let's assume the world as we know it goes kablooey - the crisis is this - no electricity for a long time, no potable water. hungry people armed with kmart weapons in the heartland and no shipments of groceries on the big trucks. no gasoline being produced. FEMA's in the black helicopters, and there's freaked out militia types coming out of their spider holes. HAARP makes your insides hurt, and you've got perpetual slow anal leakage unless you happen to be in the radius of a tesla coil.
you're gonna be spending a lot of time on the toilet, so here's the books you need to stay culturally aware of the influences leading up to this crisis.
Gravity's Rainbow, T. Pynchon
Dhalgren, S. Delany
europeans, read Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco, americans read The Illuminatus Trilogy & Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy, by R. Shea & R. A. Wilson, & again by R. A. Wilson
Metamagical Themas, D. Hofstadler
Finnegan's Wake/Ullysses, James Joyce
Mind you, I haven;'t finished GR, FW/U or Dhalgren (but I'm stockpiling them)