How do you reconcile personal anxiety with catastrophes that loom beyond the horizon? It’s a question everyone is likely asking themselves these days; it’s also a theme at the heart of Weather, the new novel by Jenny Offill (Dept. of Speculation), which captures, Christian Lorentzen writes in his review for Air Mail, “the feeling of the world ending.” If you’re looking for something even more prescient, pre-order Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright’s The End of October, out on April 28, about a killer virus taking over the world. Who was it that said there are no coincidences?
Meanwhile, for books that take you back to the pandemic-free times of Henry VIII or Francisco Franco, read The Mirror & the Light, the final installment of Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy, here reviewed by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks, or A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende (The House of the Spirits), set in exile from civil-war-ravaged Spain in the late 1930s.