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The Ghost Map
The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World | Steven Johnson
From the dynamic thinker routinely compared to Malcolm Gladwell, E. O. Wilson, and James Gleick, The Ghost Map is a riveting page-turner with a real-life historical hero that brilliantly illuminates the intertwined histories of the spread of viruses, rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry. These are topics that have long obsessed Steven Johnson, and The Ghost Map is a true triumph of the kind of multidisciplinary thinking for which he's become famous-a book that, like the work of Jared Diamond, presents both vivid history and a powerful and provocative explanation of what it means for the world we live in. The Ghost Map takes place in the summer of 1854. A devastating cholera outbreak seizes London just as it is emerging as a modern city: more than 2 million people packed into a ten-mile circumference, a hub of travel and commerce, teeming with people from all over the world, continually pushing the limits of infrastructure that's outdated as soon as it's updated. Dr. John Snowwhose ideas about contagion had been dismissed by the scientific communityis spurred to intense action when the people in his neighborhood begin dying. With enthralling suspense, Johnson chronicles Snow's day-by-day efforts, as he risks his own life to prove how the epidemic is being spread. When he creates the map that traces the pattern of outbreak back to its source, Dr. Snow didn't just solve the most pressing medical riddle of his time. He ultimately established a precedent for the way modern city-dwellers, city planners, physicians, and public officials think about the spread of disease and the development of the modern urban environment. The Ghost Map is an endlessly compelling and utterly gripping account of that London summer of 1854, from the microbial level to the macrourban-theory levelincluding, most important, the human level. Watch a QuickTime trailer for this book.
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Mitch
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#Decemberwrapup

Great reads and one terrible one! This month I‘ve stood around the Broad Street pump contemplating the cholera outbreak devastating the community, gone on a personal journey to explore who we are, questioned the accepted truth about an extra marital affair, steps inside the shoes of another and been bitterly disappointed in Iceland!

Chrissyreadit What was the terrible read? 3w
Mitch @Chrissyreadit sadly, this one was full of negative stereotypes and felt super dated with and predictable plot! 3w
Reviewsbylola Loved Ghost Map and thought Inheritance was good too. 3w
emilyhaldi Sounds like an exciting month!! 3w
59 likes4 comments
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Mitch
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Pickpick

This starts small, tracing the cholera outbreak in a small London community, summer 1854 - & the key characters who tried to explain, map & prevent a further outbreak. Then moves to a passionate argument for the future of cities. In between there are really informative micro lessons on a range of related topics. I enjoyed the tracking of the outbreak and the work of John Snow immensely - could have read the whole book just about him and his work.

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LeslieO
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#ChristmasBookHaul plus a gift card . It was a very Merry Christmas!

LeahBergen Lovely! 4w
rabbitprincess The Ghost Map was really good! 4w
42 likes2 comments
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Mitch
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Starting a new book today. In my defence I know a book about the mapping of a nineteenth century cholera outbreak isn‘t an immediately obvious choice for Christmas reading - but it does contain lots of quotes from Dickens!

AlaMich I read a book about the history of Bellevue Hospital in NY, and much of the book discussed public health issues. The author mentioned your book a number of times and it sounded interesting. I‘ll be curious to know what you think of it. 1mo
LeahBergen Your tree looks lovely! 🎄 1mo
eraderneely I loved this book! Years and years later and I still remember it. 1mo
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twohectobooks I‘m planning to listen to this audiobook in the new year! 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm Love your tree! 1mo
Mitch @AlaMich I have this on my TBR pile. Added it after binging on the series New Amsterdam on TV! 1mo
Mitch @erzascarletbookgasm thank you. It‘s surviving the three kitties (so far so good!) 1mo
Mitch @LeahBergen thanks honey. Hope you have a wonderful holiday time xxx 1mo
AlaMich @Mitch It‘s excellent. And a great reminder to be thankful for modern medical care! 1mo
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Kaila-ann
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Pickpick

Overall a pick but I felt like it dragged in parts. There was a lot of writing devoted to city development. I would like to have had more on the cholera epidemic and the investigation that went into finding the root cause of it. The means used to find patient zero and the obstacles faced by the investigators was fascinating.

