From start to finish, The Age of Miracles had us mesmerized.
Faced with the everyday insecurities and turmoil of adolescence, 11-year-old Julia wakes one morning to the mysterious news that the earth's rotation is growing markedly slower each day. Repercussions of the slowing manifest dramatically: people suffer from a multitude of physical and mental disorders, birds die off, and the rays of the sun become more and more intense. As the days lengthen, society tries to adapt. But relationships fracture, especially in the growing divide between people who adhere to the state-mandated "clock time" and those who try to maintain "real time" by staying awake for days and sleeping when darkness arrives again. With grace, intelligence, and startling realism, Karen Thompson Walker, in her haunting debut, creates a snapshot of a world changing beyond recognition.
In a starred review, Publishers Weekly writes,
While the apocalypse looms large — has in fact already arrived — the narrative remains fiercely grounded in the surreal and horrifying day-to-day and the personal decisions that persist even though no one knows what to do. A triumph of vision, language, and terrifying momentum, the story also feels eerily plausible, as if the problems we've been worrying about all along pale in comparison to what might actually bring our end.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Walker's story piqued our paranoia. In the interest of maintaining some semblance of civilization amidst worldwide societal collapse, we outfitted our subscribers with our reusable Powell's To-Go Ware! Just as useful for an apocalyptic meltdown as it is for your next backyard BBQ or camping trip, the sustainable-bamboo knife, fork, spoon, and chopsticks (should you end up scavenging Chinese take-out) are practically indestructible. Plus, for those of you without a "direction auxiliary indication" (we still don't know what that is — but it sounds important), we included a multi-use survival tool, which fits in your wallet and is good for opening bottles, sawing through wood, or tinkering with your emergency generator.
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A collective of high muckamucks, the Panjandrums largely spend their time in competitive Bananagram duels and negotiations regarding Pie Friday — not to mention painstakingly designing each installment of Powell's subscription club, Indiespensable, with the help of independent publishers and local merchants. From time to time, they find it entertaining to give you a look at the hows and whys behind the what. But, if you're yearning for more, send questions, suggestions, and random anecdotes to firstname.lastname@example.org. (They especially like stories about pets, babies, and pie fillings.)
Books mentioned in this post