I mentioned last week that I finally finished part one of my post-apocalyptic story. (No, I haven’t done any more writing to it because the writing assignment I have for my book club/writing group is staring me in the face, taunting me. I need to finish it.) Following that post, a co-worker of mine mentioned he read the post and asked if I had ever read The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
Nope. I haven’t.
But that prompted me to think about books that are post-apocalyptic that I probably should read. One of my professors, Pamela Duncan, gave me some good advice back in college: that I should read books similar to what I’m trying to write in order to better ground myself in my story and to get more concrete ideas for the feel of the story as well. (I think she actually gave me that advice based on what this post-apocalyptic story has morphed into, because she recommended I read The Sparrow. Although it could have been a different story. Hmm.)
With that, I present the books that I should probably read:
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Part of the conversation that I had with my co-worker was admitting that I need to mentally prepare myself for this because I’ve already heard how gruesome and depressing it is. He said that he was, indeed, one among the many who have been profoundly affected by this book. While not encouraging and it’ll probably break my spirit for a while, I’ll read it.
- One Second After by William R. Forstchen. Yes, this is the book that actually got onto the floor of Congress or something when it first came out. When I was working at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville, NC, this book was especially popular because it’s set Black Mountain (I believe), which is about 45 minutes to an hour away from Waynesville. I’ve been meaning to read it for a while, so my story is the kick in the pants I needed to just do it.
- Wool by Hugh Howey. This guy has several post-apocalyptic books, so this is probably a rabbit hole entry on the list. However, it’s intriguing that it’s an underground society (yes, it’s been done before, but I haven’t read anything like that, I think).
- Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke. I haven’t read any of his stuff, which is a travesty in and of itself. No explanation needed.
- A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. This sounds similar to Anathem in passing (cloister of scientific monks), which I did wind up enjoying. It appears to be highly reviewed and praised, so I might as well give it a shot.
Of course, my reading this list will still have to work around my 2017 reading challenge if I don’t switch any of them out with books I’ve already decided on. We’ll see what happens and, of course, whenever I do read these, I’ll report back.