Station Ten and One Half

Thoughts and Ramblings

I don’t have time to write a review of Station Eleven. OK, I have been avoiding writing a review of Station Eleven.

Bear with me as I share all sorts of other stuff instead.

I had consciously decided that I wanted to read Station Eleven when it came to battle against Roxane Gay’s An Untamed State in the Tournament of Books*. I really was impressed by the phrase ‘higher thread count’ to describe excellent writing. (See the winner and moderator comments here.)


I seem to have that ‘distant admiration’ for the author. I recognize how very smart she is and how well she constructs a novel, links complicated plot points believably, builds a world, and develops characters. And yet. I still feel that I am a bit detached. Something bothers me that I can’t explain and even pinpoint. It moves in my brain when I try to focus on it.

I don’t want to see the wizard behind the curtain; but I sense there is one.

I read Mandel’s debut novel The Last Night in Montreal and praised it highly! SO GOOD!!! And yet. Something about that book bugged me even as I recommended it. I now only remember that the ending was POW! and that I considered the author one to watch.

I give Station Eleven 5 stars. And yet … now want to rethink it and pick it apart and possibly downgrade because a few things don’t make sense now that I’m outside of that world and away from the characters.

I do like Roof Beam Reader’s review.

I also like Book Journey’s review (with links to a spoiler page).


To change the subject…

I’m reading/listening to Atlas Shrugged and it is a mind-boggling icky-feeling thought-provoking ordeal. It’s part of Ti’s readalong through August.

I started Lost Lake and just love Sarah Addison Allen! It is always a pleasure to fall into her books.

June ended with me being ahead of my goal of 65 books /year and I’m doing excellent at challenge-accomplishing. I need one more for What’s in a Name – usually in December I’m trying to cram two or three reads in to finish! I only need the animal book.

and CLASSICS!  Oh – just pat me on the back and tell me how awesome I’m doing reading classics! Cuz I am. Awesome.

Was going to make a nectarine lavender pie but I’m running out of time. My first niece is getting married tomorrow and I have things to do to be ready! Like, that idea to give her my personal favorites pie recipe book…   I think she’ll have to get that for Christmas now. SHHHHhhhhhhh, don’t tell her.

Have a great weekend, chat soon and tweet ya on Twitter!






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30 thoughts on “Station Ten and One Half

  1. I gave Station Eleven 4 stars, but haven’t been recommending it… not really sure why. Still considering Last Night in Montreal.

    Way to go with those classics! 🙂

    1. I do remember being amazed at the ending! Always good to see you read books that I’ve read because I like your reactions and thoughts.

    1. LOL! You either know me too well or not at all! Of COURSE I won’t quit. But good strategy. It’s certainly an ‘in your head’ kind of book – I am just so damn CURIOUS about it.

    1. I really did, too, and yet there’s that odd something. Maybe it misses for me because I can’t figure out why I’m not gushing all over it?

  2. Ew! Your tomato is in your sidebar which means you need to take a new Instagram picture STAT!!!

    I haven’t read Station Eleven…I want to let the hype die down a bit before tackling it. I didn’t love An Untamed State so I’m curious about it’s high tread count match!

    Hope your niece’s wedding is lovely! I’m sure it will be. And Christmas is a great time for pie books, too. 😉

    1. Done.

      I don’t think you’ll dislike it. It’s more a question of will you LOOOOOVE it or only VERY MUCH ENJOY IT.

      Christmas is an excellent time for pie books. Birthdays are good, too. Labor Day would be a good enough reason for a pie book – is this the next holiday?

  3. I think you hit the nail on the head with Station Eleven. I didn’t give it a very glowing review. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. I have felt that way about all of her books though, I can recognize her talent, but there is something about her storytelling that just leaves me rather ambivalent.

    Have fun at the wedding!

    1. Yea, it’s probably jealousy, too. How can one author be SO talented! and 3 books boom-boom-boom, all so well-received?! 😛 Hey – I have an idea, let’s limit every book to only be able to sell 10,000 copies – that would be more fair, right?

  4. I can understand your reservations about Station Eleven. I liked it very much, even loved in spot, but but but when I was done it felt like there was one little piece missing and I still have no idea what it is.

  5. YEEEESSSSS! You and me baby. You and me all the freaking way. I thought I was the only one. THE. ONLY. ONE. I didn’t even finish Station Eleven because of the damn nagging prickling prodding in my brain that I can’t quite put my finger on. I may pick it up again sometime.

    You are awesome. Keep reading classics.

  6. That happens to me all of the time – I feel a certain way about a book as I’m reading about it but the more I think about it, the more my opinion starts to waver. The Night Film, for example. I really was into it but almost as soon as I was finished, I started thinking about things that really hadn’t worked for me but that I’d overlooked in the whole.

    1. And I really do think it IS ok to have one reaction to the emotional enjoyment or whatever of the reading and then the intellectual reaction.

  7. I was in a cabin in the woods (of Oregon) for the past week, and had no internet service. BUT, I did read 3 books! 2 were: Station Eleven and Lost Lake. I feel exactly the same way about SE. Liked it very much, but not gushing about it. I felt I was missing something. Lost Lake? Loved it–it was a 24 hour book for me.

  8. I can see that about Station Eleven! I really liked it, but there’s a certain amount of authorial distance with it. I can imagine responding to Mandel in this way, that she’s intellectualizing her story and characters a little too much, and it makes it hard to connect emotionally. I was okay with it because I admired the structure of the book so much, but yeah, it’s a fair criticism.

  9. I loved Mandel’s Last Night in Montreal and Singer’s Gun but I haven’t read her books in two years. I am actually looking forward to this one a lot – love the theme. But we’ll see.

    1. Oh, it is still a very good book! Don’t get me wrong, we are talking about that funny something that discerns a great from a really very great. Or something…

  10. I’ve only read two of her books but I felt like there was something . . . I don’t know — uncomfortable? — about both. In Last Night in Montreal, something about the ending unsettled me, as I recall. It’s been a long time. Can’t recall the other title I read but I do remember I thought everyone was *too* flawed, which is unusual. I like flawed characters and that was one of the rare times I thought they were overdone. So, I’ve been putting off Station Eleven, although I have the e-book.

  11. I am completely incapable of being objective about Station Eleven. I’ve read it twice this year already and it’s one of my all-time faves now. 🙂

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