My favorite pandemic books

I am compiling (in my head, of course), a short list of my favorite books from 2020, but until I get that done, here’s a #TBT from my Instagram account, which is private.

I did this Insta Story back when we all thought we’d be out of the office, or out of school, or out of whatever for, like two weeks. Two weeks somehow turned into two months, then the rest of the year.

These books popped up into my head again recently because over dinner the other night my family had a fun discussion around what we would do if/when a zombie apocalypse (or, any apocalypse) were to occur. I have, due to a lot of fiction reading, given this a lot of thought and felt I had a lot to contribute. My daughter’s first instinct, she said, was to head to the middle school she now attends, which I found interested because it is first, further away from us than, say, her elementary school and second, still very unfamiliar to her because even though she’s a student there, she’s never taken a class in person there. I do think she’s got the right idea, though. Schools, malls, airports are all ideal locations to consider for the long haul.

Anyhow, here is a photo flashback of some flu pandemic novel recommendations, with a little added detail that I didn’t include in the original story:

FWIW, Instagram stories is my preferred storytelling method on social media.
The Stand by Stephen King
The Stand, by Stephen King (“You never forget your first”)
I read this right after the release of the TV mini-series adaptation that starred Gary Sinise and Molly Ringwald. The version of the paperback I bought, which I got from the airport, had the two actors from the series. I think I have reread it once, and rewatched the old series, or at least seen parts of it. I have no plans on watching the new version that is now airing.
The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller
The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller.
I read so much that sometimes I forget books that I’ve read, but The Dog Stars has definitely stuck with me through the years. I think it was one of those books that I had in my queue at the library, and by the time I got it off the Holds list, I had forgotten everything about why I had it in the queue in the first place. When that happens, and then you get hit with a great story, well that’s always a memorable one. I really liked the post-pandemic lifestyle the main character lived, in the airport hangar. This is when I started keeping notes on living through these types of things.

Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. This was recommended to me by a friend, who also lent me his copy. You are just going along, reading all of these different storylines, knowing at some point they will connect, but not entirely sure how, when suddenly it comes and you are just, like, Wow. I very much like to allow books or stories happen to me, vs trying to guess what will happen. It is a much more appealing way to enjoy a surprise twist.
Year One, by Nora Roberts
Year One, by Nora Roberts. Is there anything that Nora Robert can’t do? This novel was not only pandemic creating chaos, but also supernatural and magical. But I remember it for the post-pandemic parts, of the life and society that’s built up from the destruction. I’m seeing now that the entire series is much more magical and fantastical, and since it’s Nora, probably a little sexy. I’ll have to add them to my queue.
Severence, by Ling Ma
Severance, by Ling Ma. This has a cool twist on the panedmic, with the added Zombies that are spooky but not deadly. Memorable to me because it reflected a millennial generation perspective, which the others did not.

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