GEORGE STEWART'S EARTH ABIDES
Published in 1949, Earth Abides is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel about the aftermath of a disease that nearly wipes out the entire human population and what the few survivors do to begin rebuilding some semblance of a life. The main character’s name is Isherwood Williams, “Ish” for short, which was one of the first things that struck me about this book. For whatever reason, the character’s name stuck with me even years later. I first had to read book this as part of a sociology class in high school. I don’t remember anything else about this particular sociology class (except the teacher had a gigantic schnozola which was mildly terrifying and the unfortunate topic of many a teenage conversation; I couldn’t even tell you his name) but I remember this book. I've read it several times since high school and every time I read it - as I mature, I suppose - I see or understand something else. It’s dry and witty, insightful and encouraging, lonely and frighteningly real. A solid, worthy read.