Sunday, February 9, 2020

The best books about pandemics

Laura Spinney is an author and science journalist. She has published two novels in English, The Doctor (2001) and The Quick (2007). Her third book of non-fiction, Rue Centrale, came out in 2013, and her fourth, a tale of the Spanish flu called Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World, was published in 2017.

At the Guardian, Spinney tagged five of the best books about pandemics, including:
David Quammen’s Spillover serves as a rousing wake-up call, because he conjures up the complex web of microbial ecosystems through which humanity stumbles blindly. Mostly the microbes mind their own business, but occasionally we blunder into their finely tuned arrangements for survival and provoke the spillover of a pathogen from its usual animal host to us. It takes time for them to find a sustainable way to colonise their new host, or hosts, so the initial fallout can be carnage – a trail of gorilla carcasses in an African forest, for example, that heralds an outbreak of Ebola in people.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue