Seeking A Book for the End of the World

December 17, 2012 | Jane

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Oceans boiling, volcanoes erupting, California crumbling into the sea – this is what the end of the world looks like in the disaster movie 2012, as envisioned by Roland Emmerich, the director who brought us other such apocalyptic films as Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow. Any muddled references to pseudo-science and history are quickly abandoned when things start exploding in clouds of CGI, as usually happens in Hollywood blockbusters. After the credits rolled, viewers were left with no actual explanations about the significance of 2012. What does it mean for us when the mysterious calendar of the ancient Maya abruptly ends on December 21? Will we all blink out of existence at the dawn of the winter solstice? Will Los Angeles really slide into the Pacific, like Emmerich showed us? NASA is pretty sure that the world won't end next week... so certain, in fact, that they went ahead of schedule and released a video about why the world didn't end:


But just in case, if you're going to be in your bunker counting down the end of days, you might as well bring some library books with you! There are lots of books about 2012 here at North York Central Library. You might want to check out Mayanist scholar David Stuart's book on the mysteries of that confusing calendar, The Order of Days. Or, if you're just seeking a novel for the end of the world, here are some fiction titles published this year.




12.21 by Dustin Thomason


A CDC doctor teams up with a Mayan scholar to decipher the connection between a deadly disease and an ancient codex, in this thriller melding science and history in the style of Michael Crichton. 






The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

In this poignant coming-of-age novel, the slowing of the Earth’s rotation has inevitable consequences for a young girl and her family and friends.






The Apocalypse Codex by Charles Stross

This is the fourth novel of the Laundry Files, a series about a British mystical intelligence agency called the Laundry. Everyman geek Bob Howard has been tasked to help field agents investigate a televangelist with unnatural powers. An unpredictable blend of horror story, spy thriller and office satire!






Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz

The Odd Thomas books follow the supernatural adventures of a short-order cook who sees dead people. In this latest ghostly tale, Thomas helps a woman avenge her death and protect her son.





What in God's Name by Simon Rich

In this fun comic take on the end of days, the founder and CEO of Heaven, Inc. has decided to retire... and, incidentally, to destroy Earth. But two underpaid angels in the Department of Miracles make a deal with the boss: He'll call off Armageddon if they can perform a real miracle... getting the two most socially awkward humans on the planet to fall in love.



Don't forget to take a look at some of our older blog posts for more recommended books. Apocalypse? We've all been there. This is not the first time the world's been scheduled to end, so there's plenty of apocalyptic fiction to go around!