A very timely history of disease outbreaks, from the authors of Quackery: stories of outbreaks (and their patient zeros), plus chapters on the science, culture, and cures for different types of epidemics and pandemics. Popular reading on a timely topic.
I received a free copy from Workman Publishing in exchange for a free and unbiased review.
Thoughts and Themes: As this is a non-fiction book there won’t be a section to discuss the characters because there really isn’t any. The minute I saw this book as an option for the Workman Publishing ambassador program, I knew i had to get my hands on it. I read anything and everything related to viruses and diseases as they are my special interest. I was a little weary though as Covid-19 has made these topics not so fun for me but this book reminded me why I love science and in particular virus and diseases.
This book has so many tabs on it of passages I enjoyed, questions that arose as I read, and passages where I learned something I didn’t know and wanted to share with others. I hugged this book so much every time I was sharing information from it with others. There was so much things that I didn’t already know which is rare especially when I read about Ebola since I thought I had absorbed all there is to know about that virus.
I really enjoyed how there were sections in each of the chapters of the book in which fun facts were included in their own way. I liked those pieces that didn’t fit into the actual section so they were separated by colorful pages because they still added to the information that was being discussed in that section. Most of my tabbing in this book is included in those sections as they include things I hadn’t thought about before. I especially loved learning about the plagues from the bible and how science can explain each of them, as well as learning about the tick that could make someone allergic to meat, I would never want to meet that fellow.
Writing Style: Something that I enjoyed about this book is the way that it is structured. I liked that there were portions where we are introduced to the virus/disease/bacteria through patient zero. I liked that there was also information about vaccines, zoonosis, politicization of viruses/disease, explanation of previous and current outbreaks, and more. I liked learning about patient zeros and also about
I loved that this book is easy for anyone to understand regardless of if you have a science background or not. I think this was what kept me invested in the book as it didn’t feel like I was reading another textbook and there were times that I forgot I was reading non-fiction. There were moments that I thought “this couldn’t be real, it has to be taken straight out of a movie,” and those are the moments in which I had to put the book down because it became a horror book instead of a non-fiction book.
I love salt more than chocolate. I’m somewhat small, yet deceptively strong. Sort of like an ant.
I’m a part time doc, full time family member, and if you offer me snacks, I’ll be a friend for life.
My adult fiction centers around historical mysteries in New York City, with splashes of forensics, anatomy, apothecary medicine, and chemistry! A BEAUTIFUL POISON takes place in 1918 at the height of the influenza epidemic; THE IMPOSSIBLE GIRL centers around the illegal grave robbing world; and forthcoming in July 2020 is OPIUM AND ABSINTHE, with–you guessed it–opium and absinthe. And possibly vampires!
I have a nonfiction adult book written with Nate Pederson entitled QUACKERY: A Short History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything, coming in 2017 (Workman).
My most recent YA novel is TOXIC, a space opera about a created, teen girl who’s abandoned on a biological spaceship, and the mercenary boy doomed to die on it. I’ve also written THE NOVEMBER GIRL, set on a remote island on Lake Superior. A girl with violence running through her veins meets a boy running away from an abusive home life. Both from Entangled Teen/Macmillan.
I’m also part of the new anthology, COLOR OUTSIDE THE LINES, with Soho Teen coming in 2019!
My YA sci-fi novel, CONTROL, debuted December 2013 (Dial/Penguin). The sequel, CATALYST, released March 2015 (Kathy Dawson Books/Penguin). I released a short story in the dark YA anthology, AMONG THE SHADOWS October 2015.
Nate Pedersen is a librarian, journalist, and historian in Oregon. His website is http://natepedersen.com