Far North by Marcel Theroux - Makepeace lives in Siberia, the last bastion of the earth. After catastrophic events that led many to flee to the Far North, Makepeace may now be the one of the last of mankind. Against this harsh backdrop, Makepeace works mainly on survival, hunting and growing food, and also saves books from being burned as fuel, hopefully for a future where books have meaning again. This novel is brutal, haunting, and dark. Makepeace overcomes again and again, but how much can one person take?
Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle - My brother and mom both read this recently and raved about it, so I stole it from them the last time I was home. The author, John Darnielle, is a member of the band The Mountain Goats. Our narrator, Sean, lives in Southern California. At the age of 17, there was an incident which completely disfigured him. To pull himself out of that darkness, Sean creates mail-in role-player games. Customers mail in their choices and Sean responds with a new set of turns for them to take. This goes over well and is even somewhat successful, until two players take the game into their real lives and disaster strikes. The book works so well less because of the plot, although it is fascinating, but because of the writing. It's unlike any other style of writing I've read. There were sentences and turns of phrase that I had to go back and read over and over again because they were so strangely beautiful.
Bird Box by Josh Malerman - Another recommendation from my mom, Bird Box exists in a future where people have started to kill themselves after the see, well, something. Not long ago, Malorie and her sister hole up in their apartment, blacking out the windows, but circumstances caused Malorie to strike out on her own, heading to a safe house she had read about. In present day, Malorie and her two children, Girl and Boy, have left the safe house and are making their way down the river, blindfolded, to hopefully find something better. I've got about 100 pages left, but I'm really enjoying the story, both what unfolded in the safe house, and watching Malorie try to save herself and her children.