Pandemic Book Mania
There are some readers that like to read happy, fluffy books to escape whatever horror is going on in the world. And then there are readers like me, who like to immerse themselves into books that are even more horrific than the world around them. Here are some recommendations for that type of reader.
THE STAND by Stephen King - What happens when a weapon of biological warfare leaks out of a testing facility and kills 99% of the population? Well, you’ll have to read this epic, immersive masterpiece with some of the most memorable characters in order to find out. This massive book still remains one of my favorite King books today.
STATION ELEVEN Emily St. John Mandel - A beautifully written, apocalyptic story where a swine flu takes out 99% of humanity. In true Mandel form, we explore the juxtaposition between plot and character in poetic prose.
SEVERANCE Ling Ma - A satirical look at America’s culture and obsession with capitalism and the immigrant experience. It starts off slow, but once you get into it, you won’t want to put it down. A post apocalyptic story full of introspection.
WILDER GIRLS Rory Power - A captivating coming-of-age story about an all girls academy left quarantined on an island due to a strange disease. Body horror plays a standout role providing the reader with beautiful and unique imagery. The gorgeous cover art perfectly matches the story within.
THE COMPANIONS Katie M. Flynn - Set in the wake of an epidemic in quarantined California, the dying can upload their consciousness into machines called companions, becoming virtual slaves to their owners. A terrifying concept to say the least.
LOCKDOWN by Peter May - An atmospheric thriller set in London where a flu pandemic precipitates martial law. Written 15 years ago but finally just published, this eerily familiar premise promises to keep you on the edge of your seat.
THE END OF OCTOBER Lawrence Wright - A page turning political thriller that exposes a lethal virus that spreads throughout the nation. The highly contagious virus originates from a refugee camp in Indonesia but makes its way all the way to the White House.
THE DOWN DAYS Ilze Hugo - Say hello to one of my most highly anticipated reads of the year. An apocalyptic mystery about a laughing plague that can cause insanity and ultimately death. This debut is promised to include cults, conspiracy theories, and prophecies and the cover alone makes this book worth reading.
SURVIVOR SONG Paul Tremblay - A strain of rabies spreads like wildfire causing a pandemic in the United States. Tremblay is a brilliant writer who has a knack for pushing the boundaries of the horror genre. He is an author I will buy without even reading the synopsis.
THE MADDADDAM TRILOGY by Margaret Atwood includes Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam. Atwood wrote a complex, intricate story that I won’t ever stop thinking about. All three books are vastly different yet intertwine perfectly. Humanity has been destroyed to save the Earth only to repopulate it with new, more gentle creatures. The imagination and cleverness that went into this trilogy blows me away. Atwood has a way with words and a knack for writing realistic dystopia.
NEWSFLESH TRILOGY by Mira Grant includes Feed, Deadline, and Blackout - A post apocalyptic story originating from a zombie virus told through the eyes of journalists. An action packed, fast-paced series complete with cultural implications and interesting science.
TYPHOID MARY Judith Walzer Leavitt - This book dips into one of my favorite genres: true crime. Unbeknownst to Mary Mallon, or more than that, unwilling to believe it to be true, she spread the typhoid disease all over New York City, cooking meals for all who could afford her. Mary was never sick herself but was a carrier of typhus bacillus and killed 20+ people.
SPILLOVER David Quammen - I’ve recently started reading this book and I’m already impressed by how incredible it is. We follow a team of detectives as they track down the viruses, bacteria, and single-celled organisms that infect animals, but occasionally spillover into the human species.
THE HOT ZONE Richard Preston - There is a reason why this book is on every list and that’s because it’s terrifying. It focuses on the outbreak of the Ebola virus that originated in Africa, a virus that eats away at humans in a matter of days and devastates everyone in its path.
THE COMING PLAGUE Laura Garett - An in-depth look at newly discovered diseases and epidemics spreading worldwide, with a focus on the ecosystems, politics, wars, and inadequate public health systems contributing to their proliferation.
Janelle Janson @ She Reads with Cats