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LiteraryLona
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Pickpick

Very interesting, but I feel like it could have been condensed into a much smaller version and still have gotten its point across.

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Sounds pretty cool - stacked 4mo
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BookFreakOut
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Perfect weather for #audiowalking and...cholera! I'm surprisingly really enjoying this, nonfiction isn't my normal jam but this has an excellent narrator and most of it reads like a story rather than a dry recounting of facts. I only tuned out a few brief sections that didn't interest me as much, like the bit about the history of urban development.

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Jediash1
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Pickpick

An interesting read about a serious cholera epidemic in Victorian London and the investigator who figures out how to end it. It reminded me what a blessing it is to have easy access to good healthcare and clean water, and how we need to make sure that everyone has access to these things.

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Geeklet
Pickpick

A great little book about how an investigation into a Cholera outbreak in London eventually changed the way Victorian peoples viewed contagion. We know so much about this event due to the hard work of two gentlemen who were determined to find the real cause of the outbreak. I learned a lot about urban living and development. Way too many references to Charles Dickens though. I‘m still trying to forget all the damn Dickens I read in college.

rretzler LOL! Reading David Copperfield now and having a similar reaction!🤣 9mo
Avanders Heya lady — just checking in to make sure all #sffs packages have been sent ... can you confirm! Thanks! ♥️ 9mo
Geeklet @Avanders Yep. Sent it out Thursday. According to the tracking, it arrived on Saturday. 9mo
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Geeklet @vivastory Did you receive the USPS package? 9mo
Avanders Awesome, thanks!! 👏🏽👏🏽💃🏽♥️ 9mo
vivastory I did! I can't wait for the 18th! @Avanders 9mo
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Geeklet
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Not quite as attractive as the Jon Snow we‘re all waiting to see tomorrow night but this John Snow was a pretty cool science man.

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Geeklet
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Today‘s mini #bookhaul

I‘ve been on a nonfiction kick lately. I picked these up and B&N. I love Your Inner Fish but it was stolen out of my car ages ago (along with a book about phosphorus...thieves are weird). I‘m always up for a book about epidemics so The Ghost Map caught my eye.

Also, super excited to report my fiancé finally bought something fun to read. He reads so much research for work that it‘s been years since he‘s read for fun.

LauraJ Epidemic books fascinate me too. They also make me glad to be an introvert 😸 9mo
Geeklet @LauraJ They‘re kinda fun in a terrifying way. 9mo
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JPeterson
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Monday night reading buddy. 😻

rubyslippersreads 😻😻😻 10mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa 💙💙💙 10mo
MrBook Did you take #Coale?! 😂😻😻😻 10mo
JPeterson 😹😹 Morrigan might be Coale‘s long-lost sister, though! @MrBook 10mo
87 likes4 comments
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Lauranahe
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Pickpick

I find diseases fascinating. So I was excited to read about the 1854 cholera outbreak in London, of which I knew only a little. The book delivered on teaching me about cholera, the history of it, the outbreak, how it was discovered that it‘s waterborne, and how it impacted the world. However, I did skim the last 75 pages or so, which seemed like a looooong essay on modern shanty towns and how mega cities are changing the world.

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Bookworm54
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Pickpick

I absolutely loved this book!

Steven Johnson pulls together several reports and accounts into a compelling narrative of urbanisation, disease, and epidemiology.

How all the threads of investigation by various boards, Henry Whitehead, and John Snow came together, confirmation of the theory via another outbreak, the importance of the disease maps both then and now, and the potential implications of city living blew my mind!

