The best zombie books for start and stop readers

The Books I Picked & Why

Day by Day Armageddon

By J.L. Bourne

Book cover of Day by Day Armageddon

Why this book?

This was the zombie book that infected me. It served as the gateway drug which lead to a lifetime of addiction. Although I had been watching zombie films since I was way too young to be watching zombie films, this is the book that made me want to write my own stories and also lead me to my future publisher. The first-person narrative and suspense woven into every chapter grabs you right from the start and features the very beginning of the zombie apocalypse, which in my opinion is the very best part of all zombie stories. While I often start reading books, only to stop and pick up days or weeks later, Bourne created a book that I truly could not put down. 

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Less Than Zero

By Bret Easton Ellis

Book cover of Less Than Zero

Why this book?

Ok, as I ended the review of the last book with a cliche, I needed to redeem myself by throwing a curveball. While Less Than Zero is not considered a zombie book, one could argue the emotionally and morally dead characters traversing in an environment that is so bleak and without hope, it could be described as apocalyptic, puts this book into the zombie apocalypse genre. I loved how the author includes short stories, sometimes completely unrelated to the characters or plot, in chapters that were so concise that some were only a page long. An outstanding book, which was followed by a film adaptation that perfectly encapsulated the 1980s.

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The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor

By Robert Kirkman, Jay Bonansinga

Book cover of The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor

Why this book?

Full disclosure, I consider author Jay Bonansinga a friend and one of the nicest people I have met, although I had read the book prior to meeting him. I am a fan of The Walking Dead (TWD) graphic novel series as well as the original television series. While The Governor is represented very differently in print than on screen, both are complex characters who are capable of both caring and cruelty. The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor and additional TWD Woodbury prequel books provide context to a memorable villain.  

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Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse

By John Joseph Adams

Book cover of Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse

Why this book?

Wastelands is an anthology of short stories, all obviously focused on the apocalypse, but not all including zombies. One memorable story was titled When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth by Cory Doctorow, which features the communications between tech geeks who are safely ensconced within blast-resistant data hosting centers when the apocalypse begins. Working in server hosting centers are equipped with their own power sources, air filtering systems, and an abundance of junk food vending machines, the author creates a scenario where truly the geeks shall inherit the earth.  

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Zombie Apocalypse!

By Stephen Jones

Book cover of Zombie Apocalypse!

Why this book?

While I was born in the United States, New Jersey to be exact, I have always had an affinity for England.  At the time of my birth, my mother was still a ‘subject of the Crown’ and a ‘British Citizen’. She did not become an American Citizen until I was nearly ten years old. So theoretically, I was born a dual citizen of both America and England.  Perhaps that is why I am such a big fan of Netflix's The Crown. As for the book Zombie Apocalypse!, it takes place in England and gives you a glimpse of how those across the pond would handle the apocalypse. Hopefully, this is not a spoiler, but one of the most memorable parts of the book features the Queen alongside a zombie Prince Charles and zombie Princess Diana, need I say more.

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