The Knowledge by Lewis Dartnell
This is kind of the perfect book to read following Station Eleven; the goal is to put the basics of everything we need to know to start bringing civilization back after the apocalypse in one place. My husband had already bought this book (thinking we’d both enjoy it), which was kind of perfect, because by the end of Station Eleven I had some questions about how long it really would take for technology and other things we’re used to having to start being available. Luxuries like electricity, and running water.
Some individual chapters are very interesting – especially the ones on medicine and on calculating time and location. For those who have a natural curiosity about how the world works, this book is perfect. Material that could be extremely dry in the hands of a less talented writer is … not as dry in Dr. Dartnell’s. He describes everything from making soap to how internal combustion engines work, as well as where we should focus our energy in the beginning (agriculture). As someone who spends more time than most thinking about the disasters that can befall us, this was a dose of reality that I mostly enjoyed.
But this book is really mostly helpful as something to sort of skim now, and then have on your shelf if, say, a pandemic sweeps through and cuts down the population. It’s really cool that someone put so much time and effort into researching this and putting enough detail to at least get started in one place. However, it’s still more of a manual than a book, so it’s probably not for everyone.