt. But really, any excuse to show of my beautiful books I can’t refuse. 😀 My favourite colour is blue and there are many options for me to choose from but I went with these ten.

 

 

 

What is your favourite colour and what are some of your favourite books that are in that colour? Let me know.

Bookish Matters

April Wrap UP

April Wrap UP

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I was busy doing some spring cleaning and finished reading The Nightmare by Lars Keplar. I am working on a book review and hopefully will have it posted tomorrow.

In April I didn’t finish many books, I main focus was on finally finishing The Heart’s Invisible Furies. As I have only been reading it since February! I mostly did a lot of listening to audiobooks and toward the end of the month they were all non-fiction. Continue reading “April Wrap UP”