Judy Sheehan’s Fallout 5:
1. Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson: Let’s face it, Kate Atkinson walks on water, and it’s been such a long time since you read her debut. As you re-read it, look for connections to her later work, such as the Jackson Brody books, LIFE AFTER LIFE, or WHEN WILL THERE BE GOOD NEWS? If you remembered to pack a pencil, mark up the passages where Atkinson uses language better than anyone else alive today. (Amazon UK/ Amazon US)
2. Dawn Powell at her best by Dawn Powell: You knew that there had to be one anthology in the bunch, and this is it. Powell is referred to as “the woman who actually said all of the witty things that Dorothy Parker gets credit for.” So you can’t lose, and you know it. Powell mixes biting wit with glitter and darkness. This will get you through anything. (Amazon UK/ Amazon US)
3. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow: Please bring an extra phone charger so that you can track this story along with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s brilliant score. This is a doorstopper of a book, and – tell the truth – you’ve been very slow to get through this. You know he comes to New York, but you haven’t actually read that far. Well, guess what? You’re in a bunker, with nothing to do but read. You’ll finish it now! (Amazon UK/ Amazon US)
4. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris: Based on his other books, you know that he’ll make you laugh out loud. And doesn’t that title sound like it will make you feel okay about being in the bunker? Thank you, David. (Amazon UK/ Amazon US)
5. What Would MacGyver Do? by Brendan Vaughn. This is a purely practical choice. You’re in a bunker! Hello! You’ll need to be unrealistically resourceful, and you never really paid attention to that show. Well, now you’ll need this reference manual for survival. (Amazon UK/ Amazon US)
You Suddenly have to run from the bunker, you can only save one book, which do you rescue?
Bring Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. While the Macgyver book may sound more practical, Hamilton has two distinct advantages: It’s heavy enough to use as a weapon, and I know you still won’t have finished it.