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As the world waits... here's a book review!

A perpetual state of limbo as we wait and watch, as we check the news headlines and refresh our social media apps for any update or sign of what is about to unfold with the election here in the US. That seems to be the theme, the state that has defined 2020. A perpetual waiting and watching and wondering and worrying, to see what is going to happen.

This state of limbo has been compounded even more, with questions of what will the state of the world look like as we move through a pandemic, what will the state of travel look like, and now with the election.


This theme aligned perfectly with the book I just finished reading: "Leave the World Behind." When the pandemic and lockdown happened in the spring of this year, stuck at home for months on end, I got a subscription to the Book of the Month club. Every month I've been picking a book from their curated selection of 5 new releases, which has given me something to look forward to, and this month did not disappoint.

In Rumaan Alam's "Leave the World Behind," a suburban family takes a vacation at an Airbnb in the rural mountains of upstate New York. On their first night, an elderly couple, the owners of the home, show up on their doorstep with news that something has happened in the city and they are seeking refuge.

The omniscient narrator hops in and out of each character's mind while occasionally slipping in a sentence here and there that contains knowledge that none of the characters are privy to, making it all the more creepy and freakish.

It's a commentary on the psychology of the human mind and what happens when things happen that we cannot explain, an analysis of the state of fear and not knowing. It's a commentary on how much the invisible marvels of technology and electricity provide us an insurmountable, almost blind faith in safety and order, and what happens when that illusion starts receding. It's a slow build of ever-increasing tension, where what you don't know is more frightening and anxiety-inducing than what you do (much like the events of this year).

As unsettling as the book was, I feel like it was a perfect match for the inner and outer states of many of our experiences amidst an election with an uncertain outcome, in the middle of a pandemic, also with an uncertain outcome.

Anyone else a BOTM member?

If so, or if not,

What good books have you read lately?

Always looking for new recs!

Thanks to @jr_korpa for making this photo available freely on @unsplash!

Top comments (2)

sjarva profile image
Senja Jarva

In uncertain times, I always reach for books by Brené Brown ❤️ Daring Greatly is one of my favourites, same goes for Rising Strong. Braving the Wilderness is also great, but imho requires that the reader has read other books by Brené because the book builds so much on her previous work.

ruannawrites profile image

I will definitely check those out, thanks for the recs!