We are heading in to my favorite seasons, spring and summer. I love the sun as much as I love books. Give me both and I’m in heaven. My perfect reading spot is on the beach, but give me a book, a hammock and sunshine anywhere and I’m one happy lizard.
This book is almost entirely about people who lived in small towns a hundred years ago. As much about how they died as about how they lived. But the flash of death illuminated the lifes the victims have lived.
Month two of quarantine and I’m still reading. In between reading, I’m doing puzzles and listening to podcasts (oh, and homeschooling my kids). The outside world may be scary and unsure, but in my house is a library of adventure. I choose adventure.
In order to help children make the most of their education, parents must begin to relinquish control and focus on three goals: embracing opportunities to fail, finding ways to learn from that failure, and creating positive home-school relationships.
I learned about getting saved. I learned how someone could come to you when you were feeling real, real bad and could take all of your problems away and make you feel better. I learned that the person who saved you, your personal saver, was sent by God to protect you and to help you out.
I have always loved reading about diseases and their effects on communities. Even though I knew the reality of living through one, I never really imagined I would. Well, here we are. So, here’s a short list of the books I’ve read in the past, never imagining I could possibly be a character in a similar story in the future.
From Steven Johnson, the dynamic thinker routinely compared to James Gleick, Dava Sobel, and Malcolm Gladwell, The Ghost Map is a riveting page-turner about a real-life historical hero, Dr. John Snow. It’s the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure—garbage removal, clean water, sewers—necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action—and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time. In a triumph of multidisciplinary thinking, Johnson illuminates the intertwined histories and inter-connectedness of the spread of disease, contagion theory, the rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry, offering both a riveting history and a powerful explanation of how it has shaped the world we live in.
The emotional, incredible true story of Neil White, a man who discovers the secret to happiness, leading a fulfilling life, and the importance of fatherhood in the most unlikely of places—the last leper colony in the continental United States.
A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic “hot” virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their “crashes” into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.
In January 1918, as World War I raged on, a new and terrifying virus began to spread across the globe. In three successive waves, from 1918 to 1919, influenza killed more than 50 million people. German soldiers termed it Blitzkatarrh, British soldiers referred to it as Flanders Grippe, but world-wide, the pandemic gained the notorious title of “Spanish Flu.” Nowhere on earth escaped: the United States recorded 550,000 deaths (five times its total military fatalities in the war), while European deaths totaled more than two million.
Amid the war, some governments suppressed news of the outbreak. Even as entire battalions were decimated, with both the Allies and the Germans suffering massive casualties, the details of many servicemen’s deaths were hidden to protect public morale. Meanwhile, civilian families were being struck down in their homes. Philadelphia ran out of gravediggers and coffins, and mass burial trenches had to be excavated with steam shovels. Spanish flu conjured up the specter of the Black Death of 1348 and the great plague of 1665, while the medical profession, shattered after five terrible years of conflict, lacked the resources to contain and defeat this new enemy. Through primary and archival sources, historian Catharine Arnold gives readers the first truly global account of this terrible epidemic.
It’s late summer 1793, and the streets of Philadelphia are abuzz with mosquitoes and rumors of fever. Down near the docks, many have taken ill, and the fatalities are mounting. Now they include Polly, the serving girl at the Cook Coffeehouse. But fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook doesn’t get a moment to mourn the passing of her childhood playmate. New customers have overrun her family’s coffee shop, located far from the mosquito-infested river, and Mattie’s concerns of fever are all but overshadowed by dreams of growing her family’s small business into a thriving enterprise. But when the fever begins to strike closer to home, Mattie’s struggle to build a new life must give way to a new fight—the fight to stay alive.
Set in the days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.
One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.
Grad students studying disease ecology, Erin and Erin found themselves disenchanted with the insular world of academia. They wanted a way to share their love of epidemics and weird medical mysteries with the world, not just colleagues. Plus, who doesn’t love an excuse to have a cocktail while chatting about pus and poop?
Welcome to quarantine reading. What else is there to do? Honestly, I could be cleaning out a closet (or two) but that’s not going to take my mind off the reality of what’s going on in the world. I’ve never been more grateful for my “Want to Read” list on Goodreads.
Sometimes something catastrophic can occur in a split second that changes a person’s life forever; other times one minor incident can lead to another and then another and another, eventually setting off just as big a change in a body’s life.
10. Son (The Giver Quartet, #4) by Lois Lowry ??????????
I was diagnosed with autism at the age of five. I wasn’t diagnosed as a comedian until much later, though I always loved to perform and make people laugh. When I started doing stand-up in my teens, I realized that I could use comedy to help demystify autism and break down stereotypes.
It was the beginning of that long bifurcation that became my life: Obey and hate yourself, survive. Disobey, redeem yourself, perish. I thought later how simply and quickly they had introduced that concept to me, as easily as breaking a little finger.
What would I do without books? I often feel like I don’t have enough time to read all the books on my list and I start to panic. Then, I remind myself, it’s not an assignment I have to finish. It’s purely for my enjoyment and to open my mind to other worlds and perspectives. And then I continue on reading.