A Field Guide to Germs

Wayne Biddle

From adenovirus to Ziti fever, A Field Guide to Germs presents “the top-ranked terms and germs (in prevalence, or power, or worry factor, or even literary interest)… not with the quack promise of self-diagnosis, but with the absolute certainty that a little knowledge is always better than zip.” Written with a light touch and with the intelligent layperson in mind, A Field Guide to Germs details the significant symptoms, historical significance and social impact of some 70-plus viruses, bacterium or other sources of contagion. While handy as a reference book, this also offers many wonderful factoids, such as: measles is not carried by any other animal and it needs a human population of over 300,000 to provide a sustaining supply of virgin bodies so that it will not die out. Or, doctors in the time of plague wore beaked masks filled with pleasant-smelling whatnot to mask the stench of decay. Or, the French term for gonorrhea as far back as the 12th century was chaude pisse, which translates literally as “hot piss.” Complete with period illustrations, A Field Guide to Germs offers hours of entertainment. JAT

Publisher: Anchor
Paperback: 196 pages

The Birth of Tragedy and The Genealogy of Morals

Friedrich Nietzsche

“The Birth of Tragedy (1872) was Nietzsche’s first book, The Genealogy of Morals (1887) one of his last. Though they span the career of this controversial genius, both address problems such as the conflict between moral versus aesthetic approaches to life, the effect of Christianity on human values, the meaning of science, and the famous dichotomy between the Apollonian and Dionysian spirits, among many themes with which Nietzsche struggled throughout his tortured life.”

Publisher: Anchor
Paperback: 299 pages