Book lists (mostly fiction)
- Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
- The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
- If On a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino
- Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
- Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
- Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
- Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac
- The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
- 1984 by George Orwell
- Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
- The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
- The Beatrice Letters by Lemony Snicket
- East of Eden by John Steinbeck
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
- The Martian by Andy Weir
- California by Edan Lepucki
If I had to choose, the books I would take with me for some leisure time on a desert island (spoilers!):
This is a cleverly woven together book, where the events of the past, present, and future all intertwine, with the common thread a dead actor and a comic created by his first wife (and I so want this comic to be another book, too). It does not exactly address an apocalypse head-on, but the beginnings and the aftermath of one and what people must do to survive and even thrive when the apparent foundations of civilization have disappeared. The story of the aftermath loosely centers around a young woman named Kirsten who is an actress in the Traveling Symphony, a nomadic group dedicated to performing plays to preserve culture because "Survival is Insuffient." Station Eleven illustrates humanity at its best and gives glimpses of its worst, but it is ultimately a glowing novel on hope, poignantly written with grace and quiet drama.
The above image, on my first read, was one of my favorite parts. Some other highlights:
- Hell is the absence of people you long for.
- "Very admirable of you. You know, it reminds me of a documentary I saw last month, a little Czech film about an outsider artist who refused to show her work during her lifetime. She lived in Praha, and—"
"Oh," Clark says, "I believe when you’re speaking English, you’re allowed to refer to it as Prague."
It sounds like a bedtime story for a five-year-old, but this is a quirky, ironic fairy tale that includes an incompetent magician, the middle-aged wife of an outlaw, and, of course, a unicorn. It is hilarious and bittersweet, and the writing is richer than a Christmas dinner. Whether it's in two words or twenty, each description is perfect. I think if I said anything more, this would be too gushy, so...
Some of my favorite quotes:
- Real magic can never be made by offering someone else's liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back.
- When I was alive, I believed—as you do—that time was at least as real and solid as myself, and probably more so. I said 'one o'clock' as though I could see it, and 'Monday' as though I could find it on the map; and I let myself be hurried along from minute to minute, day to day, year to year, as though I were actually moving from one place to another. Like everyone else, I lived in a house bricked up with seconds and minutes, weekends and New Year's Days, and I never went outside until I died, because there was no other door. Now I know that I could have walked through the walls.
- As for you and your heart and the things you said and didn't say, she will remember them all when men are fairy tales in books written by rabbits.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- The October Country (short stories) by Ray Bradbury
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
- On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
- An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
- Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
- Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
- The Hunger Games (trilogy) by Suzanne Collins
- Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians (and associated books) by Rick Riordan
- Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
- Holes by Louis Sachar
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (thirteen) by Lemony Snicket
- Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
- Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt
- Matched by Ally Condie
- Looking for Alaska by John Green