Isolation Reading for the Week of April 20

Over the coming weeks, we’re bringing you some great books chosen by our staff for your work-from-home reading. Check in with us every Monday for some fantastic book recommendations. Meg Patterson, our acquisitions editor in education, social work, and health and medicine, has given us her staff pick for week 3.


It seems that part of the anxiety of our present moment is not just wondering when things will go back to normal, but wondering what that normal is going to look like. What is going to change? How is it going to change? How long will those changes last?

I would like to believe that this is a moment for hope. One of the things I’ve found most striking during the COVID-19 crisis have been the satellite images showing the marked improvement in air quality around the world. In a strange, unplanned experiment, we see just how much our daily routines affect the planet we share. There’s even a possibility that the decrease in pollution is helping curb the spread of the disease and mitigate the effects of the virus.

Katharine Zywert, Stephen Quilley, and their colleagues discuss the future of health in an era of climate change in Health in the Anthropocene: Living Well on a Finite Planet. They write: “To make our way through these transitions – to live well in the Anthropocene – we must turn our attention towards social movement, practices, meaning frameworks, and ways of living that build resilience for an era of systemic change.” What better time than now to consider alternative ways of living with one another, providing care, thinking about health, and developing medicines and technologies?

This eclectic, multidisciplinary collection is a great read for a moment when a paradigm shift seems inevitable. It is not so much a map of where we are going (or should go) as it is a brainstorming session of possibilities, written by established and emerging scholars, challenging the ways in which we think about health and healthcare, living and dying on a finite planet.


Click here to find out more about Health in the Anthropocene.


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