With the world gone mad, reading can be a relief from the news. Last night I turned to an old favorite by Lois Lowry, The Giver, with its ambiguous ending of hope for a dystopian world. Then, I read Michael Faber’s Under the Skin, a chilling tale yet curiously connected to civilization. Published in 2000 and later made into a movie, the story is better if you have not heard of its premise, and I won’t spoil it here, but clearly not everyone is as they seem.
Reading books about how horrible the world has yet to become makes today seem not so bad – despite the dire ramblings of politicians and pundits. Sometimes listening on Audible makes the misery more palatable and the hope for a changed future more possible. Two I have on my iPhone to keep me properly alert –
- Station Eleven
“…offers comfort and hope to those who believe, or want to believe, that doomsday can be survived, that in spite of everything people will remain good at heart, and that when they start building a new world they will want what was best about the old.” from the Sigrid Nunez review for the New York Times
“…Perhaps the world as we know it will indeed end this way for many Americans: terrified of porcupines, longing for the sound of S.U.V.s, unable to distinguish between an artifact and a keepsake, helped to find temporary sanctuary by the last black man on earth. If it does, we won’t be able to say that “California” didn’t warn us.” from Jeff Vandermeer’s review for the New York Times.
If the apocalypse is upon us, books have already outlined what we can expect.