10 Books for the October 2020 #WotNReadingChallenge

The October #WotNReadingChallenge Prompt Is…

Before we get started, in my defense, I want to point out that I came up with this list last year. You know, when no one was expecting the United States to make itself literally sicker with their fatalistic individualism. Everything’s rapidly decaying—news at 11. For our #WotNReadingChallenge, let’s look at books featuring epidemics.

10 Choices for Your October #WotNReadingChallenge

Feed by Mira Grant

Mira Grant - FeedFeed takes place in 2034, where humans have learned to cope while avoiding zombification. The reporter Mason siblings are hired to follow Senator Ryman in the presidential race. Unfortunately, they have to deal with zombies and backroom political dealings. Even though the epidemic isn’t at its height, rapid testing and safety measures have allowed life to return to a new normal. Imagine that!

The Next Pandemic by Ali S. Khan

October 2020 #WotnReadingChallengeKhan was a public health first responder for most of his career. He went all around the world, trying to stop the spread of disease. This book follows Dr. Khan through his epidemiological travels. The disease history is fascinating, and so are some of Khan’s personal notes. An interesting and valuable first-person account.

Dopesick by Beth Macy

Beth Macy - DopesickLet’s walk away from disease epidemics to… the opioid epidemic. Hey, I didn’t say that the destination would be better. Macy digs into how the opioid epidemic got this bad, and what it looks like for the loved ones of those suffering. Not a light read, by any means.

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

October 2020 #WotNReadingChallengeIn the 1980s, Yale Tishman’s career was finally looking up. However, his community starts to get sick. They‘re not sure what the illness is, but they know that people are dying from it. 30 years later, his friend Fiona looks back at the ravages of the epidemic as she looks for her lost family in Paris. An incredibly sad read.

Beating Back the Devil by Maryn McKenna

Maryn McKenna - Beating Back the DevilMcKenna follows a class of the Epidemic Intelligence Service. This is a section of the CDC that assists public health departments in dealing with outbreaks. I am not going to Google what happened to their funding, and honestly neither should you. This book is very episodic, but I find it more interesting that way.

A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker

October 2020 #WotNReadingChallengePublic gatherings used to be a matter of course. However, musician Luce Cannon is horrified when the world suffers terrorist attacks and deadly illness, closing concerts forever. Rosemary works for a company that brings the world to the people safe inside. However, once she gets a taste of the outside world, can she really let it go?

Lock In by John Scalzi

John Scalzi - Lock InIn Lock In, new FBI agent Chris Shane must solve a suspicious death case that may be related to someone with Haden’s Syndrome. Like with Feed, the rages of the epidemic have long since passed. However, the world was forever changed by it.

Pandemic by Sonia Shah

October 2020 #WotNReadingChallengeDo you want to really learn about how pandemics work? That’s a perfectly valid choice, but make sure you’re really sure, considering Everything. Shah describes how cholera came to rock the world, and then describes what diseases could cause just as many problems. Again, be really sure about your tolerance for this.

Zone One by Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead - Zone OneAfter the country has been split into the infected and uninfected, the provisional government wants to clear Manhattan to show the world that the country has a future. Mark Spitz (not his real name) is a volunteer working to help the government in their goal. The novel takes place over three days, during which the volunteers flash back to the Last Night, when it was known that people were succumbing to an infection.

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

October 2020 #WotNReadingChallengeKivrin is a medievalist fascinated by the Dark Ages. She plans to do her time-travel history study in a relatively safe time. Unfortunately, catastrophe strikes and she ends up in the same time and place as the Black Death. Whoops. Her advisor immediately realizes that something is wrong, but their home time has illness issues of its own.

What will you read for your #WotNReadingChallenge?

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