But What if We’re Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman

But What if We’re Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman is a 288-page nonfiction book published by Blue Rider Press in June of 2016. I received the book from Penguin’s First to Read program.

But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck KlostermanThis book is a collection of essays and arguments revolving around a central theme–looking into the past with eyes colored by the present. Klosterman presents arguments ranging from future cultural popularity (who will define rock music–The Sex Pistols? Bob Dylan? Chuck Berry?) to scientific theories (will our theory of gravity seem as preposterous to future humans as the geocentric model of the universe seems to us?). More

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Slade House by David Mitchell

Slade House by David Mitchell, of Cloud Atlas fame, was published by Random House in October of 2015.  I received the novel from NetGalley.

Slade House CoverAlthough I’ve never read a David Mitchell book–apparently this novel fits into his established fictional universe–Slade House works perfectly well as a standalone novel.

While the plot surrounds weird occurrences down the street from an everyday pub, the history and appeal of the Slade House is anything but usual. More

World War Z by Max Brooks

World War Z is a 342 page oral history of the stories behind some major events of an outbreak of and war against zombies in our hypothetical future by Max Brooks. It has been made into a film starring Brad Pitt, which I have not seen yet.

The basic plot of the novel was the narrator recounting his interviews that were geared towards finding information for the government. He interviews people worldwide–people from Russia, South Africa, Japan, and China, where a doctor explains his experience in discovering his “patient zero.”

This book was scary. Frightening, because of its possibility. The government actions and peoples’ reactions seem completely, and horrifyingly, realistic. It had some beautifully disturbing ideas. This quote is a fantastic example of how realistic the characters and their motivations were:

[Narrator:] “So you never really tried to solve the problem.”

[Grover Carlson, former White House chief of staff:] “Oh, c’mon. Can you ever ‘solve’ poverty? Can you ever ‘solve’ crime? Can you ever ‘solve’ disease, unemployment, war, or any other societal herpes? Hell no. All you can hope for is to make them manageable enough to allow people to get on with their lives. That’s not cynicism, that’s maturity. You can’t stop the rain. All you can do is just build a roof that you hope won’t leak, or at least won’t leak on the people who are gonna vote for you.”

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