Utopias, Comforting Reads, and the End of the World

· 04/03/2020 · Michael Schmitt

It's April 2020 and things are not normal. If you're like me, your reading habits have been thrown into disarray like so much else right now. I've found myself running between comfortable escapes and imagined grim futures we seem to suffering through. I thought I'd offer some collections of books available in Serial Reader for anyone else feeling the same way.

The End of the World

The Last Man
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
72 issues
The Poison Belt
Arthur Conan Doyle
13 issues
Journal of the Plague Year
Daniel Defoe
27 issues

Frankenstein author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley describes in The Last Man a deadly plague that threatens to destroy society. Arthur Conan Doyle's The Poison Belt - a sequel of sorts to The Lost World - Professor Challenger and associates try to survive a planet-wide wave of death. Finally, Daniel Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year vividly chronicles the Great Plague which ravaged London in 1665.

Comforting Reads

The Wind in the Willows
Kenneth Grahame
23 issues
My Man Jeeves
P.G. Wodehouse
22 issues
The Book of Tea
Okakura Kakuzo
6 issues

It's more than ok to look to escape and what better option than the adventures of Rat, Toad, and Mole in The Wind in the Willows? Or perhaps the hilarious idiocy of Wooster and his friends in My Man Jeeves? Or take a more relaxing approach with The Book of Tea: an essay aimed at explaining the connection between teaism, Taoism, and the aesthetics of Japanese culture to a western audience.


Thomas More
13 issues
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
24 issues
Anna Adolph
10 issues

Explore how the world may be made better with ruminations on utopias, from Thomas More's Utopia, to Charlotte Perkins Gilman's vision of a peaceful world absent of men in Herland, to the utopian adventure that awaits in Anna Adoplh's Arqtiq.

Other Recommendations

If reading in short bursts really isn't working for you these days, I highly recommend Standard Ebooks for high quality public domain books, or Libby for checking digital books out from your local library.

Hope everyone stays safe and sane! We can do this 💪

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