Books to read this Brexit-day

Brexit has invaded our homes, taken over the news (or is there simply nothing else happening in the world?) and filled more than a few with a sense of unease and worry for the future. As all bookworms know, the only thing to do when stressed is pick up a book. It might not (always) solve the problem, but it’s a good way to ignore it for a while.

Not quite willing to ignore the looming Brexit?  Beth of Planet Beth and I have compiled a list of Brexit reads. Some are directly inspired by Bexit, others dark visions of the future that feel a little too close to comfort and some are simply proof that Britain has never quite had its head screwed on.

While some of these books might paint grim worlds, they’re all more entertaining and riveting than watching our politicians squabble and run around in circles. So, rather than bash your head in over the next debate (or lack thereof!) why not pick up a book?

SLATED, by Terri Terry

slated.jpgSLATED was published in 2012, written by Terri Terry imagining what a post-Brexit Britain might look like. Slated sees Britain ruled by a totalitarian government that seeks to rehabilitate “young offenders” by resetting their brains by wiping any memories of their previous delinquent life – aka slating.

The government claims Kyla was a terrorist and she’s been given a second chance to play by the rules. But her memories start to resurface and she begins to question the official version of events, and why most of the slated are teenagers.

fated.jpgThe prequel novel, FATED, will be released on March 2nd and charts the rise of the totalitarian Lorder government after Brexit, setting the scene for Kyla’s story. Beth was lucky enough to get a preview of the first few chapters last year and, just like Terri’s other novels, it is a tautly written rollercoaster – far more fun than watching politicians snipe at each.

Interested in reading? Add SLATED to your Goodreads shelves here, and FATED here.

THE BONE SEASON, by Samantha Shannon

the bone seasonTHE BONE SEASON started the discussion and ultimately lead to this post. I, Sifa, remarked upon how the oppressive regime that relies on the fear, and resulting suppression, of ‘the other’ felt worryingly like a possible post-Brexit UK. If the UK had clairvoyant magic. Controlled migration, deportation of ‘the other’ into labour camps and a stagnant economy.

Paige Maloney is a clairvoyant, an ‘unnatural’ the Scion government punishes viciously. A clairvoyance underground has developed to protect those the Scion hunts. But when Paige is hunted, she discovers there is far more to the government’s pursuit of clairvoyants than they’ll ever tell the public.

Add THE BONE SEASON to your Goodreads shelves here.

1984, by George Orwell

1984.jpgIf Orwell had lived to see Brexit we honestly think he’d write 2019. Never has the idea of the hour of hate been more appropriate. We even have newspeak and fake news is a real, and worryingly effective, tactic used by politicians. We live in a surveillance society, with robot AIs listening from the corner of the room. This political satire is one we wish our leaders had read more attentively.

Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth, helping them rewrite the past to fit current propaganda and erase dissenters from history. Big Brother stares out from every poster and the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal, spying on the population from telescreens. Big Brother will not tolerate dissent – even in the mind. If you do, it’s a trip to Room 101.

Add to your Goodreads shelves here.


five on brexit islandThis hilarious spoof, released just after the votes, brings back the Famous Five as adults. Poking fun at both the Leave and Remain campaigns, FIVE ON BREXIT ISLAND is the perfect antidote to the sombre reality of the situation in Westminster.

George is furious at the outcome of the vote, so declares Kirrin Island’s independence from the UK. But when Julian voices his dissatisfaction, and points out that he is a whole quarter of the population, George has to concede to a referendum that captures the press’ attention.

Add to your Goodreads shelves here.

NEVER LET ME GO. by Kazuo Ishiguro

never_let_me_go.jpgKazuo Ishiguro’s pastel-shaded, dreamlike tale slowly unveils its horrors as the tale of these orphans and their facsimile of a life unfolds. A chilling tale of what the rich might do to the poor post-Brexit. For those who’d rather escape with a film, there’s an adaptation starring Kiera Knightley, Carey Mulligan, and Andrew Garfield.

Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, the students provided for, but they’re told nothing of the world and contact is severely restricted. Here Kathy and her friends grow up, but when they leave they  discover the truth behind the facade.

Add to your Goodreads shelves here.

THE HUNGER GAMES, by Suzanne Collins

the hunger games.jpgTHE HUNGER GAMES has become a classic of YA dystopia, dealing with the few exploiting the many. Brexit was pushed for by a minority who playing on people’s fears and prejudices. In THE HUNGER GAMES, the Capitol keeps rest of Panem in line with the Hunger Games, and the threat of destroying dissenting districts as they did District 13. Key to this series of course is the realism of its ending that shows that power regardless of the hands it is in will always be misused to fit and agenda. The trilogy been adapted into films as binge-worthy as the books. The question of Team Peeta or Team Gale remains as controversial as Leave or Remain.

Every year, the Capitol forces the twelve districts to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games. The brutal fight to the death is shown on live TV – entertainment for the Capitol residents who live in luxury and a warning to the district poor. Katniss Everdeen sees it as a death sentence when she has to represent her district to save her sister, but becomes a real contender by accident. But winning could well cost her humanity.

Add to your Goodreads shelves here.


pride and prejudice.jpgBecause if Brexit has taught us anything the government and country has too much of the former and too little of the latter. What’s more Jane Austen’s very proper world shows us that even at the height of Empire, Britain still couldn’t get it right. At least these books give us Mr Darcy and Mr Knightley to swoon over – not the mention the BBC adaptations.

sense and sensibilityIn PRIDE & PREJUDICE, the prejudiced, vivacious Elizabeth Bennett and proud Mr Darcy are more than a match for each other. This beloved classic is the best known of Austen’s work, and showcases her wit. Add to your Goodreads shelves here.

SENSE & SENSIBILITY is the tale of two sisters who learn that one needs both sense and sensibility to find love in Regency England – where money and status rule. Add to your Goodreads shelves here.

What are you doing this Brexit-day? Are there any books you think we missed from this list?

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