I’ve got a mini nonfiction binge going. My latest read is On Immunity. An Inoculation by Eula Biss. I bought this book for my niece for Christmas because in the past we’ve shared an enthusiasm for Henrietta Lacks and The Emperor of All Maladies, and I was looking for something in the same vein. I read a blurb that made me think this exploration of vaccination would be along the same lines, but I didn’t have time to read it before giving it as a gift. I wanted to read it afterward though. With the current measles outbreak, it seems even more timely.
This is a quick and easy read that shows both sides of the vaccination discussion, though coming down firmly on the pro-vaccination side. The essays are thoughtful and heartfelt, but I can’t say that anything in the book stuck with me the way Henrietta Lacks or Emperor of All Maladies did. It may be that it was a little too personal–relying a little too much on anecdote and musing to have the depth and heft I’d have liked.