For my 2016 Reading Challenge, read a book that intimidates you, I chose Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. It's a dystopian science fiction novel that passes back and forth between past and future, interweaving a middle-aged famous actor-playboy and the rippling effect of his death, a young girl (of the past and the future as part of a caravan of traveling actors and musicians), and a catastrophic, flu pandemic that near-erases the past and changes civilizations future. Dystopian fiction intimidates me because on my own I don't often understand the main themes of the genre, the hidden meanings behind the words. But, Station Eleven came with rave reviews. While I haven't had much luck with 'rave reviewed' books, I'm after new and different and stretching myself beyond (J.D. Robb). Ha Ha.
The first trip from past to future in Station Eleven was a shambles - for me, but as soon as I caught on, I was hooked. And, somehow I, early on, recognized one of the main themes of the book, survival is insufficient, which is lettered on the lead caravan of the Traveling Symphony, and a line from an old Star Trek episode. Simply surviving is not enough to make a life. There has to be something more. Another theme was relationship, fraught throughout the book, most, in some way centered around the famous actor's life - and in his death. Very interesting weaving of how one person can impact so many in different ways.
This was not a quick read by any stretch. It took me days to get through as I'd get sucked in for a large stretch and then would need to put it down because it weighed heavy over me. But, man, this was a sterling piece of fiction.
This is also book 47 in my 52 New Books in 2016 challenge. Which means only 5 more books to go!