You know it’s been a long year when people ask for summer reads and you find yourself recommending Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves — in which Indigenous North Americans band together to escape government hunters in the wake of societal collapse — as a comforting story. (Hey, at least everybody’s banding together.)

It can be great to leave the cacophony of the world behind for the length of a book. But sometimes the best company for concern is stories of concern. There’s no shortage of stories about the end of everything, and I chose these books partly to span different genres of disaster. (Some I chose for their tiny threads of hope, because, well.)

So if you’re sweating out the summer (literally or otherwise) and in the mood for something world-ending, but not quite, here are six books that might be just grim enough to comfort you.

I wrote about beach reads for the end of the world for NPR.org.