Hopefully everyone is staying safe and healthy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Now is the time to practice social distancing (if you’re able to) and a lot of people are finding themselves isolated at home with a bit more time on their hands.
Sure, it might be time to catch up on all those Netflix shows, but I’d argue it’s an even better time to read a few good books! Dystopia seems to be the theme these days, and here are 5 excellent books that are perfect for reading while in quarantine.
Since we’re in quarantine why not read a sci-fi story about an entire population trapped in an underground silo because the outside air is toxic? Going outside is a punishment in this mystery dystopia, but when the silo’s sheriff begins looking into his wife’s death he starts to learn more about the silo’s history and how humans ended up voluntarily secluding themselves within. Wool is a quick read and the first of a trilogy, so it’ll keep you engrossed for a while!
The War of the Worlds isn’t exactly a dystopia, but it is the tale of an alien invasion that brings humanity to its knees—much like what we’ve seen happening around the world. So why read it? Because it shows how humanity can band together and even the smallest thing can defeat was seems like an invincible enemy. Our The War of the Worlds art print actually has the entire book on it, so you could give it a read that way!
You can’t go wrong digging into a book written by an iconic sci-fi novelist like Philip K. Dick. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is set in a future where the planet has been decimated of almost all living creatures and androids are advanced enough to appear human-like. This novel asks some heavy questions about what makes us human and the impact our carelessness can have on other living things. What's great about Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is that you can pair it with the film Blade Runner which is based on this book (then follow it up with the stunningly shot sequel, Blade Runner 2049).
The Road is a grim post-apocalyptic novel which follows a father and son as they journey through the wasteland that was once America. On the surface this tale may seem one of hopelessness and despair, but the true crux of the novel is the love the father-son duo share which prompts them to try to survive at all costs. It's also another excellent book which you can follow up by watching the film of the same name. A good reminder to call your loved ones and tell them that you care about them!
While Fever Dream doesn’t fall squarely in the dystopian genre, it is a haunting tale that is both fascinating and unsettling. Fever Dream is best read in one setting as Schweblin skillfully creates a sense of building dread that will have you at the edge of your seat by the end. A commentary on toxins, pesticides, and the relationship between mother and child, Fever Dream offers a lot to unpack in a small package.
What are some of your favorite post-apocalyptic novels?