Last month I told my 15-year-old daughter Sarina about The Last Policeman, a detective novel that takes place in the final months before a catastrophic asteroid is about to collide with Earth. She said it sounded interesting and told me I should read a young adult novel she loved called Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer. She said that once she started reading it, it was hard for her to put down. On her recommendation I got it (actually, I listened to the unabridged audiobook version.)
Told through the journal entries of 16-year-old Miranda, a high school sophomore in Pennsylvania, Life As We Knew It describes how Miranda and her family deal with the devastating climactic and social changes that occur after a large astroid hits the Moon, knocking it into a new orbit much closer to the Earth.
The ensuing tsunamis that destroy coastal cities around the world aren't immediately felt by Miranda's family, so their way of life is not hugely affected in the first couple of months following the asteroid collision. In fact, Miranda's mother even sends her younger son to baseball camp for the summer. But in time Miranda, her two brothers, and her mother begin to experience the loss of things that they used to take for granted.
The Internet goes down, and then stays down. Gasoline prices skyrocket, and eventually it becomes unavailable to anyone who can't afford black market prices. Electrical service is spotty and stays off for days at a time. Water service shuts down, and water wells dry up. People who did not stockpile food when grocery stores were still open slowly starve. As the novel goes one, things get even worse.
This could've been an utterly depressing novel, but Miranda's appealing character makes it a thrilling read instead. She's resourceful, vulnerable, optimistic, realistic, generous, and selfish, as most teenagers are. She's a surviver. No wonder Sarina liked it so much. (It's great when your kid is old enough to recommend books to you!)
Life As We Knew It
Pfeffer has two other books in the "Last Survivors" series: The Dead and the Gone and This World We Live In.
In 1989, Canadian activist, engineer and thinker Ursula Franklin gave a series of extraordinary lectures on the politics of technology design and deployment called “The Real World of Technology.”
His picks, with Amazon links: Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson How Not to be Wrong, by Jordan Ellenberg The Vital Question, by Nick Lane The Power to Compete, by Ryoichi Mikitani and Hiroshi Mikitani Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Noah Yuval Harari (Gates Notes)
Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s creator-owned comic Sex Criminals is a filthy, hilarious heist story about a couple who discover that they can stop time while orgasming, and keep it frozen until they become horny again — so they use their power to rob banks in order to rescue a library from foreclosure (naturally). The first two series of the comic are collected in Big Hard Sex Criminals, a fabulous hardcover whose plain pink wrapper comes off to make it look like you’re reading a book on DIY pet euthanasia.
Jared Sinclair developed the RSS reader app Unread, which made $10,000 in its first 24 hours on the iOS market. And we’ve all heard the story of Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen, whose creation was reportedly earning $50,000 a day at the height of its 2013 explosion. While those are rare examples, they’re also testament to the […]
If you or your company’s IT system are besieged by black hat cyber attacks, an ethical hacker might be all that stands between crippling damage and a company’s long-term prosperity. It’s no wonder that the market for IT security specialists is exploding. Certification is the key – so learn the tenets of ethical hacking and get […]
Your laptop and mobile devices are top of the line…so why are you trotting out that raggedy decades-old suitcase when you go somewhere? Time to up your travel game with a complete 5-piece Herschel Travel Luggage bundle…and we’ll even give it to you for free!Of course, you’ve got to win the Ultimate Herschel Travel Bundle […]