In keeping with my read-a-book a week plan, I finished In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death & The World It Made by Norman F. Cantor. I started this last week and finished last night. A historical look at how the bubonic plague, or black death, affected and changed the medieval world, paving the way for the Renaissance, this book answers some of the lesser known plague questions and brings forth different theories on the biological origins of diseases.

The low, middle and high ages of Medieval period is thoroughly presented in this readable history.Tracing the dissemination and path of the plague and anthrax, its possible relative disease, as of the worst outbreaks of illness occurring in the middle ages, statistics come alive by relating the disease progression to real persons of the time, including the Plantagenet family, Princess Joan, King Edwards II and III, King Alfonso of Castile, and others, as well as the lives of peasants and serfs, and people in the religious orders and within the abbeys.  With the focus on the late 1340’s, the author traces the decades and centuries before and after this time period so readers will gain a better understanding of life before the plague and the affects after the plague.

Recommended for history and plague devotees; complete with index, bibliography, and illustrations.

If you’re interested in the bubonic plague, you might enjoy modern fiction such as The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis and Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks.

This week, I’m looking forward to reading Sightings: Extraordinary Encounters with Ordinary Birds by Sam Keen and Mary Woodin.  If that goes well, I will finish reading A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold.

One recommendation for the read-a-book a week plan, turn off the TV and read a few pages from a book instead. You’ll feel better, your mind will thank you, and you will cherish the quiet around you. I’m going on something like year 7 or 8 without a TV and I haven’t missed it at all. The opportunity of time to read, write, listen to and play music, and create arts and crafts are all gained by not watching TV.

Happy Reading!

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