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9 Books to Read if you Loved Arrival

Book recommendations based on the film Arrival, nominated for 8 Academy Awards.

Post Date:02/14/2017 9:37 AM

Dawn by Octavia E. Butler
Book 1, Xenogenesis series
The newest stage in human evolution begins in outer space. Survivors of a cataclysmic nuclear war awake to find themselves being studied by the Oankali, tentacle-covered galactic travelers whose benevolent appearance hides their surprising plan for the future of mankind. The Oankali arrive not just to save humanity, but to bond with it-crossbreeding to form a hybrid species that can survive in the place of its human forebears, who were so intent on self-destruction. 

Arrival by Ted Chiang 
Offering readers the dual delights of the very strange and the heartbreakingly familiar, Arrival presents characters who must confront sudden change. In "Story of Your Life," which provides the basis for the film Arrival, alien lifeforms suddenly appear on Earth. When a linguist is brought in to help communicate with them and discern their intentions, her new knowledge of their language and its nonlinear structure allows her to see future events and all the joy and pain they may bring. In each story of this incredible collection, with sharp intelligence and humor, Ted Chiang examines what it means to be alive in a world marked by uncertainty, but also by wonder.

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
It begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, as he is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. His work introduces him to a seemingly friendly native population struggling with a dangerous illness and hungry for Peter's teachings--his Bible is their "book of strange new things." While Peter is reconciling the needs of his congregation with the desires of his strange employer, Bea is struggling for survival. Their trials lay bare a profound meditation on faith, love tested beyond endurance, and our responsibility to those closest to us.

Speak by Louisa Hall
A young Puritan woman travels to the New World with her unwanted new husband. Alan Turing, the renowned mathematician and code breaker, writes letters to his best friend's mother. A former Silicon Valley Wunderkind is imprisoned for creating illegal lifelike dolls. Each of these characters is attempting to communicate across gaps -- to estranged spouses, lost friends, future readers, or a computer program that may or may not understand them.

The Silent History: a novel by Eli Horowitz
It begins as a statistical oddity: a spike in children born with acute speech delays. Physically normal in every way, these children never speak and do not respond to speech; they don't learn to read, don't learn to write. The number of cases grows to an epidemic level, and the so-called silent community is growing into an elusive, enigmatic force in itself. What will be the result of a generation of children forced to live without words?

The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus
The Flame Alphabet invites the question: What is left of civilization when we lose the ability to communicate with those we love? Both morally engaged and wickedly entertaining, a gripping page-turner as strange as it is moving, this intellectual horror story ensures Ben Marcus's position in the first rank of American novelists.

Three moments of an explosion: stories by China Miélleville
A provocative new collection of short stories by the New York Times best-selling and Hugo Award-winning author of Kraken explores a range of styles and forms to explore an alternate universe where nature provocatively renders the human race an endangered species.

Communion: a true story by Whitley Strieber
On December 26, 1985, at a secluded cabin in upstate New York, Whitley Strieber went siding with his wife and son, ate Christmas dinner leftovers, and went to bed early. Six hours later, he found himself suddenly awake...and forever changed. Thus begins the most astonishing true-life odyssey ever recorded -- one man's riveting account of his extraordinary experiences with visitors from "elsewhere."