I work in a library, with three other people. Almost everything I read is a recommendation by someone, be it one of my immediate colleagues, another member of staff, a pupil, or one of my numerous book-working, book-loving friends. But this was more than just “urghhhh what should I read today because I’ve finished my book” – my friend was telling people about it, and everyone who read it loved it, so this can be “a book a friend recommended”.
But it took me a while to get round to it. Because, as I have said, I am Fool.
An enormous fool.
When 99% of the world’s population are struck down by a flu, civilisation crumbles within days. People do their best to survive, to rebuild. Musicians and actors roam North America, performing Shakespeare and music to the survivors. Told in a range of timescales, and following several lives, Station Eleven forces us to consider what would happen if a pandemic really did take hold, what it would be like to survive that. What it would be like to live in the world that remains.
I laughed, out loud, on trains. I cried, in a café, into mouthfuls of swiss roll, much to the concern of the businessman sitting opposite me, eating a treacle tart. I stared into space. I told everyone I met that I was reading it, loving it, that they should read it. It will stay with me (partly because I read the library copy, but I’m going to buy a copy to keep/press into people’s hands with fervour).
Other categories that Station Eleven fits into: a book with a number in the title, a book by a female author, a mystery or thrilled, a book set in a different country, a book that scares you, a book set in the future, a book that made you cry, a book by an author you’ve never read before