As we begin this new year of 2014, perhaps some reading about the end of the world as we know it is the perfect contradiction.
DYSTOPIA. Not being a huge fan of fiction (my BA is in history. I’m all about the non-fiction), I was, admittedly, unfamiliar with this word before being involved with our book club collection here at CSL. In full disclosure, I looked it up: “a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease and overcrowding”( dictionary.com). That definition could certainly apply to some current societies, but from what I gather in the LibraryThing world, it has been applied (ahem…”tagged”) to imaginary, post-apocalyptic scenarios.
I am happy to report, that the CSL bookclub collection has a few titles regarding this very subject.
The narrator of Atwood’s riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he is sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. (5 copies)
“Margaret Atwood’s science fiction draws you into a world that could actually exist, with people who take technology to fantastical extremes, and solve problems with disastrous results. She creates characters that are at once loathsome and compelling. They are people you want to care about and yet grate at you. Their conflicts are our conflict. Its their solutions….” –Carolyn Weyland
Eleven year old Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather. (5 copies)
“This is a coming of age tale set with the backdrop of a world in an ever increasing state of catastrophe. Very original and as sweet as it is haunting. I couldn’t put it down.” –Amazon customer
A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food. (8 copies)
“This one is a fabulous read that juxtaposes in one place and time the compassionate and loving dimension of human nature along with its dark and merciless side. It is unremitting in reminding the reader of the terrible side of our nature; but it is simultaneously a story of great hope and an unambiguous declaration of the love that humanity is capable of.” –Peter 1956
Kat lives with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem. Each district agreed to send one boy & girl to appear in an televised event called, “The Hunger Games.” It is kill or be killed. When Kat’s sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place. (9 copies)
“I love a book that has a certain addictive quality that prevents you from putting it down once you’ve picked it up. “ –Rivero “Jess”
If any of those tragic, yet adventurous stories intrigue you for your library’s bookclub, please feel free to request! https://cobookclubs.wordpress.com/request-your-books/
All of the books listed above also have discussion questions available and can be found here: https://cobookclubs.wordpress.com/lets-discuss/
So let’s delve into the end of the world as we know it! Enjoy!
Sources: amazon.com, litlovers.com