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Outbreaks: What Can We Learn About Them from the Past to Help Us in Our Present and Future

19 Feb

Right now, COVID-19 is headline news and comes up in conversations with friends and family members on a daily basis.  There is a lot of fear and misinformation out there.  One of the best ways to stay up to date is by checking out the CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) site which has current information on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, which includes a FAQ with symptoms and tips for prevention.  The CDC is also always a wealth of information on other topics as well such as vaccines that are recommended when traveling abroad.

I’ve also compiled a list of books that we have here at the library that look at some outbreaks from the flu to ebola that have happened in the past that give insight into the handling of pandemics, if you are interested in doing further research on the topic.  And remember if you are concerned about your personal health, always check in with your doctor who can help guide you through making educated decisions about your physical well-being.

Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, and of the Outbreaks to Come
by Richard Preston
Crisis in the Red Zone
Preston follows up his bestseller, Hot Zone with this look at the Ebola Outbreak and the potential for other future outbreaks.

The Next Pandemic: On the Front Lines Against Humankind’s Gravest Dangers
by Ali Khan, MD
next pandemic

Ali Khan provides insights from working as a public health first responder for crisis like anthrax and the bird flu to discuss past mistakes as well as tips for future prevention in Next Pandemic.

Influenza: The Hundred Year Hunt to Cure the Deadliest Disease in History
by Jeremy Brown

Brown an ER Doctor takes a look at the influenza pandemic that occurred just over 100 years ago in 1918.  He examines a historic look at the devastating disease that still kills thousands each year and looks at common questions surrounding the flu today.

The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria, and Hubris
by Mark Honigsbaum
pandemic century

Honigsbaum takes a look at both some of the most well-known and less headline grabbing outbreak scares of the past century and the medical as well as social impacts they have on society in The Pandemic Century.

Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes who Fought Them
by Jennifer Ashley Wright
get well soon

Wright adds a little dark humor to the subject of some of the worst outbreaks in human history to give a factual and fascinating look at the topic in Get Well Soon.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

A Book For Every Month Part One:  Timely Reads to get you Through the First Half of 2020

15 Jan

I’ve been waiting for 2020.  Gone are the awkward to mention about Nauhts and 10’s; we are back to the roaring 20’s!  I was talking to one of my colleagues recently how I had just gotten done with several Christmas related novels and that I like reading books synced to the time of the year.  I was thinking some of our readers might enjoy that too, so I went on a hunt for books that we could enjoy for the first half of the year beginning a new decade.

January: The Speech: The Story behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream
by Gary Younge
The Speech

With Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday this month and Black History month in February it is the perfect time to reflect on the speech that had such a defining impact on the civil rights movement.  As we go through a period when protests have sometimes resulted in violence, King’s powerful words are not only an important piece of history, but also an example for our current times.  Check out The Speech at HPL!

February: Chocolate Covered Murder: A Lucy Stone Mystery
by Leslie Meier
Chocolate Covered Murder

Whether you have a sweetie, but you feel overwhelmed having to pick out that “perfect” gift or you are single and tired of being bombarded with ads for cards and candy, Valentine’s Day might have you seeing red for reasons other than lacey hearts.  A great murder mystery could be the perfect antidote to the February doldrums.  Check out Chocolate Covered Murder, where Lucy must uncover who murdered a candy store owner during their New England town’s Valentine’s Day celebration.

March: The Love Object: Selected Stories
by Edna O’Brien
Love Object
For March I wanted to find something to celebrate both Women’s History Month and St. Patrick Day and I think I’ve found a true gem.  Booklist Review, describes Edna O’Brien as “an Irish national treasure, having secured a place in the pantheon of top-notch twentieth-century Irish writers of fiction” and Publisher Weekly states, “O’Brien, who introduced an Irish female perspective to the 1960s literary landscape, has produced stories over the last half-century that resonate with charm and acerbity, lyricism and terseness, nostalgia and brute force.”  In The Love Object, O’Brien gifts us with 31 stories written over four decades.  I’d take that over trite green beer any day.

April: Lower Your Taxes — Big Time!
by Sanford Botkin
Lower Your Taxes
You may be taking part in Easter, Passover, or another Spring Celebration this April, but one thing all of us Americans will be stuck preparing for is tax day when we find out if we owe money or will be getting it back from the government.  You might consider checking out Lower Your Taxes — Big Time!: Wealth-Building, Tax Reduction Secrets from an IRS Insider by Sanford Botkin.  We also have here Pogue’s Basics: Money by David Pogue and Gaby Dunn’s Bad with Money for more financial advice.  Of course always talk with your accountant or other financial advisor before making any important changes.

May: The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father
by Kao Kalia Yang
Song Poet
In The Song Poet, Kao Kalia Yang recounts the life of her father, Bee Yang, a Hmong song poet who was a refugee who came to Minnesota.  The Hmong are a group living across several countries in South East Asia, it is their tradition that a song poet is someone who keeps and recounts the lives of his people and through him keeps their memories alive.  This is a fitting way to celebrate May, which is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and next month’s Father’s Day.

June: Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America
by Nathaniel Frank
Until very recently when October became the prime month, the most popular month for weddings in the US was June.  This may date back as far as ancient Rome when couples celebrated Juno and his wife Jupiter (the goddess of marriage).   Today June is also when we celebrate Gay Pride Month.  You can check out Awakening by Nathaniel Frank to learn about the history of the movement that just five years ago finally culminated in a Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex couples to marry.  The book looks back to the 1950s when it was difficult to feel safe simply in coming out and then moving through the decades as the movement took shape for marriage equality.  The library has some great wedding planning books including The Knot Yours Truly: Inspiration and Ideas to Personalize your Wedding by Carley Roney, Style your Perfect Wedding, and Modern Wedding: Creating a Celebration that Looks and Feels Like You by Kelsey McKinnon.



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