Brad Pitt attempts to handsome the zombie apocalypse into submission today when his new movie World War Z “thrillers” its way into a theater near you. Most people believe they’d be able to survive the zombie apocalypse, but I know better. I’d be one of the first to go. I’m not a fan of dirt, compasses confuse me, and I’m not someone you should count on in a crisis. I once had a small kitchen fire and my first instinct was to “throw more fire on it.” When the going gets tough, and the tough attempt to eat you, you’re going to need a few books to help you survive.
Sorry in advance if I attempt to eat you.
1. The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht
If someone handed me the proper tools and instructed me to fix his car engine, I’d tilt my head slightly to the side and offer him a confused squint—like a dog watching a human dance. The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook will be useful come the ultimate worst-case scenario: the zombie apocalypse.
2. Guinness World Records 2013 by Craig Glenday
You’d think one of the few advantages of an apocalypse would be the obliteration of small talk. Nope. If The Walking Dead is any indication, even zombies can’t eradicate uncomfortable chit-chat. After the usual rigmarole—name, where you’re from, how many people in your group have been eaten—you’ll be glad you brought along the Guinness Book of World Records. It’ll help you avoid awkward pauses, as well as lighten the mood. Even with a zombie sauntering (or racing) after you, it’s still fun to know that the tallest living horse is 82.75 inches tall and named Big Jake.
3. The Walking Dead Collection, by Robert Kirkman
Why would you want to read about a zombie apocalypse when you’re living in a zombie apocalypse? For the same reason we escape to television to watch stories about idealized versions of ourselves. Besides, zombies are such a Samantha, am I right? Since Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management will be the only television program available during the end of days, you’ll need Kirkman’s collection of zombie-loathing misfits to help maintain your sanity.
4. Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior, by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman
Zombies are irrational. If I went up to a zombie and said, “Greetings, zombie. My name’s Josh. If you don’t eat me, I’ll give you a jet ski. It’s pretty warm outside, right? Little humid. I bet a cool, relaxing ride on a jet ski would feel quite refreshing right about now. What do you say, Old Sport? Do we have ourselves a deal?”
I can hear the taunts now: “Who’s the nerd who brought textbooks to a zombie apocalypse?” First of all, just because it’s the end of days doesn’t mean I don’t still have feelings, Trevor. We had a zombie apocalypse, not an emotional apocalypse. Second, if we hope to survive—and I can’t say I’m actively rooting for Trevor at this point—we’re going to need these comprehensive texts for guidance. These books won’t win you any cool points, but you know what’s truly cool? Staying alive.
Good luck out there!
Which book would you want during a zombie apocalypse?