Also of interest... in diseases and other contagions
by Stephen and Owen King (Scribner, $32.50)
Stephen King’s first collaboration with his son Owen riffs on Sleeping Beauty, and it’s “sleepy in its own right,” said Janet Maslin in The New York Times. In a small Appalachian town, a virus is causing women to fall into a deep slumber and be cocooned by tendrils. But despite the central role given to a witchy beauty who commands an army of moths, the 700-page book is short on thrills, provocative ideas, and striking characters. Though scores of people are introduced, “very few of them spring to life.”
The Asshole Survival Guide
by Robert Sutton (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28)
“This is a small book, but it could play a big part in making us treat others better,” said Roger Trapp in Forbes.com. Following up his 2007 best-seller The No Asshole Rule, management guru Robert Sutton focuses this time on how to deal with toxic people and how to figure out if you’re one yourself. He presents plenty of evidence that bad behavior spreads, and that it damages organizations and lives. Best for middle managers, the book offers important lessons for leaders, too.
by Laura Spinney (PublicAffairs, $28)
Too often we forget the one 20thcentury event that was probably deadlier than any war, said Tilli Tansey in Nature. In her look at the 1918 flu pandemic that killed as many as 100 million people, journalist Laura Spinney argues that the catastrophe faded from memory because, though it burnt out, no nation could claim to have defeated it. Her account is “packed with fascinating detail,” circling outward from three potential Patient Zeros to show how governments failed, and what they learned.
I Know Your Kind
by William Brewer (Milkweed, $16)
William Brewer’s poetry captures the effects of America’s opioid epidemic in “a way that statistics, figures, and journalism cannot,” said Mike Good in PShares.org. The simple absence of straight narrative “helps arrest the notion that a straight path exists between dependence and sobriety.” Brewer’s verse wanders into politics, economics, and Greek myth. But he puts individual addicts front and center, and the combination of a refined style and rough content “creates a startling experience.”