Life As We Knew It

A shipment of books I ordered for the library came last night (based mainly on mentions and recommendation from various blogs), which was fortuitous, as I needed something to read. I picked Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer, in which an asteroid knocks the moon closer to earth, wrecking havoc---floods, volcanoes (with their cold-inducing dust clouds), sickness, and a gradual diminution of the trappings of modern civilization. This book, in form of a teenage girl's diary, records the first 9 months of post-asteroid life for Miranda and her family as their world collapses.

This is the sort of book that provides much fodder for daydreaming. Musing about catastrophe is something I have done a lot of, and as I was reading this book I began to feel a bit, not exactly competitive, but full of ideas for survival that they hadn't thought of. True, they had food issues, but why didn't they fish? trap squirrels? Go the library and check out copies of My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George, and put the ideas in that to work? Read historical fiction for accounts of how people coped without washing machines and managed to live in freezing places before central heat (such as the bit in The Year of Jubilo by Ruth Sawyer where the family seals their house in Maine in preparation for winter)? Read Mrs. Beeton for household management tips in the pre-electric days? Of course, they were a bit upset, so not thinking clearly. And perhaps, unlike me, the family in the book hadn't spent much time worrying about post-apocalyptic survival, so they weren't prepared. Also, I think they could have tried harder to enjoy life stuck with each other in a winter bound house. Again, historical fiction is full of bright ideas in this regard. But all this aside, I'm glad I bought the book. I like books that make me think...and perhaps this year we will can tomatoes and make pickles. Just in case.

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