Wednesday books, 2 December 2015

Last book finished: Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus by Bill Wasik, and I loved it. I know, it doesn’t sound great, but hear me out. It’s not a dry recounting of rabies facts with a brief recounting of the search for a vaccine. That really would be dull. Nope, most of this book is about the cultural impact that rabies has made: how early writers talked about it, how it influenced literary and media genres, and how it impacted social history. I’m talking about its significance in the development of myths around vampires, werewolves and, more recently, zombies. About the terror it inflicted, out of all proportion to the number of people it actually killed, and the ways people tried to contain and cure it through the centuries.

Which does, naturally, lead to a few chapters on the development of a vaccine, but even that’s written in an engaging way that kept me enthralled. And it then goes into a discussion about the impact of the vaccine and how it was accepted (or not) in society.

Rabies is horrifying and terrifying, so this isn’t a good bedtime read, but it’s a brilliant book that I highly recommend.

Current read: Still working on Russian History: A Very Short Introduction. That may be my status forever. And I’m still working on A Fashionable Indulgence, because my reading time has been short lately.

But, very excitingly, I am finally reading Sorcerer to the Crown! And I want to cuddle it and love it and call it my Squishy. It’s a delightful book. I’m a third of the way through and may have fallen in love with Prunella, but I challenge anyone to read it and not fall for her.

Next read: So, my birthday happened. And that meant books happened. Which is making my next pick ridiculously difficult. Chimera by Mira Grant? The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher? The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Grant? Or go back to an older entry on my TBR stack and finally read Karen Memory? I have way too many choices right now.