A zombie is a mythological undead corporeal revenant created through the reanimation of a corpse. Zombies are most commonly found in horror and fantasy genre works. The term comes from Haitian folklore, in which a zombie is a dead body reanimated through various methods, most commonly magic like voodoo. Modern media depictions of the reanimation of the dead often do not involve magic but rather science fictional methods such as carriers, radiation, mental diseases, vectors, pathogens, parasites, and scientific accidents.
World War Z – Max Brooks
This is a fun one. World War Z has been celebrated in many zombie circles as a realistic look at what it would be like to face a zombie apocalypse, which makes sense since Brooks’ father was none other than legendary zombie expert and filmmaker George A. Romero. The book is written as oral history from survivors around the world who share their stories about how they handled themselves during a zombie outbreak. It’s a great read for anyone who loves zombies but wants something more substantial than The Walking Dead or Night of the Living Dead.
Dead & Gone – Charlaine Harris
Harris’s Southern Vampire series, starring vampire Bill Compton and telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse is by far one of my favorites. This darkly hilarious series follows Sookie through her dealings with vampires and other non-human creatures as she tries to solve crimes in her small Louisiana town. Harris writes a great story while managing not only complex storylines but also a fleshed-out cast that is so well developed you think these characters are real people. If you’re looking for an escape from reality, Dead & Gone is a good place to start.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Jane Austen, Seth Grahame-Smith
So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses.
The Zombie Survival Guide – Max Brooks
A complete handbook for surviving zombie attacks. This is a must-read. No joke. It will make you feel prepared, and even if you’re not, it’s a great way to prepare for upcoming events! The book covers everything from what zombies are, how they live and how they eat, how you should be prepared (and when), and even provides insight into zombie psychology. Be warned: though written as non-fiction, this book is tongue-in-cheek and absolutely hilarious – so do NOT read it before bed or in any situation where you could be caught laughing hysterically at a zombie apocalypse survival guide!
Zombie Fallout” – Mark Tufo (2009)
The first book in this post-apocalyptic series, Zombie Fallout is about a man named Michael Talbot who survives the zombie apocalypse. He and his wife Shannon have two children: John, who is 10 years old at the time of the outbreak and has Down syndrome; and Mattie, who is 8 years old. In addition to his family, Michael has a best friend named Joni whom he met while serving in Iraq.
The story follows Michael as he tries to stay alive amidst all of the chaos that comes along with living through an undead outbreak—including other survivors who want nothing more than to take what you have and kill you or worse!
This book also introduces us to one of our most beloved characters: Zeus! The dog was rescued from Iraq by Michael during their time together overseas (something we’ll get into more later).