Summer Reading

The Year of the Flood + For the Birds

For the July 2014 Book Club, we dove into Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood, the second volume in the MaddAddam trilogy. We’re revisiting this as part of our Summer of Sci-Fi, so get ready to speed read! For our younger listeners, we also take a peek at Atwood’s For the Birds. Warning: this episode contains spoilers!

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The Year of the Flood

Imagine a future where governments are replaced by cold and calculating corporations, climate change has reconfigured the global landscape, and entire species are annihilated on the daily while gene-spliced hybrids run amok in their stead. This is the not so distant (or unlikely) world against which Margaret Atwood stages The Year of the Flood, the second instalment in the critically acclaimed MaddAddam series.

Woven together by the experiences and memories of survivors Toby and Ren, Atwood’s story presents a glimpse of the world as it might be both before and after the Year of the Flood: a catastrophic pandemic that all but wipes the entire human race from the face of an already broken planet.

For this discussion, the Terra Informa team squeezed into our studio to voice our thoughts and answer some of the questions raised in the book. Special thanks to Megan Clark and to Brandon Schatz from Wizard Comics and Games for joining-in.

For the Birds

Just in case post-apocalyptic lit isn’t your cup of Happicuppa, we’ve decided to include a second book that doubles as an option for our younger listeners.

For the Birds, also penned by Atwood, follows the adventure of a young girl named Samantha whose disdain for the winged is suddenly turned upside down when she’s magically transformed into a bird herself. Along with a crow named Phoebe, Samantha embarks on a migratory adventure to South America while learning about the environmental problems of the day and the dangers faced by birds in turn. Full of fun illustrations by John Bianchi, and feathered with facts supplied by Shelly Tanaka, For the Birds is an informative read for all ages…so long as you can find it.

Next Month’s Book: Seveneves

We’re reading Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves for our August book club. In this mammoth novel, the moon explodes, rendering the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space. But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers.

If you’d like to join our discussion, send us your thoughts over Twitter, Facebook, or email by August 28, 2015. We LOVE to hear from you and share your thoughts on the show.

Book Club: The Year of the Flood and For the Birds

A photo of Margaret Atwood

For the July edition of Terra Informa’s summer book club, we dive into Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood, the second volume in the MaddAddam trilogy. This week we’ll discuss some of the issues raised by the book and our own thoughts on the story. For our younger listeners, we also take a peek at Atwood’s children’s book For the Birds. Warning: this episode contains spoilers!

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Read this for July 23: The Year of the Flood/For the Birds

Cover photo of Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood

Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood

Terra Informa’s reading club pick for July is a pair of books by Canada’s Margaret Atwood – master of sharp words and cautionary tales.

The Year of the Flood is the second book in the Maddaddam series that began with Oryx & Crake. The series explores dark truths about human nature, genetic manipulation, and a world where ChickieNobs and rakunks portend a new age for humanity. Following our joyous accident of reading both an adult and kids’ book in June, we’re also reading Atwood’s children’s fable For the Birds.

Read along, and let us know what you think by July 23! Email us at or tweet us@terrainforma to let us know what you think of either of the books. Leave us your phone number and we’ll give you a call.

The Legacy of Farley Mowat + Kicking Off Summer Reading!


Would you be willing to hang out with wolves in the Arctic? How about spending your time following Caribou around? This week on Terra Informa, we pay our respects to the late Farley Mowat, environmentalist extraordinaire (who happens to be a friend to the wolves.) And, we’ve got your environmental lit covered this summer with our new column, Summer Reading, kicking it off with the book Being Caribou by Karsten Heuer.

Download this week’s episode.