In Spillover, David Quammen (one of my favorite science writers) takes us through jungles, villages, and laboratories to study zoonoses: animal infections that can jump to humans. When a certain strain takes the leap and infects a human, scientists call that event “spillover”.

Quammen spends a chapter on each of nine zoonoses that caused outbreaks in humans. You will recognize at least a few: Ebola, malaria, SARS, Lyme, HIV. He digs into the stories contained in these outbreaks: how they started, the damage they did, and the scientists who studied them.

The Courage to Be Disliked

The Courage to be Disliked takes the form of a socratic dialogue between a philosopher and a young learner about Adlerian psychology. While Alfred Adler was not a widely-known philosopher, he influenced several celebrity thinkers and their writings, such as Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People) and Stephen Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People).

Parts of this book really hit home for me. I am shy at heart, love to be alone, and try to please everyone. To step out of this comfort zone takes a lot of internal effort. This book was a good reminder that doing so is important.