by Paul Edwards
When the lockdown came, I suddenly wanted to know a lot more about what people had written about pandemics in the past. There were a few books that I had read before, one of which I read again, by the way; but I was curious to see whether, by using a few key words in a search of BARD, I could create a reading list for myself. The unqualified answer was yes, and, in fact, the truth is that I have found at least 50 books that I could have read on BARD alone and several more on Bookshare.
There just isn’t enough space to acquaint you with all the books I have found and read, though I suspect there will be a pretty hefty list that will come out after our next Library Without Walls call put on by Library Users of America on the third Wednesday of July, the 15th, at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time. We ask each person to tell us about two books they have read about pandemics or plagues. Jane Carona, our treasurer, sends out a list of all the books discussed soon after. If you would like that list, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it to you. Library Without Walls meet every other month on the third Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. Become a regular with us!
First, some fiction books, all of which are on BARD: “Wanderers,” by Chuck Wendig; “Veracity” by Laura Bynum; “The White Plague” by Frank Herbert; “The Doomsday Book” by Connie Willis; “The Plague” by Albert Camus; “The Genius Plague” by David Walton; “The Red Lotus” by Chris Bohjalian; “The Darwin Elevator” by Jason M. Hough; “Earth Abides” by George R. Stewart; and from Bookshare, “The End of October” by Lawrence Wright.
Nonfiction books include two books on the black death: “In the Wake of the Plague” by Norman F. Cantor and “The Great Mortality” by John Kelly. There is a fascinating book about a 19th century hero from London called “The Ghost Man” by Steven Johnson. Books on the influenza epidemic of 1918 include: “The Great Influenza” by John M. Barry; “The Plague of the Spanish Lady” by Richard Condor; “Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic and the Search for the Virus That Caused It” by Gina Kolata; “More Deadly than War” by Kenneth C. Davis; “Pale Rider,” and another book, “Pandemic 1918,” by Laura Spinney. Books on the last century of pandemics include “The Pandemic Century” by Mark Honigsbaum; “Viruses, Plague and History” by Michael Oldstone; and “Spillover” by David Quammen.
I hope this list helps brighten your day!