Post-apocalyptic Reading List

Apocalit1

In my first novel, Our Endless Numbered Days, a father takes his daughter to a European forest and after a terrible storm he tells her the rest of the world has disappeared and they are the only two people left on earth. She believes him. I like to think it’s almost what you could call a post-apocalyptic novel, or end-of-the-world fiction, or the term I like best: postapocalit.

Sometimes it’s a devastating disease, or a human-made environmental disaster, a natural catastrophe, or nuclear war that ends the world as we know it. Whichever event changes everything, the ‘rules’ seem to be that very few people are left to struggle for survival in a radically altered world.

When I was growing up in the 1970s I was allowed to stay up late (like Peggy in Our Endless Numbered Days) to watch the television series, Survivors about a group of people in Britain who have survived a plague. It gave me nightmares, but I loved it. And I’ve loved postapocalit and films ever since.

When I was writing Our Endless Numbered Days, I read or re-read as much postapocalit as I could find. (I also read a lot of survival fiction and non-fiction, and these lists will hopefully feature in future posts.) I read so much of it, that again I had recurring postapocalit dreams that didn’t go away until I finished writing.

Here’s a list of my favourite end-of-the-world novels. Continue reading

Bleak Books

photo-1418127089837-a51949182ef4

I love bleak books. Novels where only sad things happen, and then they get more miserable. Not the weepy kind of fiction where you know the characters will overcome their troubles at the end of the book, or grisly horror, just pretty relentless grimness. A few days ago Lissa Evans author of Crooked Heart wrote her top 10 bleak books and inspired me to do the same. These aren’t necessarily my favourite books ever, just my favourite really unhappy ones. You can look for our lists on Twitter using #bleakbooks, but here’s mine below.

Continue reading