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Books About Epidemics

Apocalyptic outbreaks of diseases have been a recurring motif in literature since time immemorial. As we face the threat of a new virus that is predicted to reach pandemic proportions, crawl under the covers with fictional and non-fictional accounts of epidemics that span across a multitude of eras and geographies.

  1. 1
    Cherry Book Cover Picture
    Cherry Book Cover Picture

    Cherry

    by Nico Walker

    A young medic returns from deployment in Iraq to two things: the woman he loves, and the opioid crisis sweeping across the Midwest. Soon deep in the thrall of heroin addiction, he arrives at what seems like the only logical solution: robbing banks. Written by a singularly talented, wildly imaginative debut novelist, Cherry is a bracingly funny and unexpectedly tender work of fiction straight from the dark heart of America.
    Cherry Book Cover Picture
    Cherry Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

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  2. 2
    Pain Killer Book Cover Picture
    Pain Killer Book Cover Picture

    Pain Killer

    by Barry Meier

    Between 1999 and 2017, an estimated 250,000 Americans died from overdoses involving prescription painkillers, a plague ignited by Purdue Pharma’s aggressive marketing of OxyContin. In Pain Killer, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Barry Meier exposes the roots of the most pressing health epidemic of the twenty-first century that has torn apart families, destroyed businesses, and pushed public officials to the brink.
    Pain Killer Book Cover Picture
    Pain Killer Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $27.00

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  3. 3
    Superbugs Book Cover Picture
    Superbugs Book Cover Picture

    Superbugs

    by Matt McCarthy

    A New York Times bestselling author shares this exhilarating story of cutting-edge science and the race against the clock to find new treatments in the fight against the antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as superbugs. The proverbial ticking clock will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Can Dr. McCarthy save the lives of his patients infected with the deadly bacteria, who have otherwise lost all hope?
    Superbugs Book Cover Picture
    Superbugs Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  4. 4
    The Plague Book Cover Picture
    The Plague Book Cover Picture

    The Plague

    by Albert Camus

    A haunting tale of human resilience in the face of unrelieved horror, Camus’ novel about a bubonic plague ravaging the people of a North African coastal town is a classic of twentieth-century literature.
    The Plague Book Cover Picture
    The Plague Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $15.00

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  5. 5
    The Last One Book Cover Picture
    The Last One Book Cover Picture

    The Last One

    by Alexandra Oliva

    It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. To find out whether the devastation is a part of the game or reality, they must first finish the game.
    The Last One Book Cover Picture
    The Last One Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

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  6. 6
    Station Eleven Book Cover Picture
    Station Eleven Book Cover Picture

    Station Eleven

    by Emily St. John Mandel

    An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding 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 after a devastating flu pandemic wipes out civilization as we know it.
    Station Eleven Book Cover Picture
    Station Eleven Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

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  7. 7
    The Year of the Flood Book Cover Picture
    The Year of the Flood Book Cover Picture

    The Year of the Flood

    by Margaret Atwood

    In this second book of the MaddAddam trilogy, the long-feared waterless flood has occurred, altering Earth as we know it and obliterating most human life. Among the survivors are Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, who is barricaded inside a luxurious spa. Amid shadowy, corrupt ruling powers and new, gene-spliced life forms, Ren and Toby will have to decide on their next move, but they can’t stay locked away.
    The Year of the Flood Book Cover Picture
    The Year of the Flood Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

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  8. 8
    Zone One Book Cover Picture
    Zone One Book Cover Picture

    Zone One

    by Colson Whitehead

    A pandemic has devastated the planet, sorting humanity into two types: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead. After the worst of the plague is over, armed forces stationed in Chinatown’s Fort Wonton have successfully reclaimed the island south of Canal Street—aka Zone One. At once a chilling horror story and a literary novel by a contemporary master, Zone One is a dazzling portrait of modern civilization in all its wretched, shambling glory.
    Zone One Book Cover Picture
    Zone One Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

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  9. 9
    The Stand Book Cover Picture
    The Stand Book Cover Picture

