More books I read in June

July 4, 2021 · 8:57 p.m.

Notes on an Apocalypse: The End of the World and Personal Return by Mark O’Connell He continues with another book about his future that won the Wellcome Award for Transhumanism To Be a Machine, this time exploring ways to prepare people for ecological and social collapse. O’Connell travels to South Dakota to visit underground survival bunkers, attends a Mars convention in California, visits New Zealand to find out why millionaires are the best place to travel to the end of the world, and goes to the Chernobyl exclusion zone. where the post-apocalyptic scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster has become a popular tourist attraction in recent years.

In the paper edition, O’Connell stated in a new preface that the time for the April 2020 hardcover publication was “perfect”. However, it does mean that some sections read a little differently than they would without a global pandemic. For example, the actions of “trainers” who accumulate supplies in the event of a bad situation now seem far from extreme. O’Connell’s writing is dense and brainwashing, and ‘Notes from an Apocalypse’ has as much thought as his first book, though this time with a greater dose of concern for the future.

Sorrow and Bliss Meg Mason

Posted this month, Sorrow and Bliss, by Meg Mason it’s one of the most tumultuous novels in the UK this summer. Martha Friel has just turned 40 and has just finished her eight-year marriage to Patrick. The novel focuses on her life, growing up with a dysfunctional extended family, and then marrying Jonathan for a short time. She has been battling mental illness since she was 17, but Mason deliberately does not name Martha as the exact condition she is diagnosed with, and states in the background that it is a fictional disease in any case, thus preventing the reader from making hypotheses. to maintain certain aspects of his conduct. Marta has a very dry sense of humor and Mason balances the light and shadow of her vision very well without compromising her health. “Sorrow and Bliss” can be a strong contender on the long list of Booker Awards that will be announced later this month. Many thanks to Weidenfeld & Nicolson for submitting a review copy via NetGalley.

Incomplete States of America Doug MackI often look for travel documents located in remote locations; favorites in recent years include Sarah Moss, who lived in Iceland for years after writing Names For the Sea about Nell Stevens’ stay in the Falkland Islands while trying to write. Gavin Francis’s novel Empire Antarctica and the story of a base camp doctor on Caird Coast’s Halley Research Station in the British Antarctic Survey. Still the niche, but probably The Not-Quite States of America by Doug Mack which documents the author’s travels to five American territories and commonwealths: the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico. Before I read this book, I knew almost nothing about them. Calmly though, Mack didn’t do it until he embarked on a 30,000-mile journey to explore themselves. Explains how these places ended up as U.S. territory, which in practice means for people living there, such as how Samoan Americans are recognized as American nationals, but not as citizens, that is, they cannot vote in presidential elections. give. The historical background goes beyond the actual journey in some parts, but overall, this non-fiction piece is still appealing and enlightening.

RC Verma

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