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Reading List

March 28. 2020

On a recent episode of TWiV (Episode 594), I mentioned a post from my personal Facebook page. I have included the post below and will plan to use this part of the website to list book or article recommendations when possible. They will also be shared to my lab’s Facebook page, which is public.

Thanks for all of your positive comments on my posts. I am glad that you are finding this information helpful. I am sure that none of you will be surprised, but I read about this stuff a fair amount. If you are looking for something new to read and want to understand more about infectious disease/immunology/microbiology, here are a few of my favorites:
–“Spillover” by David Quammen. All about how animal infections can lead to epidemics in people. Quammen is a well-respected science writer. This one is sort of a classic. The parts of this book that are about HIV (“The Chimp and the River”) and Ebola (“Ebola”) have been released as updated little books of their own. I have assigned readings from this/the small books in class (I assign Chimp and the River all the time).
–“The Viral Storm” by Nathan Wolfe. About virology and new virus discovery. Wolfe is a prominent virologist. I have assigned chapters of this book in classes before. This book talks a bit about new technologies for studying this stuff. Wolfe also has a couple good Ted Talks.
–“Pandemic” by Sonia Shah. Partially about historical cholera epidemics and things that exacerbated them as well as general modern epidemics. Shah is a well-respected science writer. This one has a little more about social conditions involved in epidemics.
–“An Elegant Defense” by Matt Richtel. About the immune system with a focus on a few patients. Richtel is a great science writer. 
–“Pox Americana” by Elizabeth Fenn. This one is a little out of left field compared to the others as it is written by a historian and is about all of the ways that smallpox epidemics are tied into early American history. I read it in college and found it really fascinating, so it might be your thing if you are a history buff.
–“I Contain Multitudes” by Ed Yong. Another one that is a little off topic here, but one of my favorites and by my favorite science writer so I had to include it. This one is more about our relationship with microbes (mostly bacteria) and positive and negative parts of our association with them. I assign this one to my Microbiology class every year and it might be a good one if you want to think about how microbes can be good instead of bad. :)Ed Yong is a writer for The Atlantic and I recommend pretty much everything he writes. There is also a video series that accompanies this book. 

Will post more if I think of them.