Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Note from Samantha: Enjoy Your Last Summer!

Karen Thompson Walker’s debut novel, The Age of Miracles, has been passed around the Warwick’s staff. To date, upwards of eight staff members have finished the book – very unique for a single novel and our diverse staff. If you have yet to hear about The Age of Miracles, let me fill you in. The story takes place in suburban San Diego (Del Mar if you want to be precise), and follows the life of an eleven-year-old girl named Julia. One day, Julia and her family, along with the rest of the world, wake up to learn that the rotation of the earth has slowed down. “The slowing” affects everything – gravity, the magnetic field, plants and animals. As much about “the slowing” as it is about it affects Julia, her family, and her friendships, The Age of Miracles is my favorite book of this summer.

Back to the point. I hate to call The Age of Miracles an ‘apocalyptic’ novel, but there is no denying that “the slowing” changes everything about life as we know it (assuming we were living in Karen Thompson Walker’s fictional world). I hesitate to call it apocalyptic because to many people that kind of story is a turn-off; when they hear “apocalypse” they imagine an asteroid on an inevitable track towards earth, or a widespread outbreak of some contagious, incurable disease. They might even imagine something more recent like last summer’s fictitious Rapture or this year’s coming end to the Mayan calendar. As more and more of my coworkers finished The Age of Miracles, the more we began talking about our favorite end-of-the-world novel. Since the end of the Mayan calendar is the latest and greatest world-ending phenomenon people are buying into, here is a selection of books we recommend so you can “enjoy your last summer!” From a “Maya 2012” travel guide that will take you through Mayan Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras to Tom Perrotta’s rapture-like novel The Leftovers, you have until December 21, 2012 to get through this list. Or maybe not… I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
Pure by Julianne Baggott
Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch
The Passage by Justin Cronin
The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
Blindness by Jose Saragamo
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson
World War Z by Max Brooks
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
2012 by Daniel Pinchbeck
Maya 2012 published by Moon
The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
Now Panic & Freak Out published by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Children of Men by PD James
City of Bohane by Kevin Barry
Alas Babylon by Pat Frank

Samantha is a bookseller at Warwick's

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