I am not in the habit of recommending books. Call it a phobia, but as a librarian, the subject is obviously unavoidable. Normally, I like to make recommendations on books I know are being adapted into films; however, I actually tend to be tightlipped about movies, too. I find it is a tricky business making recommendations because tastes widely vary and many people might not want to venture beyond the cover of a particular genre. In the spirit of the coming New Year, I resolve to break my recommendation phobia starting now.
I recently read two books, “Warm Bodies” by Isaac Marion and “Unwind” by Neal Shusterman, which have lingered with me for a number of months. In the simplest terms, “Warm Bodies” is a zombie love story. There is gore to be sure, nothing over-the-top, but Marion is more interested in what it means to be human. Marion illustrates the decay of memory and personality with a prose style that elicits compassion and sympathy for a zombie. “Warm Bodies” has been adapted into a film and is set for release on February 1, 2013. I have no idea what the movie will be like, but I hope it was made with the same sensibility as Marion’s wonderful novel.
Neal Shusterman’s novel, while not about zombies, casts a similar light on the question of humanity. “Unwind” is set in the “near future” after the Second Civil War is fought over the issue of abortion. The end of the war is brought about by the introduction of a process known as unwinding, which gives parents the ability to have their child’s body harvested as long as he/she is between the ages of 13 and 18. While “Warm Bodies” uses zombies to define humanity, “Unwind” uses harvesting. Because nearly all of a person can be used, technically no one really “dies.” This book is equal parts unsettling and unbelievably thought provoking, and apparently is being adapted for film but has no release date.
For more recommendations, ask at the Help Desk.