“The opening pages of ‘The Ministry for the Future,’ Kim Stanley Robinson’s futuristic novel, describe a heatwave in India that results in the death of 20 million people. As the temperature rises from 38 C (103 F) to 42 C (107 F) to almost 50 C (122 F) and the humidity reaches 60+ percent, the power grid fails and people have nowhere to go to escape the deadly heat. The book is painful to read in parts and, given that while I was reading it this past summer, the New York Times was publishing articles about 46 C (113 F) temperatures in India, I couldn’t help but wonder: Just how ‘futuristic’ is it this book?

“The story incorporates every aspect of climate change: environmental, social, psychological, economic, geological, etc. It is meticulously researched, well-thought out and well-written. How does it end? No spoilers here. You will simply need to read all 563 pages.” — MONA GRANDBOIS, Biddeford


Mainers, please email to tell us about the book on your bedside table right now. In a paragraph or two, describe the book and be sure to tell us what drew you to it. We want to hear what you are reading and why. Send your selection to [email protected], and we may use it as a future Bedside Table.


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