#NonFiction #Cholera

TheKidUpstairs This was a fascinating read. But anytime anyone dismissed or ignored Dr. Snow, all I could hear in my head was "you know nothing, Jon Snow" ? 11mo
KeepCalmWithBooksAndCoffee I had to read this for school several years ago and loved it. It is so fascinating. 11mo
Bookworm54 @TheKidUpstairs yeah, this is the problem with reading it after reading/watching game of thrones. Kit Harrington is wandering around London mapping cholera! 🤣 11mo
Weaponxgirl @Bookworm54 I feel that should be a real life film 11mo
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JPeterson
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Barnes & Nobles book haul ❤️

vivastory Both books are on my TBR 11mo
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Bookworm54
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I recently moved to Killingworth, Newcastle upon Tyne, very close to where the old Colliery was located (and Dial Cottage, home to George and Robert Stephenson)

We went to Beamish Museum recently and my partner was excited to discover the name of our village there in relation to the colliery. He did some research and discovered that John Snow also visited Killingworth during the cholera outbreak.

So I was excited to see confirmation in print! :)

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Ericalambbrown
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Dr John Snow made an appearance in tonight‘s Victoria on PBS. 😍 He was an epidemiologist before there was such a thing. He‘s one of my science heroes. If you don‘t know who he is, look him up. Or read the tagged book. 💕

LeeRHarry Never heard of him and I‘m a scientist from the UK 😏 don‘t remember learning about him at all, sad. 12mo
Ericalambbrown @LeeRHarry I learned about him while working on my microbiology/biotechnology degree. I really admire him. Everyone thought he was bonkers for accepting germ theory in its infancy and throwing the fashionable miasma theory over. The show even used replicas of his maps he used to track the cholera epidemic. It was fantastic! 12mo
Lauranahe I‘m reading the book now! So fascinating. Have you listened to the podcast This Podcast Will Kill You? It‘s about diseases. They did an episode on cholera, and they talked about how awesome John snow was. It was one of the best episodes. 10mo
Ericalambbrown @Lauranahe I have not listened to that podcast - I will find it! Thank you so much for telling me about it. I really loved this book. I‘m so glad you‘re enjoying it. 10mo
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mklong
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Pickpick

Fascinating history of the race to stop a major Cholera outbreak in 1854 London, made all the more difficult by the prevailing, completely inaccurate, miasmatic theory of contagion. A triumph of scientific research and deep local knowledge, the cause was found and contained even though no one yet knew of the microbe that causes the disease. The narrative is a bit repetitive, but all in all a solid read.

mklong Pictured with the pretty cake I made for book club. Though with the conversation centering on cholera, cesspools, and inadequate sewer systems, I‘m not sure anyone will be hungry 😂 12mo
valeriegeary I would definitely eat that.... Even if I was listening to someone talk about cholera 🤣🤤 12mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Your cake is beautiful 💗💗 12mo
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AmyG Your cake is beautiful! Yum (edited) 12mo
merelybookish 😋😋 12mo
hermyknee That cake though 😍 12mo
Reviewsbylola Very pretty. 🍎 12mo
TiredLibrarian I loved this; amazing story! 12mo
LeahBergen Whoa! That cake! 😍 12mo
Crazeedi Ooohh I definitely am adding this one! Btw, yummy cake! 12mo
Redwritinghood OMG - that cake! 😋😋 12mo
batsy I'm crashing your book club for that cake 😁🍰 12mo
mreads 🍰❤ 12mo
LauraBeth That cake! 😍 Gorgeous 12mo
AnneFindsJoy 🍰 ❤️😍 Mmmm that looks incredible!!! 12mo
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Nitpickyabouttrains
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Pickpick

I really like this non fiction. It told the story of John Snow (father of epidemiology) and the broad street pump. He discovered how cholera was traveling and had major scientific breakthroughs on the later of Medical hygiene.

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AmCheri
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Looking forward to getting into this one!

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cocomass
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Pickpick

Yay!! 12 hours in to #24in48 and I‘ve FINALLY finished my first book! Curse my mood-reading ways!

