Skip to main content

Knowledge is Power: Public Health Book Recommendations

During this time of social distancing, self-quarantine, and isolation, you may find yourself with some extra free time on your hands. You might also find yourself curious about public health topics and looking for more in-depth information about pandemics, public health workers, and global emergencies. If that’s the case, we encourage you to take a look at these books accessible through Rutgers University Libraries, available online. Take a break from the overwhelming presence of social media and the news and enjoy these engaging and educational reads!


The Deadly Dinner Party by Jonathon Edlow

If you enjoy TV shows like House and Medical Detectives this is the book for you. The Deadly Dinner Party features 15 cases of heart-pounding medical mysteries and the doctors that solved them. Written by Jonathon Edlow, an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and attending physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, this book is guaranteed to make your stomach turn.

Get the E-book @ RUL


Silent Victories by John Ward and Christian Warren

Public health efforts impact on the lives of Americans every day in many extraordinary and life-saving ways. Indeed, these incredible efforts are working around the clock in United States and abroad to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. This book examines the history of public health in the 20th-century United States and focuses on 10 of its most significant challenges. Edited by John Ward, Director of the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Christian Warren, Academy Historian at the New York Academy of Medicine.

Get the E-book @ RUL


Pandemics by Peter Doherty

Now that COVID-19 has officially been ruled a pandemic by WHO, you might be left with many questions. If you’re wondering “What exactly does pandemic mean?” or “What pandemics have human species faced before?”, this book will address those questions and more. It provides you with in-depth information on everything you need to know about pandemics in a digestible and entertaining way. Written by Peter Doherty, a Nobel prize-winning immunologist, check this out if you haven’t heard enough of the word “pandemic” yet.

Get the E-book @ RUL


Surviving the 21st Century by Julian Cribb

If you find yourself asking “Is this the end?” more often in recent days, you might consider checking this book out. It talks about many of the greatest issues facing us today and in the future including climate change, pandemics, and food crisis. Unlike many of its kind, it also details plans to tackle these issues head-on and leaves the reader with optimism instead of doom. Just look at the description: “This isn’t a book just about problems. It is also about solutions.” Written by the prolific science writer Julian Cribb, who has more than 30 awards to his name.

Get the E-book @ RUL


Enigmas of Health and Disease by Alfredo Morabia

If the response to COVID-19 by public health officials and health workers has inspired you to get involved, read this book and consider a career in epidemiology! The backbone of infectious disease response is composed of epidemiologists who track disease, analyzing its distribution and causes within the population. Enigmas of Health and Disease discusses the history of epidemiology, as well as epidemiologist’s roles in understanding disease. The author, Alfredo Morabia, is a doctor in internal and occupational medicine and professor of epidemiology at Columbia University.

Get the E-book @ RUL


Check out the “outbreak” tab of our BWR libguide for more quarantine reading recommendations. Happy Reading!