Natural Selections

Quarantine Don’t Reads

Jennifer Einstein

My brother, apparently, has become a baker. The girl who sat two rows behind me in second grade just planted her first veggie garden. The first alto in my high school Concert Choir now makes soap. And Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine. What, exactly, is wrong with just curling up with a good book? Nothing! But I polled my friends about this and, just for now, you might want to avoid any of these good books: If, perchance, you DO decide to read these (or others), consider buying them from an independent bookstore; they can use the business. See or (ebooks).

• Year of the Flood, by Margaret Atwood
• World War Z, by Max Brooks
• The Brief History of the Dead, by Kevin Brockmeier
• Walk to End of World, by Suzy McKee Charnas
• Pandemic, by Robin Cook
• Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton
• The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of all Time, by John Kelly
• The Stand, by Stephen King
• Severance, by Ling Ma
• The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
• The Last Man, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
• Station Eleven, by Emily St. J. Mandel
• The Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

You don’t have to avoid all post-apocalyptic novels. I found Pat Frank’s Alas Babylon to be rather hopeful.