Virology: Essays for the Living, the Dead, and the Small Things in Between

Books on Tape. Jun. 2022. 13:08 hrs. ISBN 9780593635520. $85.50. SCI
In his second book, Osmundson (microbiology, New York Univ.; Inside/Out) pulls from his PhD in microbiology and his life growing up queer in the United States to publish a series of essays on viruses, HIV, COVID, lockdowns, being gay, and the dangers of racialized whiteness. In short, he offers a series of essays on love, good food, and life. Narrating his own book, Osmundson voices his meandering thoughts during the lockdown as only he could, effectively communicating excitement, enthusiasm, and despair. His narration is so affecting that after hearing some of his more painful essays, listeners may find themselves wanting to reach out and see if he is okay. Osmundson explains viruses to readers, making this potentially dry and academic topic understandable and even enjoyable. He goes on to chronicle his fears and frustrations as the pandemic unfolded, drawing parallels between the COVID pandemic and the HIV epidemic, as well as the emotional fallout from each.
VERDICT Osmundson brings passion and emotion into these thoughtful and insightful essays while presenting citable facts to back up his point of view. This is one biology lesson readers won’t want to skip.
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