Read-alikes for the Emily St. John Mandel fan

Want something like Emily St. John Mandel? We get this question quite a lot from fans of the author’s best-selling dystopian novel Station Eleven or her more literary mysteries starting with her debut Last Night in Montreal. Here are some read-alikes with similar qualities to St. John Mandel’s beautiful and haunting novels:

Continue reading “Read-alikes for the Emily St. John Mandel fan”

Pandemic Post-Apocalyptic Podcast

It was amazing, astounding, this loss of communication with the world. It was exactly as if the world had ceased, been blotted out. …With the coming of the Scarlet Death the world fell apart, absolutely, irretrievably.
The Scarlet Plague, by Jack London

Just a handful of years after the novella quoted above came out, the world was plunged into a global pandemic that claimed over 50 million lives. Jack London didn’t live to see it, but he had recently witnessed the ominous return of the Black Death, a startling outbreak of bubonic plague in turn-of-the-century San Francisco that is recounted in David Randall’s Black Death at the Golden Gate. What’s more, he had the foresight to know that worse – much worse – was to come:

Now this is the strange thing about these germs. There were always new ones coming to live in men’s bodies. …the more men there were, the more thickly were they packed together on the earth, the more new kinds of germs became diseases. There were warnings. Soldervetzsky, as early as 1929, told the bacteriologists that they had no guaranty against some new disease, a thousand times more deadly than any they knew, arising and killing by the hundreds of millions and even by the billion.  

While not all of the predictions in London’s vision of America circa 2013 ring true – personal dirigibles, anyone? – his pandemic prophecies have only gained force. In H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, humankind is saved by micro-organisms; in London’s The Scarlet Plague, these same germs turn on us, and almost win. Looking back from the year 2073 on the devastation, an old man attempts to teach his grandsons how to relight the torch of civilization, with the aid of that most precious tool: books! Continue reading “Pandemic Post-Apocalyptic Podcast”

The World Ends Today at 12:05

We’ve had hundreds of murders, scores of heists and scams, repeated instances of paranormal activity, and even a bit of cannibalism. Yet is rare that we’ll destroy an entire planet. But during Thrilling Tales: A Storytime for Grown Ups starting at noon today, we just might manage it. In world-end-cropH.G. Wells’ 1897 story The Star, a mysterious mass from outer space crashes into the planet Neptune, gradually unleashing a chain reaction that at first dazzles, and then terrifies a waiting world. Will all mankind perish in a cataclysmic fireball? You’ll have to stop by the Central library today at noon to find out!

Now in its twelfth year, Thrilling Tales typically happens two Mondays a month at the Central Library. Continue reading “The World Ends Today at 12:05”

October Takeover: Crafting for the Apocalypse

~posted by Carrie M.

So, it’s finally happened: the world as we know it has ended. That’s right, it’s the apocalypse, and you have found yourself as one of the few lucky survivors. Congratulations! But does living in dystopian future without all the conveniences of the past really mean that you have to give up your favorite hobbies and crafts? Absolutely not! This short list of craft books will help keep you safe, stylish, and clean while you fight your way through the scorched remains of the world.

Find Junk Genius in the SPL catalogIf you’re thinking about gadgets and gizmos to make your new life in the wastelands easier, be sure to check out Awesome Projects from Unexpected Places, Junk Genius, and The Handmade Home. These books will teach you how to repurpose all the items you’ve salvaged from the old world to make them useful again (or turn them into valuable trade objects). You can learn how to make baby slings, test tube spice racks, wooden beer mugs, how to turn old crates into portable gardens, and so much more! Continue reading “October Takeover: Crafting for the Apocalypse”

Your Next 5 Books: poetic post-apocalyptic and police procedurals

In this column we regularly highlight a Your Next 5 Books submission that we find interesting, funny, unique, or useful to other readers. Submit Your Next 5 Books entry now, or stop by and see us in person, and maybe you could see your (anonymous) reading habits on Shelf Talk!