Apocalyptic Reads for the Summer

I’m glad for the opportunity to share a few Summer Reading Recommendations, because lately I’ve encountered some new favorite books.

kevin_brockmeierFirst off, let me say that I’m hesitant to recommend books that I’m still in the midst of reading, because it’s embarrassing to subsequently discover that the author loses steam towards the end, picks a ridiculous ending or no ending at all, and the book’s really just ho-hum. Nevertheless, I’m about half-way through and quite wild about The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier. This is apocalyptic fiction — a genre which recently caught my interest. Heretofore, I didn’t realize the popularity of writing about (and reading about) the ending of human civilization via plague/viruses, global natural disasters, danger from space, genetically modified humans, computers run amok, you name it. In this case, the author throws in lots of gorgeously written detail on divergent topics, and I’m hoping the ending will live up to his build-up.

peter_hellerThe Dog Stars by Peter Heller is another apocalyptic novel I very much liked, about some lone survivors of a flu pandemic, which include the good guy, his dog Jasper, and his quirky survivalist neighbor named Bangley. Through-and-through this book was original, exciting, and tugged at my heart.

pearl_buckMoving on to a classic, Pearl Buck’s Pavilion of Women is a treasure — beautiful prose about birth and death, love, loss, envy, hatred, curiosity, sexuality, spirituality, feminism, and other components of human existence.

Finally, to tie these recommendations to your fitness goals, I urge you to walk/jog/bike to the bookstore or to your local Library, to spend quality time browsing the shelves. And, of course, make it a habit to read books whenever you’re on the treadmill, stationary bike, stair-stepper, elliptical, etc.

[Img.Src: Kevin Brockmeier, Peter Heller, Pearl Buck]

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