As many know – I do not believe any of the authors queried in the NYT’s Sunday Review have read most of those titles on the night table (or the floor or the shelves). In my opinion anyway. But I have some good ones at my side when I get in for a read and sleep. What have I been reading?
In no order, “The Golden Legend”, “They Cannot Pronounce My Name”, “Righteous” by Joe Ide, parts of the “Whitey/Billy Bulger” saga redux and “Inferno”, that has inspired me to read “The Hot Zone”. Just began and before all else, Richard Preston can really write! On Chapter Two and scared but hooked. Fort Detrick is not a stop on any trip I may take to DC. I thought bats were cute at one time. That’s over. I have never much liked monkeys and now they scare me to death. (chapter two – it is going to get much worse). Steven Hatch in “Inferno” mentioned this book so often and this was so emphatic I knew it was important. I will speak about it when I finish. I finished “The Hot Zone”.
An amazing amount of detail and information written so well you could almost imagine this was a fictional what-if. It isn’t. It is about the filoviruses Ebola, Marburg and what they do to a body. They are soulless, serial killers, they have means but no motive and – hopefully limited or no opportunity. And they resist a cure. Their vector may be bat blood. Or not. Ebola is blood borne – maybe. I found Marburg to be even scarier but this book concentrated on Ebola andthe U.S. Military, the C.D.C. and The Reston Level 4 infection zone. . It allows us to follow the risks taken by very courageous men and women who investigated and contained an Ebola outbreak in the Reston, VA “Hot Zone”site. It was harrowing and fascinating.* I wish I had read it before “Inferno” – I would have been more scared – but having seen how the heroes in Liberia dealt with an outbreak, tempered my fear. Sort of. Robert Preston, the author of “The Hot Zone” also made a trip to the suspected site of the Ebola virus ; The Kitum Cave, and that was terrifying. He also made some salient points in his observations of how the world is playing dangerous games with its ecology and its occupants. He posited that perhaps these filoviruses are the planet’s own protection from the human destruction of nature. Trees do not get Ebola, or HIV or Marburg. People and wildlife do – We play fast and loose with our world and continue to ignore our own destructiveness. Perhaps our planet is aware of us and this is their own response. I urge you to read “The Hot Zone” and “Inferno” and decide. Comments are welcome especially on this threat.
What have YOU been reading? My pick up list at the library is growing – and I am excited and will go up there in a day or two. I think the NYT’s Review is a tad better and I must say any Times Sunday Review is always improved by the appearance of Marilyn Stasio. She reviews crime and mystery and she is the best. I still wish that every story was not condensed and printed so the thrill falls away. And I do write and post on Goodreads – but their site has lost too many of my fantastically written reviews I have stopped. I am hoping they do get a save button. I like the site and I like the readers I have met. It also allows the reader to comment to the author and I find this wonderful. Polymath readers tend to fly far afield in their choice of subjects and this is a way to let an author know how much you enjoyed their book.
Aha. I just opened the library pickups from the tote and Faye Kellerman is top on the about to read list. See you soon.
*For those who are sensitive to animals and laboratory testing – there are descriptions of infected monkeys and euthanized animals that I found sad and horrid. So did the Army vets. Just a caveat. And a subject I wish we considered more often.