Beyond 1984: A Trump-inspired dystopian reading list

The book 1984 by George Orwell has been at the top of the Amazon best seller list for days. The interest in 1984 is so high that print copies are currently sold out. It seems the inauguration of Donald Trump has quite a few people thinking in dystopian terms. This inspired a friend to ask on Facebook what else people would add to a #trumpocalypse reading list. The suggestions were so good that I had to share them here.

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. This bit of speculative fiction was the most repeated recommendation in the thread.
  2. Various works by Phillip K. Dick. The Man in the High Castle was mentioned several times as was the short story “The Mold of Yancy.”
  3. Various works by Ray Bradbury. Farenheit 451 was suggested a few times and The Martian Chronicles was also mentioned.
  4. Animal Farm by George Orwell. As the suggester noted, “Orwell just gets it.”
  5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. “Beware the man who makes himself a god.”
  6. R.U.R. by Karel Capek. From the thread, “I taught it last semester. The characters’ willful refusal to acknowledge the destruction going on right under their noses, let alone take any responsibility for it, became suddenly and frighteningly relevant.”
  7. Wicked by Gregory Maguire. The commenter stated, “There is so much more to the book” and noted it reminds her of Orwell.
  8. The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen.
  9. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance. Currently number 3 on the Amazon best seller list.
  10. Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler. File under: If you like the The Handmaid’s Tale you should also read this.
  11. It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis. Spoiler: It did happen here.
  12. Duck for President by Doreen Cronin. Something to share with the kids.
  13. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. In case 1984 is too optimistic for you.
  14. Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt.
  15. Maus by Art Spiegelman, which I actually saw recommended in a similar context on Twitter.
  16. Army of the Republic by Stuart Archer Cohen. From the thread, “When Trump became the candidate, I meant to go back and re-read it because I feel like its backstory is what we’re currently living through, and that we’re headed towards its pages–eerily so. But then I dug it out, and I found that I was too creeped out to do so. If more people had read it or heard of it, I think it would be another current sell-out.”
  17. Fatherland by Robert Harris.
  18. Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut.
  19. The Power of the Powerless by Vaclav Havel, which is available online.
  20. “3rd Grade Science…any edition.”

I must admit that my current reading is not so on point. I currently have The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman and The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher checked out from the library, but I may dig into some of the books listed above soon.

Has the current political climate changed your reading habits? What would you add to this list?

RELATED POST: Book recommendations based on other things you like

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