Thursday, January 15, 2015

Station Eleven

All I could think today when this book ended was what a surprise it was that it was the end.  I had just settled in to hear the next episode of the day to day adventures of the many characters in the book when suddenly amidst a great deal of hopeful thoughts being expressed by several of the characters the audible announcer said "we hope you have enjoyed this production".  WOW!  I am very disappointed to not hear what happened in year 20 and 30 and 40.

One review says:   “In Station Eleven , by Emily St. John Mandel, the Georgia Flu becomes airborne the night Arthur Leander dies during his performance as King Lear. Within months, all airplanes are grounded, cars run out of gas and electricity flickers out as most of the world’s population dies. The details of Arthur’s life before the flu and what happens afterward to his friends, wives and lovers create a surprisingly beautiful story of human relationships amid such devastation. Among the survivors are Kirsten, a child actor at the time of Arthur’s death who lives with no memory of what happened to her the first year after the flu . . . A gorgeous retelling of Lear unfolds through Arthur’s flashbacks and Kirsten’s attempt to stay alive.”
— Nancy Hightower, The Washington Post 

I read this book after a recommendation from my daughter, Mary.  And now I recommend the book to you.  It is highly entertaining and thought provoking.  I read it via audible.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Crossing to Safety

I read this book via audible as it was recommended by the End of Your Life Book Club.  It is a book about marriage and friendship.  I was never tempted to quit reading it.  However, when I finished the book, I was not sure that I had really liked it either.  Certainly we do not expect life to always be the exciting journey that we dream of when we are young.  However, it seems to me that the disappointments in this book were very hard.  Yet the characters did not seem unhappy.  It made me feel very lucky to have lived a life in which I was able to stay young until 60 years old.  I don't guess that anyone should wish for more than that.  I do believe that Wallace Stegner believes that life is good.

Even though I found myself thinking the above as I finished the book, the next morning I am finding myself rethinking much of what I read.  I particularly liked at the end when Larry reminds himself that Sally's handicap has actually enriched his and her life.  His thoughts fit in with my own view of life that everything is a two sided coin.  We just need to figure out the good that we receive from our "bad" luck.  There are always compensations.