The End Is…Nigh?

I really enjoy reading post-apocalyptic literature, and there’s so much coming out at the moment! I took on this craze as a kind of writing challenge, and I wanted to share it with you too: What is the wackiest apocalypse you can think of? What is the one way the world as we know it could end that no-one ever saw coming?

Here’s mine!

We never knew. After the first break-out, we laughed in their faces.We’re bigger. We’re stronger. They outnumbered us from the start.
We farmed them, before. We called them dumb and shut them away in the cyclic rhythm of our total control. We harvested them, killed them off as we pleased. We thrived. And then they fought back.
We don’t know what made them snap; what shifted in our relationship. Maybe one too many mothers were deprived of their children, or one too many fathers snatched away from their families.
We blessed them with space and called them happy and free as they picked at our crumbs. For years, we smiled down at them as we chose which neck to twist first. We built fences around them and said they were ‘safe’, but what we really meant was ‘ours’.
The first time they killed a man, we called him stupid. It was almost laughable: how could a grown man be over-powered by…them? Then the second and the the third and the fourth deaths filtered into our news, until we became the statistics and they became the threat.
We scattered and they flocked, breeding in the shadows and nesting in the spaces between our strongholds.
It took months. We fought back, of course. We killed hundreds of them. But the role-change was irrevocable. We had lost our place as head of the food chain.
We were forced back to the rivers; to the lakes and seas where they couldn’t reach us.

We still see them, occasionally: lined up on the shoreline, clawing at the ground with taloned feet and fluttering golden feathers. A warning, but also a taunt.
Who, they say through yellow beaks, is chicken now?

Hope you enjoyed it! If you decide to take up the challenge, I’d love to read yours.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

~Dani

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Books that Made Me Cry

I’ve narrowed down my list to ‘5 books that made me cry the most’, just because a less specific list was going to be a bit lengthy! This isn’t so much a list of books that are hugely sad; rather a list of books that I connected with strongly on an emotional level. In short: if you haven’t read any of these books, consider this a recommendation!

Private Peaceful – Michael Morpurgo Set in World War 1, the story follows two brothers who go through loss, pain and love together. A really fantastic book.

Kensuke’s Kingdom – Michael Morpurgo In which a ship-wrecked boy finds himself on an island that is inhabited solely by an elderly man who doesn’t really speak English. I thought it was better than the Life of Pi, but that may be just me!

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green I think we all knew this book would be on the list.

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak I know I’ve talked about this one a lot…but it’s so wonderful! Set in Nazi Germany, the story follows a little girl called Leisel as she grows up in the political turmoil and finds her feet with her adoptive parents.

The Knife of Never Letting Go and Monsters of Men – Patrick Ness These are the first and third installations of the Chaos Walking trilogy. It’s a crazily original and creative post-apocalyptic/sci-fi series written with all the sensitivity and understanding of nuanced humanity that I’d come not to expect from the genre. It’s YA, but I’d recommend it for adult-lit readers too.

So tell me – what books make you cry? Is there anything on this list you’ve loved, or something you’ve yet to read?

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!

~Dani

Month in Books: April 2014

Here’s my wrap-up for April!

The Giver – Lois Lowry – 3 stars This Dystopian (soon to be made into a film!) is short, but no less powerful. The writer explores the power of memories, and the importance of the individual’s choice. It’s a fascinating read!

The War of the Worlds – H. G. Wells – 2 stars While this took me a very long time to get through, I can appreciate that this sci-fi story of alien invasion is pretty hard-core.

The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion – 5 stars This is such a cute book! Our protagonist, despite finding social situations a little difficult, decides that he wants to be married, and draws up a survey in order to find a compatible match. Humourous and touching, this little ‘rom-com’ is a great read.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – Douglas Adams – 4 stars I reviewed this here! A funny and quirky sci-fi story.

Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult – 4 stars This novel depicts the unfolding of an investigation of a school shooting. It’s moving and gritty, and don’t be put off by how long it looks! You’ll fly through it.

The Age of Miracles – Karen Thompson Walker – 3 stars A bildungsroman set during the apocalypse…that I wouldn’t recommend to lovers of apocalyptic literature. Its gentle pace and carefully drawn up characters made it a lovely read – just not what I was expecting!

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn – 5 stars This was my Book of the Month! This thriller is also being made into a film. Follow the story of Nick and Amy, and try to unravel the truth of the murder/framing/escape/suicide. ‘Try’ being the operative word.

A Room with a View – E. M. Forster – 5 stars This is such a lovely book! Follow a very quaint English group as they explore Florence, and have their lives changed completely by the people they meet there.

If you’ve read, or have been inspired to read any of the books in this list, do let me know!

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.

~Dani