ANYWAY, I thought this was an interesting history. I could have done without the meandering/esoteric epilogue, but I thought it was a fascinating look at an event that shaped scientific thinking, urban planning, and our global understanding of how epidemics spread.

emilyhaldi This looks fascinating !! 2y
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cocomass
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I‘m pleased with this number, and I‘m planning to wake up in about 7.5 hour to get back at it!! But for now, I sleep 💤

#24in48

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cocomass
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I‘m doing some immersive audio-listening for this and it is definitely holding my attention. I ended up checking out the books so I could read along and retain more of the information 🤓

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TiredLibrarian
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Day 18: #depth

Fascinating book about the cholera epidemic in mid-1800s London, and the quest to find the cause. Hint: it's not airborne. Another hint: this book has been tagged with #depth 🤔😉

#ReadingResolutions @jess7 #London #nonfiction

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JessNevertheless
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One of the investigators during the cholera epidemic described in this book is named John Snow and its throwing me off everytime I hear it in my audio version. Now I can't stop picturing Jon Snow doing water testing in 19th century London. #jonsnow #GoT

MicrobeMom Haha! Yes, this John Snow is famous for determine the reservoir of Cholera not being King of the North! 😂😂😂 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa I remember doing a similar double-take when Michael Jackson showed up when I was reading Dickens. It‘s like a momentary, wait, what now? And then you half laugh whenever the name pops back up in the story. (edited) 2y
JessNevertheless @MicrobeMom Haha I mean convincing people cholera was waterborne is still pretty impressive, even if he didn't fight off white walkers to do it 😂 2y
JessNevertheless @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Yeah its really throwing me off cause another name in this book is also the name of a coworker. I guess names from the mid 19th century really are making a comeback haha 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @JessNevertheless Much more than we ever realized apparently! 😂 2y
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shanaqui
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Pickpick

Argh, tagged the wrong book first. This oddly veers off at the end and starts talking about urbanisation in general and the threats to It, especially terrorism and nuclear strikes. It feels like that section is badly joined to the rest of the book, which otherwise sticks close to Victorian London and cholera.

Since people liked my last photo, here's some more of my crochet work (pattern free on Lucy Ravenscar's blog).

rabbitprincess Yeah, that last chapter was weird. But I agree, the rest was good. 2y
britt_brooke Love the bat! 🦇💚 2y
shanaqui @britt_brooke Fangs for the compliment! 😎 2y
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shanaqui
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Yay, cholera!

I am doing badly depression wise and mostly what is helping is endless crocheting. Here's a couple of my recent creations -- an octopus and a dumbo octopus.

Yeah_I_Read So cute. Keep doing whatever you need to do in order to feel better ❤️❤️ 2y
DivineDiana They must bring a smile to your face! They do to mine! ❤️ 2y
GondorGirl Your creations are adorable and I hope crocheting continues to help soothe you. Good luck! ❤ 2y
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rabbitprincess Those are adorable! ♥️♥️ 2y
Ddzmini So cute 😍 2y
Palimpsest Super cute! 2y
shanaqui Thanks all! Credit for the patterns rightfully goes to http://blog.mohumohu.com! I just followed instructions. 😉 2y
15 likes7 comments
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Bookworm54
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Eeeep the books arrived safe and sound @callielafleur !!!

Thanks again for the giveaway 💕💕💕

Bloomingjen I visited Hyde Park a few months ago and visited that spot. There is a bench like that there. 2y
Bookworm54 @Bloomingjen awesome! ☺️ 2y
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msford88
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Pickpick

A wonderful - and incredibly readable - day-by-day expose on one of the most important cholera attacks in world history. What sounds like "dry" material is brought to life in a way that made it almost impossible for me to put this book down.

