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by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

July 27, 2019

What my Post-Apocalyptic Book Club is Reading

by Donna Huber 

A couple of years ago I joined my library's post-apocalyptic book club. Partly I joined to be more social, but I also enjoy reading dystopian novels. At the time I was mostly reading young adult dystopian and I was hoping to read more books in the genre but for adults. We have a broad definition of post-apocalypse so I've been exposed to books that I would never pick up normally. In July, we choose the books we are reading for the next 12 months and I thought I would share the list with you in case you are also looking for books in this genre. If you are interested in discussing any of these, I would be happy to put together an online book club.

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I am Legend by Richard Matheson

I am Legend
Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth... but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and child on the planet has succumbed to the vampire plague, and they are hungry for Neville's blood.

By day he is the hunter, stalking the undead through the ruins of civilisation. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn.

How long can one man survive like this?

Buy I am Legend at Amazon


Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Sower
In 2025, with the world descending into madness and anarchy, one woman begins a fateful journey toward a better future

Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others.

When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.

Buy Parable of the Sower at Amazon


The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell

The Reapers are the Angels
Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free.

For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself - and keeping her demons inside. She can't remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulated remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.

Buy The Reapers are the Angels at Amazon


The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Calculating Stars
On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process.

Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too.

Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.

Buy The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal


The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth
In Mary's world there are simple truths.
The Sisterhood always knows best.
The Guardians will protect and serve.
The Unconsecrated will never relent.
And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.
But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.
Now, she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

Buy The Forest of Hands and Teeth at Amazon


Lives of the Monster Dogs by Kirsten Bakis

Lives of the Monster Dogs
After a century of cruel experimentation, a haunted race of genetically and biomechanically uplifted canines are created by the followers of a mad nineteenth-century Prussian surgeon. Possessing human intelligence, speaking human language, fitted with prosthetic hands, and walking upright on their hind legs, the monster dogs are intended to be super soldiers. Rebelling against their masters, however, and plundering the isolated village where they were created, the now wealthy dogs make their way to New York, where they befriend the young NYU student Cleo Pira and—acting like Victorian aristocrats—become reluctant celebrities.

Unable to reproduce, doomed to watch their race become extinct, the highly cultured dogs want no more than to live in peace and be accepted by contemporary society. Little do they suspect, however, that the real tragedy of their brief existence is only now beginning.

Buy Lives of the Monster Dogs at Amazon


The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

THe Cabin at the End of World
Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbors are more than two miles in either direction along a rutted dirt road.

One afternoon, as Wen catches grasshoppers in the front yard, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. Leonard is the largest man Wen has ever seen but he is young, friendly, and he wins her over almost instantly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologizes and tells Wen, "None of what’s going to happen is your fault". Three more strangers then arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out: "Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world."

Buy The Cabin ay the End of the World at Amazon


Famous Men Who Never Lived by K Chess

Famous Men Who Never Lived
Wherever Hel looks, New York City is both reassuringly familiar and terribly wrong. As one of the thousands who fled the outbreak of nuclear war in an alternate United States—an alternate timeline—she finds herself living as a refugee in our own not-so-parallel New York. The slang and technology are foreign to her, the politics and art unrecognizable. While others, like her partner Vikram, attempt to assimilate, Hel refuses to reclaim her former career or create a new life. Instead, she obsessively rereads Vikram’s copy of The Pyronauts—a science fiction masterwork in her world that now only exists as a single flimsy paperback—and becomes determined to create a museum dedicated to preserving the remaining artifacts and memories of her vanished culture.

But the refugees are unwelcome and Hel’s efforts are met with either indifference or hostility. And when the only copy of The Pyronauts goes missing, Hel must decide how far she is willing to go to recover it and finally face her own anger, guilt, and grief over what she has truly lost.

Buy Famous Men Who Never Lived at Amazon


The Children of Men by PD James

The Children of Men
The human race has become infertile, and the last generation to be born is now adult. Civilization itself is crumbling as suicide and despair become commonplace. Oxford historian Theodore Faron, apathetic toward a future without a future, spends most of his time reminiscing. Then he is approached by Julian, a bright, attractive woman who wants him to help get her an audience with his cousin, the powerful Warden of England. She and her band of unlikely revolutionaries may just awaken his desire to live . . . and they may also hold the key to survival for the human race.

Buy The Children of Men at Amazon


The Post by Kevin Munoz

The Post
Ten years after the world’s oil went sour and a pandemic killed most of the population, Sam Edison is the chief of police of The Little Five, a walled-in community near Atlanta, Georgia. Those who survived share the world with what are known as hollow-heads: creatures who are no longer fully human.

A man and a pregnant teenager arrive at the gate and are welcomed into the town. They begin to settle in when suddenly both are murdered by an unknown assailant. In the course of the investigation, Chief Edison discovers that the girl was fleeing a life of sexual slavery, and that some members of the Atlanta community were complicit in the human trafficking network that had ensnared her.

In retaliation for Edison’s discoveries, agents of the network abduct the stepdaughter of the town’s mayor. Sam Edison and three companions track the kidnappers to Athens, Georgia, where they discover that the entire city is engaged in human trafficking. By the time Edison has recovered the kidnapped girl, the other three rescuers have been killed, leaving Edison alone to bring the mayor’s stepdaughter home. Further complicating their return is Sam’s realization that a prominent member of the community is in truth the ringleader of the slave-trading network. Against such great odds, will Sam ever make it to Little Five alive?

Buy The Post at Amazon

My Thoughts

Just looking at the list I see I'm going to be reading outside my comfort zone. I've already finished reading I am Legend (I listened to the audiobook). I probably would never have read it if it wasn't for the book club as it has vampires in it and I definitely would have stopped reading after the dog was introduced. Whereas I have read a vampire book (Twilight), I've never read one with zombies. So I will be reading my first zombie book for October (Yay! *sarcasm*). I'm figuring Lives of the Monster Dogs will be difficult because of the dogs.

I'm leading the discussion in November for The Calculating Stars which I reviewed for Audible last year and absolutely loved it. Funny enough, one of the reasons I chose to review the story was because we had read an alternative history novel in the book club that I had enjoyed so I willing to give another book in that genre a try.

The book I'm most looking forward to reading is The Post since it is set in my home state and partly in our city (Athens). I'm also curious to see how the human trafficking aspect of the story is handled. There have been a few busts of large sex trafficking rings in the area recently so I assume there are some "real life" aspects to it.

Since we meet the first week of the month, we don't meet in January and July is our planning meeting which is why there are only 10 books instead of 12 for the year.

Have you read any books on this list? What are some of your favorite post-apocalyptic novels?

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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  1. Interesting choices! I'm familiar with a few titles from my days working at a bookstore, although I haven't read any of them. Recently, I've become a fan of apocalyptic books, so I think I'll add a few of these to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Most of the time I haven't heard of any of the books that are being suggested by the members of my book club.

  2. I haven't heard of many of these, but I'd like to read Forest of Hands and Teeth at some point. I hadn't heard of Calculating the Stars, but I'll have to look into it now. Good for you for being willing to read out of your comfort zone.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction