Newley's Notes

NN213: Best Nonfiction Books on Pandemics; Dogs ‘Skiing’

Photo by Dave on Unsplash

Sent as an email newsletter Monday, April 6.

👋 Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter containing my recent Wall Street Journal stories, must-read links on tech and life, and funny dog videos.

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📖 As I’ve mentioned, when it comes to Covid–19, it seems we’re in for a marathon, not a sprint. And I recently figured: what nonfiction books out there best explain pandemics?

You know, since viruses that sweep over the world are not exactly new?

So, I consulted several best-of lists. Here are some titles that come highly recommended:

Did I miss something good? Let me know. Maybe next week I’ll survey fiction titles.

Here are ten (mostly coronavirus-related) items worth your time this week:

📉 1) The Month Coronavirus Felled American Business [The Wall Street Journal]

“March began amid an 11-year expansion and ended with blue-chip companies begging for bailouts. Swift and sharp, the pandemic cut through the country’s commerce like nothing before it.”

🚜 2) Photos: In Rural Towns and on Remote Farms, the Virus Creeps In [New York Times]

“’Unlike in a lot of places near urban areas, I’m not worried about the trailhead being overrun,’ he said. ’It’s very easy to keep six feet, if not three miles, between me and the next person.’”

🌆 3) Cities after coronavirus: how Covid–19 could radically alter urban life [The Guardian]

“Pandemics have always shaped cities – and from increased surveillance to ’de-densification’ to new community activism, Covid–19 is doing it already.”

💬 4) World 2.0 [Tyler Cowen/Marginal Revolution]

“There are decades where nothing happens, and weeks where decades happen.”

🎥 5) The Only Thing I Want To Do Is Binge-Watch Apocalypse Movies [BuzzFeed News]

“Why am I streaming fictional end-of-the-world stories during a real pandemic? Maybe because, as psychologist Christina Scott told me, they’re ‘the only reference point we have.’”

😂 6) Larry David, Master of His Quarantine [New York Times]

“So I thought I would reach out to the world’s leading expert on the art of nothing: the endlessly irascible man whose mantra has always been: “It doesn’t pay to leave your house — what’s the point?””

🐅 7) Tiger at NYC’s Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirus [Associated Press]

“A tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the new coronavirus, in what is believed to be the first known infection in an animal in the U.S. or a tiger anywhere, federal officials and the zoo said Sunday.”

🍸 8) Video: Cocktail hour [Instagram/InaGarten]

“It’s always cocktail hour in a crisis!”

🕺 9) Excellent Twitter feed with silly videos: People dancing to Steely Dan [Twitter: @steelydance]

🐕 10) Dog video of the week: This dog enjoying the snow [Reddit/r/aww]

💡 Quote of the week:

“You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can’t control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.” – Marcus Aurelius

👊 Fist bump from Hong Kong,


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