RaimeyGallant Nice review. :) Welcome to Litsy! #LitsyWelcomeWagon Some of us put together Litsy tips to help new Littens navigate the site. It's the link in my bio on my page in case you're interested. :) 2y
msford88 @RaimeyGallant Thanks so much. Very helpful! 2y
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Purrfectpages Welcome to Litsy! 2y
jfalkens Welcome to Litsy and happy reading 😊🎊📚🎉📖🤓 2y
Cinfhen Book sounds great!! First post has me intrigued😀welcome ❣️ 2y
Bookladylinda Welcome to Litsy! 2y
msford88 @Cinfhen It was an excellent read. Highly recommend. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage Welcome to Litsy! 2y
tpixie This book sounds great! I just told my sister about it and she downloaded it on her Kindle. Now I need to get it! 2y
PurpleyPumpkin Welcome to Litsy! It‘s a great community and I hope you enjoy it here. 😉 2y
DebReads4fun Welcome to Litsy! 2y
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quirkyreader
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I went to my Mum and Dad's to help them out today. I stopped at the library store and found this.

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Reviewsbylola
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Cholera epidemic. London 1845. This book recounts the fear and confusion as countless people got sick and died. One scientist was eventually able to link it to the water in the Broad Street pump. How did the water become contaminated, you may ask? An infected baby's shitty diaper was thrown into the backyard and set off a chain of events that resulted in hundreds of deaths. Talk about #toxic. 😷🤢😷🤢 #augustgrrrl @Cinfhen

stargazerblue49 Everything comes down to poo! 2y
TheKidUpstairs I thought of this book this morning too! 2y
See All 8 Comments
RanaElizabeth Oh, John Snow. Every public health nerd's hero. 2y
Cinfhen Oh that sounds like a must read #stacked 2y
emilyhaldi 🤢 2y
Mdargusch Did you read this? I'm stacking too. 2y
Reviewsbylola Yes it's really good! @Mdargusch 2y
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Magslhalliday
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Pickpick

I'm back on the reading horse! I picked this up on Monday and read it in three nights. The author illustrates his points about how Snow used scaling up/down to identify patterns and challenge prevailing orthodoxy on cholera. He also creates vivid, horrifying pictures of a part of London I know really well, and jumps forward and back in time too. And did I mention it's about a map, and in praise of urban communities? Recommended.

RachelO Welcome back! 2y
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Jen2
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Pickpick

Very interesting and a little gross! And there is a Jon Snow in it!

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Conservio
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And now with social media you still don't need it! #onionsdonotkillviruses #facepalm

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Conservio
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Went to a new bookstore today. Had an amazing YA section and science section. I didn't know about Ms. Turner's fourth book in The Thief series until a few months ago and had to get it. Apparently she has a fifth book coming out! The Ghost Map is about the Cholera outbreak in the 1850's and helped start the field of epidemiology. #newbuys #epidemiology

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Librarybelle
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#LondonCalling #RockinMay It's 1854. A deadly disease strikes London. In this book, Johnson maps out the spread of disease and how residents coped/attacked the disease and what was done to combat this disease of unknown origin. It's macabre, but also fascinating to me. I haven't had a chance to read it, but I'm hoping to get to it soon.

Cinfhen Ooooh, I love this type of nonfiction ❤️have you read it @Booksandcooks @Reviewsbylola (edited) 3y
Reviewsbylola I have! It's excellent. @Cinfhen 3y
Librarybelle That's good to know, @Reviewsbylola ! 3y
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Reviewsbylola I can be picky about nonfic but this one has me rapt. Maybe because of the source of the outbreak? It was really interesting. I hope you enjoy it as well 3y
ScientistSam Loved this one! 3y
Librarybelle Thanks, @ScientistSam ! I'll have to try and read this soon. 3y
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rabbitprincess
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#teaquotes

Good old tannic acid. The way I brew my tea, bacteria definitely don't have a chance 😉

Dogearedcopy This came up in 'The History of the World in Six Glasses' (by Tom Standage) too! I'm finding food history, particularly beverage history to be really fascinating! 3y
rabbitprincess @CouronneDhiver Yeah! @Dogearedcopy Ooh, I'm adding that to the TBR! Thanks for mentioning it! 3y
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rabbitprincess
Pickpick

I'll call this a pick, with the caveat that the last chapter gets rambly and does not feel necessary.