    The Stand

    by Stephen King

     A patient escapes from a biological testing facility, unknowingly carrying a deadly weapon: a mutated strain of super-flu that will wipe out 99 percent of the world’s population within a few weeks. Those who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Stephen King’s apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and tangled in an elemental struggle between good and evil feels eerily plausible.
    The Stand Book Cover Picture
    The Stand Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

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  10. 10
    Rabid Book Cover Picture
    Rabid Book Cover Picture

    Rabid

    by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy

    The most fatal virus known to science, rabies-a disease that spreads avidly from animals to humans-kills nearly one hundred percent of its victims once the infection takes root in the brain. In this critically acclaimed exploration, journalist Bill Wasik and veterinarian Monica Murphy chart four thousand years of the history, science, and cultural mythology of rabies.
    Rabid Book Cover Picture
    Rabid Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  11. 11
    The Great Influenza Book Cover Picture
    The Great Influenza Book Cover Picture

    The Great Influenza

    by John M. Barry

    Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research and now revised to reflect the growing danger of the avian flu, The Great Influenza is ultimately a tale of triumph amid tragedy, which provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon.
    The Great Influenza Book Cover Picture
    The Great Influenza Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $19.00

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  12. 12
    The Ghost Map Book Cover Picture
    The Ghost Map Book Cover Picture

    The Ghost Map

    by Steven Johnson

    The Ghost Map is a riveting page-turner about a real-life historical hero, Dr. John Snow set in the summer of 1854. London 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.
    The Ghost Map Book Cover Picture
    The Ghost Map Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  13. 13
    Virus Hunter Book Cover Picture
    Virus Hunter Book Cover Picture

    Virus Hunter

    by C.J. Peters and Mark Olshaker

    For three decades, Dr. C. J. Peters was on the front lines of our biological battle against “hot” viruses around the world. In the course of that career, he learned countless lessons about our interspecies turf wars with infectious agents. High-octane science writing at its best and most revealing, Virus Hunter is a thrilling first-person account of what it is like to be a warrior in the Hot Zone.
    Virus Hunter Book Cover Picture
    Virus Hunter Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $15.95

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  14. 14
    Black Hole Book Cover Picture
    Black Hole Book Cover Picture

    Black Hole

    by Charles Burns

    The setting: suburban Seattle, the mid-1970s. We learn from the outset that a strange plague has descended upon the area’s teenagers, transmitted by sexual contact. The disease is manifested in any number of ways — from the hideously grotesque to the subtle (and concealable) — but once you’ve got it, that’s it. There’s no turning back.
    Black Hole Book Cover Picture
    Black Hole Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $19.95

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  15. 15
    Pox Book Cover Picture
    Pox Book Cover Picture

    Pox

    by Michael Willrich

    At the turn of the last century, a smallpox epidemic swept the United States from coast to coast. In this gripping account, award- winning historian Michael Willrich chronicles the government’s fight against the outbreak and the ensuing clash of modern medicine, civil liberties, and state power.
    Pox Book Cover Picture
    Pox Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $19.00

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  16. 16
    The American Plague Book Cover Picture
    The American Plague Book Cover Picture

    The American Plague

    by Molly Caldwell Crosby

    Over the course of history, yellow fever has paralyzed governments, halted commerce, quarantined cities, moved the U.S. capital, and altered the outcome of wars. In 1900, the U.S. sent three doctors to Cuba to discover how yellow fever was spread. There, they launched one of history’s most controversial human studies. Compelling and terrifying, The American Plague depicts the story of yellow fever and its terrifying reign.
    The American Plague Book Cover Picture
    The American Plague Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

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  17. 17
    The Coming Plague Book Cover Picture
    The Coming Plague Book Cover Picture

    The Coming Plague

    by Laurie Garrett

    Laurie Garrett takes you on a fifty-year journey through the world’s battles with microbes and examines the worldwide conditions that have culminated in recurrent outbreaks of newly discovered diseases, epidemics of diseases migrating to new areas, and mutated old diseases that are no longer curable. She argues that it is not too late to take action to prevent the further onslaught of viruses and microbes, and offers possible solutions for a healthier future.
    The Coming Plague Book Cover Picture
    The Coming Plague Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $25.00

