The aim of the Bad Bugs Book Club is to get people interested in science, specifically microbiology, by reading books (novels) in which infectious disease forms some part of the story.

We also try to associate books, with some other activity or event, to widen interest and to broaden impact. Our bookclub comprises both microbiologists and members of the general public. We felt that this would encourage some discussion on the science – accuracy, impact etc – as well as about the book. 

We have established a fairly fluid membership of our bookclub and we hope to encourage others to join, to set up their own bookclub, suggest books and accompanying activities to us, and give feedback about the books that they have read, using our website as the focus for communication. So please get in touch!

 For further infomation, or if you have any queries, please contact Joanna Verran: J.Verran@mmu.ac.uk           

 

Next meeting 

See our upcoming events listing for the next meeting and what we'll be reading.

Reading guides and reports

Below, we have provided information on the books we have read so far.

The Killing Snows by Charles Egan (The defining novel of the Great Irish Famine)

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Death of Grass by John Christopher

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Last Days of Smallpox: Tragedy in Birmingham

Meeting report

The next meeting of the Manchester Bacteriology Discussion Group is a talk by Professor Mark Pallen, Research leader at the Quadram Institute in Northwich and Professor of Microbial Genomics at the University of East Anglia. Prof Pallen worked at Birmingham University for twelve years, and during this time developed a keen interest in the 1978 smallpox incident and will be giving a talk and leading a discussion on smallpox based around his book:

Tuesday 12th March 2019 “The Last Days of Smallpox: Tragedy in Birmingham

Register attendance via our event Webpage (for catering purposes) https://bit.ly/2UQf7Ns

The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama

Meeting report

Reading guide

Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Last Man by Mary Shelley

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Last Days of Smallpox by Mark Pallen

Meeting report

Reading guide

STOP PRESS: THE AUTHOR WILL BE JOINING US VIA SKYPE AT 7:00PM!

The meeting will take place on Tuesday 17 July at Manchester Metropolitan University, John Dalton Building, Chester St, M1 5GD. Attendees will be met at the John Dalton reception from 6:15PM and taken to the meeting room (E0.05). Light refreshments will also be available. 

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Citadel by A. J. Cronin

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Stand by Stephen King

Meeting report

Reading guide

A Prayer for the Dying by Stewart O’Nan

Meeting report

Reading guide

I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong

Meeting report

Reading guide

A Lovely Way to Burn by Louise Welsh

Meeting report

Reading guide

Isolation by SJ Gardiner

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Pesthouse by Jim Crace

Meeting report

Reading guide

A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Manchester Man by Isabella Banks

Meeting report

Reading guide

A Fierce Radiance by Lauren Belfer

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Plague by Albert Camus

Meeting report

Reading guide

Consumed by David Cronenberg

Meeting report

Second Avenue Caper by Joyce Brabner

Meeting report

Reading guide

Infectious Futures by various authors

Meeting report

Reading guide

Trouble with Lichen by John Wyndham

Meeting report

Reading guide

Fever Medicine by Shawn Harmon

Meeting report

Reading guide

Nemesis by Philip Roth (addendum)

Meeting report

Reading guide

This was a secondary meeting to discuss the book.

Nemesis by Philip Roth

Meeting report

Reading guide

MMU hosted the British Science Association Science Communication conference in 2015. Part of the programme was a taster for the BadBugs Bookclub. Delegates had been given advanced warning and signed up to join the discussion. The selected book was Nemesis by Philip Roth, which the bookclub had considered previously. Notes from the previous meeting can be found on this website.

The Society for General Microbiology released a podcast about the bookclub meeting.

Lazarus Strain by Ken McClure

Meeting report

Reading guide

Parasite by Mira Grant

Meeting report

Reading guide

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Meeting report

Reading guide

World AIDS Day 2014 - Film screening and discussion

Meeting report

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Meeting report

Reading guide

The First Eagle by Tony Hillerman

Meeting report

Reading guide

Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney

Meeting report

Reading guide

Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey by Chuck Palahniuk

Meeting report

Petroplague by Amy Rogers

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen

Meeting report

Reading guide

Microbe Hunters by Paul de Kruif

Meeting report

Reading guide

Fever by Mary Beth Keane

Meeting report

Reading guide

A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Meeting report

The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Air We Breathe by Andrea Barrett

Meeting report

Reading guide

Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis

Meeting report

Reading guide

Intuition by Allegra Goodman

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Island by Victoria Hislop

Meeting report

Reading guide

28 stories of AIDS in Africa by Stephanie Nolen

Meeting report

Reading guide

World War Z by Max Brooks

Meeting report

Reading guide

I am Legend by Richard Matheson

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Meeting report

Reading guide

Toxin by Robin Cook

Meeting report

Reading guide

Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Street Philosopher by Matthew Plampin

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Satan Bug by Alistair MacLean

Meeting report

Reading guide

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwell

Meeting report

Reading guide

Unnatural Exposure by Patricia Cornwell

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh

Meeting report

Reading guide

Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

Meeting report

Reading guide

Dorian by Will Self

Meeting report

Reading guide

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Meeting report

Reading guide

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

Meeting report

Reading guide

What we do