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rabbitprincess
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In a country where it can take a week to send a letter from one end to the other, I am always impressed by descriptions of the London postal service.

LeahBergen Tell me about it. 🙄 3y
rabbitprincess @LeahBergen Granted, we do have much greater distances to cover...what annoys me more is when parcel pickup notices get delivered with the NEXT day's mail, or later! 3y
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rabbitprincess
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Or maybe, Mr. Lancet Editor, you should have hired Mr. Snow to do peer review or QA on your journal's articles! 😑

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rabbitprincess
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Uh, maybe in 2006... and maybe if you're only talking about Europe... I would have thought places such as India or Bangladesh would have higher population density. 🤔

Lindy According to statistictimes.com, in 2015 Monaco had the most dense population in the world. http://statisticstimes.com/population/countries-by-population-density.php 3y
rabbitprincess @Lindy That would make sense. And that was my BF's first thought when I asked him which country he thought would have the highest density. 3y
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Ksvz
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Pickpick

2017 #70 nonfiction audio the most amazing book on poop ever. Seriously paranoid about poop borne diseases and then listening to the BBC hear about this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-39352755. Felt guilty for being so happy to hear about London poop and understanding the history.

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rabbitprincess
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I always feel strangely triumphant when the library has only one copy of an item and it is checked out to MEEEEE 😏
(The listing below it is for the audiobook)

Sace The power! 3y
rabbitprincess @Sace Muahaha! 😈 3y
readinginthedark Oh, that makes me nervous, because I want to recheck it and spend more time with it!!! 2y
rabbitprincess @readinginthedark Sometimes if the print and ebook are available, I request both and end up starting in one format and finishing in another 😁 2y
readinginthedark Makes sense to me! 2y
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ABookishLife
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A student diorama about Dr John Snow & the London cholera epidemic of 1854!

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jimintheverse
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So I checked Google Maps and there's a John Snow pub on Broadwick Street in Soho named after one of the guys who traced the 1854 Cholera epidemic.

jimintheverse John Snow was apparently a temperance advocate [feel the irony] 3y
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books_cats_art
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Planning my 2017 Modern Mrs. Darcy Fun & Growth reading lists...#babybelugameowmeow has been a BIG help 😸

(( http://modernmrsdarcy.com/reading-challenge-2017 ))

#CatsOfLitsy #modernmrsdarcyreadingchallenge

books_cats_art I'm already contemplating switching the memoir to Lab Girl....😂😂😂 3y
LiteraryinLititz This looks like a great challenge list! 3y
books_cats_art I'm ready to start now! @LiteraryinLititz it's hard to wait! 3y
15 likes3 comments
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Ja_Mez
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Mehso-so

Love of science in the time of cholera. If you enjoy science books or germ theory before there was germ theory, this is certainly an interesting read. However, it's not the most entertaining prose out there, so he aware of what you're getting yourself into.

#theghostmap #ghostmap #bookstagram #bookreview

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BookishHistorian
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LindsayReads
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Pickpick

Happy #recommendsday! I read (listened to) The Ghost Map earlier this month. Fascinating and wonderfully disgusting read about the transformation of public health as we know it. Great audio for you audioheads out there. Glad to have purifying natural scenery to view while listening tho...

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BeththeBookDragon
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I absolutely love maps and #mapsinbooks! Throw in Victorian London and make it nonfiction; I'm sold! I loved this book, as devastating as the cholera epidemic was, this is the story of how they solved the riddle of transmission and saved millions of lives.

Shortstack Sounds incredibly fascinating! 3y
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