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  18. 18
    The Remedy Book Cover Picture
    The Remedy Book Cover Picture

    The Remedy

    by Thomas Goetz

    Capturing the moment when mystery and magic began to yield to science, The Remedy chronicles the stunning story of how the germ theory of disease became a true fact, how two men of ambition, Robert Koch and  Arthur Conan Doyle, were emboldened to reach for something more, and how scientific discoveries evolve into social truths.
    The Remedy Book Cover Picture
    The Remedy Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

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  19. 19
    The Demon in the Freezer Book Cover Picture
    The Demon in the Freezer Book Cover Picture

    The Demon in the Freezer

    by Richard Preston

     In The Demon in the Freezer, his first nonfiction book since The Hot Zone, a #1 New York Times bestseller, Richard Preston takes us into the heart of Usamriid, the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, once the headquarters of the U.S. biological weapons program and now the epicenter of national biodefense.
    The Demon in the Freezer Book Cover Picture
    The Demon in the Freezer Book Cover Picture

    Mass Market Paperback
    $7.99

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  20. 20
    Emerging Epidemics Book Cover Picture
    Emerging Epidemics Book Cover Picture

    Emerging Epidemics

    by Madeline Drexler

    As timely as it is urgent, the well-researched book from veteran science journalist Madeline Drexler delivers a compelling report about today’s most ominous infections. Focusing on a different danger in each chapter, from the looming risk of lethal influenza to in-depth information on the public health perils posed by bioterrorism, Drexler takes readers straight to the front lines, where scientists are racing to catch nearly invisible adversaries superior in speed and guile.
    Emerging Epidemics Book Cover Picture
    Emerging Epidemics Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  21. 21
    The Strain Volume 1 Book Cover Picture
    The Strain Volume 1 Book Cover Picture

    The Strain Volume 1

    by David Lapham and Chuck Hogan

    When a Boeing 777 lands at JFK International Airport and goes dark on the runway, the Center for Disease Control, fearing a terrorist attack, calls in Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team of expert biological-threat first responders. Only an elderly pawnbroker from Spanish Harlem suspects a darker purpose behind the event–an ancient threat intent on covering mankind in darkness. In one week, Manhattan will be gone. In one month, the country. In two months–the world.
    The Strain Volume 1 Book Cover Picture
    The Strain Volume 1 Book Cover Picture

    Available from:

  22. 22
    Nemesis Book Cover Picture
    Nemesis Book Cover Picture

    Nemesis

    by Philip Roth

    Moving between the streets of Newark and a pristine summer camp high in the Poconos, Nemesis tenderly and startlingly depicts Cantor’s passage into personal disaster, the condition of childhood, and the painful effect that the wartime polio epidemic has on a closely-knit, family-oriented Newark community and its children. 
    Nemesis Book Cover Picture
    Nemesis Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

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  23. 23
    World War Z Book Cover Picture
    World War Z Book Cover Picture

    World War Z

    by Max Brooks

    We survived the zombie apocalypse, but how many of us are still haunted by that terrible time? We have (temporarily?) defeated the living dead, but at what cost? Told in the haunting and riveting voices of the men and women who witnessed the horror firsthand, World War Z is the only record of the apocalyptic years
    World War Z Book Cover Picture
    World War Z Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  24. 24
    Year of Wonders Book Cover Picture
    Year of Wonders Book Cover Picture

    Year of Wonders

    by Geraldine Brooks

    When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Inspired by the true story of Eyam, a village in the rugged hill country of England, Year of Wonders is a richly detailed evocation of a singular moment in history. Written with stunning emotional intelligence and introducing an inspiring heroine, Brooks blends love and learning, loss and renewal into a spellbinding and unforgettable read.
    Year of Wonders Book Cover Picture
    Year of Wonders Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

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  25. 25
    The Hot Zone Book Cover Picture
    The Hot Zone Book Cover Picture

    The Hot Zone

    by Richard Preston

    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.
    The Hot Zone Book Cover Picture
    The Hot Zone Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

    Also available from:

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