Thursday, March 19, 2020

No Thank You: Books To Avoid In These Trying Times

While writing this week's top ten Tuesday post, I casually mentioned a few books I won't be reading this month (season? year?) because of how terrifyingly plausible they seem these days. I keep thinking of more and more of them, so even though I DO NOT RECOMMEND reading them right now, I couldn't resist listing them for you.

1. The Stand
I read this book in 1995, in my little flat in rural Latvia, and I have not yet forgotten the opening scene, with the guy slipping out of the gates as the science goes wrong, then driving off with his wife and baby, coughing ominously.

2. Dry
Neal Shusterman himself just tweeted about the eery connection between his novel of water running out and the current situation (of TP running out?)

3. Life As We Knew It
I lost interest in this series as it progressed, but the first book, in which a slight shift in the moon's orbit basically destroys everything on earth made me want to stack the pantry with canned goods. Hmm, what does that remind me of?

4. Station Eleven
This one's not as near future as the others, so it's a little less relevant. But it's pretty bleak.

5.  Wilder Girls
Quarantined girls unsure if their food source is a boon or the problem...yikes.

6. How I Live Now
How quaint, a near-future book in which nuclear war derails regular life. Seems like a very 1980s concept. Though the cousin incest makes it less quaint, of course. Or more so? Wasn't that a thing in the 1300s?

7. In the After
As my students like to point out, this book came out well BEFORE The Quiet Place came out. After the aliens have attacked the earth, the only way to avoid getting eaten is to be unheard.

8. The Last Policeman
I love this trilogy about the trials and tribulations of trying to be a police detective when the whole world is aware that a meteor is going to take everyone out in a few months.

9. Not a Drop to Drink
I can barely let myself think about this one. After our scare with losing power yesterday, I started to wonder how feral we'd all get in pursuit of water for our immediate family.

10. The Living
The Big One wipes out the west coast, and the resulting flood of illnesses and refugees send the entire country into a tailspin. Oof.

The cover colors and styles kind of crack me up. Compare them to most contemporaries or rom-coms out. These books want you to know they are ominous. Kind of like poison dart frogs or something.

Image result for poison dart frog

What books would you add to this list? Are you brave enough to read any of these right now, or do they all strike a little too close to home? Me, I'm heading back to my comfort reads. 


  1. When I was a preteen, I was obsessed with a dystopia series called Count Down. Each book was named after a month. Everything about the books was terrible. It’s about a disease that only kills old people, so kids take over the world. That’s kind of what my neighborhood is like right now. When I walk the dog, there are children EVERYWHERE and very few adults.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. I don't think I would be able to handle any dystopians right now. I go to work, and the train station seems abandoned. It's unsettling. I feel like I am in some end of days thing right now.

  3. Nope, not right now. And I would say for you to strike The Road; Tomorrow, When the War Began; Earth Abides; A Canticle for Leibowitz; The Dog Stars; Winter's End; and The Year of the Flood, too.

  4. Great topic! I tweeted it --people need this list!

  5. I read Dry and it scared me for a bleak future.

    We have a well but if electricity go down, we will be in trouble as well.

    Yes, I will stay away from all these books as well. I do not need any distopian novels for my active imagination at this time. :)

  6. A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen is like, this actual apocalypse so I'd save that one for another day too hah. These are great though, and is it bad that I actually want to read a couple of them, even now? I loved Not a Drop, Dry, and Wilder Girls, and now I want to give the rest a go!

  7. See, now I actually gravitate TOWARD these books right now because I'm ... messed up or something. I just wrote about A Beginning at the End on my blog (the one Shannon mentions above) and I warn people that they might not want that dose of fantasy in our current reality (or maybe they do!). Another one is Malice by Pintip Dunn.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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