What I Read in July

Fiction, Rereads

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Fiction, New to Me

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Little House in the Big Woods

A Place in Time: Twenty Stories of the Port William Membership by Wendell Berry

Celtic Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

At the beginning of the month I was still on my Agatha Christie kick and finished/read 9 more novels/collections: Nemesis, They Do It with Mirrors, Double Sin and Other StoriesAt Bertram’s Hotel, Postern of Fate, N or M?Partners in CrimeBy the Pricking of My Thumbs, and The Secret Adversary

Nonfiction

Epidemics and Pandemics: Their Impacts on Human History by J.N. Hays. This is an essential read for anyone who wants to understand history and the modern world. I would not stop here, but it is a great place to start as an overview of significant epidemics and plagues from ancient times until 2005 (when the book was published). A few notes although I would have a preferred a more updated version (obviously, the world has continuing outbreaks of the epidemics he mentions as still in force plus the Ebola epidemic and the Zika epidemic, just to name ones I know), this is still an excellent place to start on the study of the historical impact of disease. A few notes, I think a microbiology books would come in handy (he didn’t describe the modern understanding and remedies; I think a section for that on each epidemic/pandemic would have been helpful for connotation, and I think the author had a bit of a weird tone about modern medical science and sanitation in the more modern epidemics(or at least his tones was easily confused with the ideas of those about whom he was writing).

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Not what I was expecting, not sure what I was thinking, but it felt very stylized and impersonal. I think that is the style of personal writing then.

Vaccines: What Everyone Needs to Know by Kristen A. Feemster. An absolutely essential read for everyone. The author gives a brief history of vaccines, a brief explanation of vaccines, discussion on the development of vaccines and the usage and availability of vaccines within sections of society and the globe. She ends with a discussion of vaccine hesitancy (and there I do have a bit of a problem with her tone/take; as much as vaccine hesitant and anti-vaccine people infuriate me, her tone tends a bit authoritarian while the previous chapters were informative and persuasive; the people who infuriate me, I find aggravating because of deliberate ignorance/suspicion, not skepticism) I do think that some people may need a bit more explanation of vaccines, I don’t know how much everyone hears and remembers. I think this fit nicely with Epidemics and Pandemics, with the latter emphasizing the need for vaccines. And a good microbiology books would fit it quite well with these books also.

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