A reading list from the ages of plague and pandemic: Including stories of endurance and survival, cures, compassion, and community, and lessons from the history and science of epidemics. Selected by the Curators and Speakers of Odd Salon.
Giovanni Boccaccio$15.00 $13.95
Published in the years after the Black Death swept through 14th century Europe, Boccaccio's novel is a story of resilience both in the narrative, which sets ten young people in a villa quarantine, waiting out the plague while telling stories, but also in the author's survival to write the story.
Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them
Jennifer Wright$28.00 $26.04
A quick hit list of silver linings from some of history's darkest chapters.
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
Rebecca Solnit$18.00 $16.74
Resilience born of hardship can be the foundation of incredible communities.
The Diary of Samuel Pepys: The Great Plague of London & The Great Fire of London, 1665-1666
Samuel Pepy's kept a deeply personal (and not intended for prying eyes) journal covering the years of the Great Plague of London in 1665 and the fire of 1665.
A Journal of the Plague Year
Written about the 1665 the Great Plague of London, Daniel Defoe was likely inspired by the real world journals of his uncle, resulting in a book that straddles the line between fact and fiction.
The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time
An excellent and very readable history of the Black Death of 1347-1351.
The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai
The history of one of the world's most remote and most infamous leper colonies, in Molokai Hawaii, and the man who persevered in order to serve and treat the population of patients with care and dignity.
The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic
Laney Salisbury and Gay Salisbury$16.95 $15.76
In 1925, the citizens of Nome, Alaska faced a deadly outbreak of diphtheria, and no way to get the much needed serum to the remote town, leading to an epic battle against time and the frozen environment by dogsled.
Fighting for Life
S. Josephine Baker$17.95
Dr. S. Josephine Baker was a hero of preventive medicine facing off against both Typhoid Mary and the long standing, overwhelming problem of childhood mortality in turn of the 20th century New York City.
The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--And How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World
Steven Johnson$17.00 $15.81
The story of Dr. John Snow's battle against the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak of London, using data visualization to find the source of the outbreak.
The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History
John M. Barry$19.00 $17.67
There are enormous parallels between today's coronavirus pandemic and the 1918-1919 outbreak of influenza, one of history's strangely overlooked epidemics.
Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic
David Quammen$18.95 $17.62
This highly relevant book from 2012 specifically explores the process called “spillover” in which diseases from wild animals can be passed to humans.
For more further reading related to resilience in the ages of plague and pandemic, pick up a copy of the Odd Salon Journal, available in both digital and print editions from our online shop: https://www.oddsalon.com/oddshop/