In light of this second lockdown that is upon us, I’ve found the need to surround myself with a bunch of books to keep me occupied over the coming weeks (months?!). I foresee many a duvet day which is never complete without a good book.
I did a little bit of Amazon, a couple from Waterstones (because sometimes one is seduced by the books in a bricks and mortar bookstore and coughs up the full price), and a gloved and masked foray into a charity bookstore. This has given me a nice selection of old titles and some relatively new ones.
I shall list them here and you should (hopefully) see my reviews on here in the coming weeks.
Out of this list, there are 3 books I picked because I felt they sort of capture the current mood of the world and might possibly make an interesting commentary on current society. These are ‘The Mandibles’ by Lionel Shriver, ‘The Other Americans’ by Laila Lalami, and ‘The Unit’ by Ninni Holmqvist.
‘The Other Americans’ is about a Moroccan immigrant who’s killed by a speeding car at an intersection and has a cast of characters “deeply divided by race, religion and class”, and with the US election coming up next week, this state of the world is more clear to me than ever before.
‘The Mandibles’ is set in 2029 and depicts a world where “The U.S. national debt has grown so enormous that it can never be repaid. The dollar is in meltdown. A bloodless international currency war will wipe out the savings of millions of American families.” The book was written in 2017, before the world had ever known about COVID-19, at a time when Shriver’s 2029 world seems so out of whack. Today, these circumstances feel like they could very well manifest within the next year. If we’ve learnt anything over the past few months it is that anything is possible.
‘The Unit’ is a dystopian novel set in the not-so-distant future where men and women deemed economically worthless are sent to ‘the Unit’ where they must donate all their organs, one by one. This brought to my mind the value of human life and how it has been cheapened over the course of this pandemic. How so many people feel happy to sacrifice the vulnerable and the elderly in exchange for freedom.
So that’s my lockdown 2.0 reading list; really looking forward to getting into these. Let me know if you have any recommendations for me. Also, what books are you guys taking into lockdown with you?