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Everyone has different ways to subsist with the events of the outbreak; these books will enable you to get however close or far from what’s going on outside as you want. From stories of pandemics and post-calamitous societies and exultant narratives about spending time alone to pure page-turning reverie, here are 10 books and series to read while staying home.
Unstoppable and mysterious deaths, dreadful viruses,wind-like wide spread panic,countries and great cities turn into ghost towns. less records of survivors. These are all the elements that make up classic Camelot studies and create the best form of relief for fans of our classification. These top 10 pandemic novels convey us to various worlds where humanity as we know it leans on the brink of capitulating to the widespread, outbreaks.
Regrettable today, this fictitious world has gradually become our reality now as we face 2020 Corona-virus pandemic. As humanity is now plunge in a line up between a conceptual goal and reality, read these gripping top 10 pandemic novels, where fiction could almost be fact.
The Broken Earth trilogy, N. K. Jemisin
In N. K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy, the only people with the power to protect their world from recurring cataclysms are also its most oppressed. The acclaimed series is set in the Stillness, a hostile continent that is anything but still or stable. There, magic-wielders called orogenes can prevent or reduce the impact of the Stillness’ regular seismic events, but because of this gift, they are attacked and subjugated. Jemisin, who made history with this trilogy as the first person to win three consecutive Hugo Awards for Best Novel, employs interweaving narratives—and occasional sleight of hand—to center the orogenes’ stories amidst the end of the world.
Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel.
After a swine flu pandemic wipes out most of the world’s population, a group of musicians and actors travel around newly formed settlements to keep their art alive. In following the troupe’s journey, Emily St. John Mandel showcases the impact of the pandemic on all of their lives. The novel, a 2014 National Book Award finalist, weaves together characters’ perspectives from across the planet and over several decades to explore how humanity can fall apart and then, somehow, come back together.
Severance, Ling Ma
As a catastrophic fever plagues the world, New Yorker Candace Chen continues to work at her job producing specialized Bibles. Dedicated to her routine and miraculously still well, Candace is offered a big bonus if she continues commuting to her office. The novel flips between those harrowing days as the illness festers and Candace’s uncertain future, when she teams up with a group of fellow survivors in the hopes of starting a new society. A bleak but funny commentary on our obsession with work, Severance asks how we can survive when much of everyday life becomes unrecognizable.
World War Z, Max Brooks.
Max Brooks’ “oral history” of a virus that originated in China and spread across the world, transforming millions of people into zombies, is so much more than the Brad Pitt action adaptation makes it out to be. The novel is a sweeping look at the sociopolitical response to a pandemic—and a thriller to boot. Brooks described (with startling prescience) how different countries reacted to the major virus: In just the first few chapters, the Chinese government tries to cover up the virus’ spread, and the U.S. government, in the midst of an election year, is too slow to react to the impending catastrophe. (The book was banned in China.) Brooks’ profound insight: The real threat isn’t the virus or even the zombies—it’s our psychological response, namely denial and panic.
The Road, Cormac McCarthy.
It’s a frigid winter in post-apocalyptic America, and an unnamed father and son are struggling to stay alive as they travel across deserted terrain. The somewhat traditional dystopian premise of The Road soon gives way to a story that raises complex questions about morality, parenting and the lengths that humans will go to survive. Cormac McCarthy’s 2006 novel, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was adapted into a film starring Viggo Mortensen, offers twists, turns and an uneasy, unforgettable ending.
Zone One, Colson Whitehead.
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Colson Whitehead’s 2011 book isn’t your typical zombie apocalypse story. Blending literary fiction, humor and horror, Whitehead centers Zone One around a civilization split into two: the living and the living dead. After a pandemic has ravaged the earth, the leftover population attempts to rebuild while coping with Post-Apocalyptic Stress Disorder. The novel focuses on a fragmented New York City, where characters quickly discover the difficulties of upholding order in the midst of chaos.
Wave, Sonali Deraniyagala.
In 2004, economist Sonali Deraniyagala was vacationing with her family off the Sri Lankan shore when, in an instant, everything changed. The Indian Ocean tsunami blew through their beach resort and killed Deraniyagala’s husband, parents and two young sons. Full of rage and guilt over being her family’s lone survivor, Deraniyagala is forced to bear unimaginable grief, which she describes in gutting terms in one of TIME’s picks for the best nonfiction books of the decade. But in remembering her old life, she works to assemble a liveable present and reminds us all how to move forward in the wake of devastation.
My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Ottessa Moshfegh.
Can you sleep away your problems? That’s what Ottessa Moshfegh’s nameless protagonist ponders before embarking on a year-long journey of extreme rest to reset her life after a series of tragedies. This is no wellness saga, however; the young woman spends her time and her ample inheritance on a melange of pills prescribed to her by a daffy psychiatrist, while avoiding her needy frenemy and a toxic on-again, off-again paramour. When her endless pursuit for hibernation coincides with a monumental catastrophe, she finds a haunting solution to her issues with engaging with the world and others.
Wild, Cheryl Strayed.
At 26 years old, Cheryl Strayed had never backpacked. But following the dissolution of her marriage and the agonizing loss of her mother, she set out to hike over one thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail—by herself. Strayed’s memoir, written in gripping and granular detail, recounts her journey as she walked from California to Washington, carrying all that she needed to live on her back. Reflecting on what led her to this moment, Strayed contemplates her past in several moving flashbacks and reveals how being alone might actually be what puts her back together.
Walden, Henry David Thoreau.
Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau has been the subject of a snarky reevaluation over the last few years: the New Yorker called Walden “the original cabin porn” and Twitter took him to task over the idea that his mom did his laundry. But there’s still plenty to glean from his 1854 work, which practically lays out a manual for social distancing. Thoreau finds joy in housework and the sounds of daily life that ring out around him; he champions self-reliance, introspection and environmentalism. And sections about escaping the constant distractions of modern life ring even more true in the digital age. “We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids,” he wrote, “But by an infinite expectation of the dawn.”
The Martian, Andy Weir.
After encountering a dangerous dust storm on Mars, a crew of astronauts think one of their own, Mark Watney, has died. Believing he was fatally struck by debris, the crew make the excruciating decision to return to earth without Watney—not knowing that he is actually alive. Stranded, and with few supplies, the astronaut must use his engineering skills to survive alone on Mars. The fast-paced narrative, made into a 2015 movie starring Matt Damon, examines how one person’s perseverance and creativity can carry him through an unthinkable trial.
Solitary, Albert Woodfox.
In 2016, Albert Woodfox was released from prison. He was the longest-standing solitary confinement prisoner in the U.S., having spent four decades in a nine-by-six foot cell in Louisiana, allowed out for only an hour each day. Solitary, his memoir, tells a harrowing story of being convicted of a murder he has long maintained he did not commit; of suffering from the deeply entrenched racism at Angola prison; of becoming an activist, teaching other prisoners to read and organizing hunger strikes. He was released at the age of 69 as part of a plea deal with Louisiana prosecutors. “Sometimes my knees would shake and almost buckle,” he writes in the memoir. “I forced myself to learn how not to give in to fear.”
Middlemarch, George Eliot.
George Eliot was nothing if not a realist: Her masterwork Middlemarch is about marriage, work and the disappointment that can be found in both of those endeavors. That is not to say that this sprawling novel, a must-read classic, is a depressing work. The fan-favorite character of Dorothea encounters frustrations as a woman navigating the constraints of patriarchal society but striving to do her best. And Eliot ultimately instills in the reader the timely and potent sentiment that small acts of kindness can make a difference. Even if achieving happiness or moral perfection is impossible, striving for such lofty goals improves the world.
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