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James Bradley's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books James Bradley recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of James Bradley's favorite book recommendations of all time.


The Swan Book

The Swan Book is set in the future, with Aboriginals still living under the Intervention in the north, in an environment fundamentally altered by climate change. It follows the life of a mute young woman called Oblivia, the victim of gang-rape by petrol-sniffing youths, from the displaced community where she lives in a hulk, in a swamp filled with rusting boats, and thousands of black swans, to her marriage to Warren Finch, the first Aboriginal president of Australia, and her elevation to the position of First Lady, confined to a tower in a flooded and lawless southern city. The Swan Book has... more
Recommended by James Bradley, and 1 others.

James BradleyThe language is vivid and raw and repetitive in ways that sometimes seem almost incantatory. (Source)

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Aurora, la nueva obra de una de las voces más influyentes de la ciencia ficción, narra la increíble historia de nuestro primer viaje más allá del sistema solar
Una nave preparada para contener a varias generaciones de tripulantes viaja fuera del sistema solar por primera vez en la historia de la humanidad. Su destino es un planeta en el sistema Tau Ceti, a doce años luz, llamado Aurora en honor de la diosa romana del amanecer. Pero ¿será realmente este viaje un nuevo comienzo para la humanidad o nuestro fin?
Recommended by James Bradley, and 1 others.

James BradleyDespite its deliberate dismantling of so many of science fiction’s core assumptions, Aurora is simultaneously a celebration of the possibilities of both science fiction and the spirit of human endeavour that animates so much of it (Source)

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From Annie Proulx, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain, comes her masterwork: an epic, dazzling, violent, magnificently dramatic novel about the taking down of the world's forests.

In the late seventeenth century two penniless young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord, a "seigneur," for three years in exchange for land, they become wood-cutters - barkskins. Rene suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He is forced to marry a Mi'kmaw...
Recommended by James Bradley, and 1 others.

James BradleyThe story is told through the lens of the families, but its real subject is the destruction of the forests of North America, and the environmental and human cost of that process (Source)

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Flight Behaviour

Flight Behavior is a brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our particular chosen truths.

Kingsolver's riveting story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain, and how her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and...
Recommended by Dan Bloom, James Bradley, and 2 others.

Dan BloomThe novel isn’t about global warming per se. It’s a fable, a poetic fable, with a strong cast of memorable characters. (Source)

James BradleyFlight Behaviour offers a counter-example to the argument social realism is not fit for purpose when it comes to climate change (Source)

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Annihilation (Southern Reach #1)

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the world for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.

The group is made up...

Stephen KingI'm loving THE SOUTHERN REACH TRILOGY, by Jeff Vandermeer. Recommended by an indie bookseller. Creepy and fascinating. (Source)

Laura Dassow WallsA colleague of mine, Roy Scranton, knows Jeff VanderMeer and brought him to Notre Dame a few weeks ago for a reading. Way in advance, Roy said, ‘Laura, you’re going to love this guy, he’s the weird Thoreau.’ (Source)

James BradleyIn the introduction to The Weird, the 2011 anthology that Jeff Vandermeer and his wife Ann edited, they suggest the weird isn’t a genre or a form so much as a technique or an affect, a thing that lurks in the interstices, and which emerges in unexpected and unsettling ways. I rather love this idea, not least because it captures something of what makes both Annihilation and its two sequels,... (Source)

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