Top 10 Best Books to Read in Forensic Medicine - August 2021

Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Forensic Medicine. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.

1. All That Remains: A Renowned Forensic Scientist on Death, Mortality, and Solving Crimes


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Forensic Medicine - August 2021

Book of the Year, 2018 Saltire Literary Awards A CrimeReads Best True Crime Book of the Month For fans of Caitlin Doughty, Mary Roach, Kathy Reichs, and CSI shows, a renowned forensic scientist on death and mortality. Dame Sue Black is an internationally renowned forensic anthropologist and human anatomist. She has lived her life eye to eye with the Grim Reaper, and she writes vividly about it in this book, which is part primer on the basics of identifying human remains, part frank memoir of a woman whose first paying job as a schoolgirl was to apprentice in a butcher shop, and part no-nonsense but deeply humane introduction to the reality of death in our lives. It is a treat for CSI junkies, murder mystery and thriller readers, and anyone seeking a clear-eyed guide to a subject that touches us all. Cutting through hype, romanticism, and cliché, she recounts her first dissection; her own first acquaintance with a loved one’s death; the mortal remains in her lab and at burial sites as well as scenes of violence, murder, and criminal dismemberment; and about investigating mass fatalities due to war, accident, or natural disaster, such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. She uses key cases to reveal how forensic science has developed and what her work has taught her about human nature. Acclaimed by bestselling crime writers and fellow scientists alike, All That Remains is neither sad nor macabre. While Professor Black tells of tragedy, she also infuses her stories with a wicked sense of humor and much common sense.

  • Author: Sue Black
  • Publisher: Arcade (March 5, 2019)
  • Genre: Medical Books, Medicine

                 

2. The Moth in the Iron Lung: A Biography of Polio


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Forensic Medicine - August 2021

A fascinating account of the world’s most famous disease—polio—told as you have never heard it before. Epidemics of paralysis began to rage in the early 1900s, seemingly out of nowhere. Doctors, parents, and health officials were at a loss to explain why this formerly unheard of disease began paralyzing so many children—usually starting in their legs, sometimes moving up through their abdomen and arms. For an unfortunate few, it could paralyze the muscles that allowed them to breathe.Why did this disease start to become such a horrible problem during the late 1800s? Why did it affect children more often than adults? Why was it originally called teething paralysis by mothers and their doctors? Why were animals so often paralyzed during the early epidemics when it was later discovered most animals could not become infected? The Moth in the Iron Lung is a fascinating biography of this horrible paralytic disease, where it came from, and why it disappeared in the 1950s. If you’ve never explored the polio story beyond the tales of crippled children and iron lungs, this book will be sure to surprise.

  • Author: Forrest Maready
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st edition (June 5, 2018)
  • Genre: Medical Books, Medicine
  • ISBN: 978-1717583673
  • Dimensions: 5.25 x 0.71 x 8 inches

                 

3. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Forensic Medicine - August 2021

"One of the funniest and most unusual books of the year....Gross, educational, and unexpectedly sidesplitting."― Entertainment Weekly Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers―some willingly, some unwittingly―have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. In this fascinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

  • Author: Mary Roach
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (May 17, 2004)
  • Genre: Medical Books, Medicine
  • ISBN: 978-0393324822
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches

                 

4. The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Forensic Medicine - August 2021

“Powerful, rich with details, moving, humane, and full of important lessons for an age when weapons of mass destruction are loose among us.” — Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of  The Making of the Atomic Bomb   The Great Plague is one of the most compelling events in human history—even more so now, when the notion of plague has never loomed larger as a contemporary public concern. The plague that devastated Asia and Europe in the 14th century has been of never-ending interest to both scholarly and general readers. Many books on the plague rely on statistics to tell the story: how many people died; how farm output and trade declined. But statistics can’t convey what it was like to sit in Siena or Avignon and hear that a thousand people a day are dying two towns away. Or to have to chose between your own life and your duty to a mortally ill child or spouse. Or to live in a society where the bonds of blood and sentiment and law have lost all meaning, where anyone can murder or rape or plunder anyone else without fear of consequence. In The Great Mortality , author John Kelly lends an air of immediacy and intimacy to his telling of the journey of the plague as it traveled from the steppes of Russia, across Europe, and into England, killing 75 million people—one third of the known population—before it vanished.

  • Author: John Kelly
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (January 31, 2006)
  • Genre: Medical Books, Medicine
  • ISBN: 978-0060006938
  • Dimensions: 5.31 x 0.9 x 8 inches

                 

5. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Forensic Medicine - August 2021

Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty - a 20-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre - took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. With an original voice that combines fearless curiosity and mordant wit, Caitlin tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters, gallows humor, and vivid characters (both living and very dead). Describing how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes), and cared for bodies of all shapes and sizes, Caitlin becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the deceased. Her eye-opening memoir shows how our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead). In the spirit of her popular Web series, "Ask a Mortician", Caitlin’s engaging narrative style makes this otherwise scary topic both approachable and profound. Caitlin Doughty, the host and creator of the "Ask a Mortician" Web series and the collective Order of the Good Death, is on a mission to change the way we think about death.

  • Author: Caitlin Doughty
  • Genre: Medical Books, Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pathology, Forensic Medicine

                 



6. Plague: One Scientist's Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseases


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Forensic Medicine - August 2021

#10 on Amazon Charts,  USA Today  Bestseller “This book is my best attempt to tell the truth about my research, the culture in science today which is hostile to new ideas, and what science can really do if allowed to pursue promising areas of inquiries.”—Dr. Judy Mikovits, PhD This is a story for anybody interested in the peril and promise of science at the very highest levels in our country. On July 22, 2009, a special meeting was held with twenty-four leading scientists at the National Institutes of Health to discuss early findings that a newly discovered retrovirus was linked to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), prostate cancer, lymphoma, and eventually neurodevelopmental disorders in children. When Dr. Judy Mikovits finished her presentation, the room was silent for a moment, then one of the scientists said, “Oh my God!” The resulting investigation would be like no other in science. For Dr. Mikovits, a twenty-year veteran of the National Cancer Institute, this was the midpoint of a five-year journey that would start with the founding of the Whittemore-Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease at the University of Nevada, Reno, and end with her as a witness for the federal government against her former employer, Harvey Whittemore, for illegal campaign contributions to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. On this journey Dr. Mikovits would face the scientific prejudices against CFS, wander into the minefield that is autism, and through it all struggle to maintain her faith in God and the profession to which she had dedicated her life.

  • Author: Kent Heckenlively
  • Publisher: Skyhorse; Reprint edition (February 21, 2017)
  • Genre: Medical Books, Medicine
  • ISBN: 978-1510713949
  • Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches

                 

7. The Plague Year: America in the Time of Covid


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Forensic Medicine - August 2021

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Looming Tower, and the pandemic novel The End of October: an unprecedented, momentous account of Covid-19—its origins, its wide-ranging repercussions, and the ongoing global fight to contain it "A book of panoramic breadth ... managing to surprise us about even those episodes we … thought we knew well … With lively exchanges about spike proteins and nonpharmaceutical interventions and disease waves, Wright’s storytelling dexterity makes all this come alive.” — The New York Times Book Review From the fateful first moments of the outbreak in China to the storming of the U.S. Capitol to the extraordinary vaccine rollout, Lawrence Wright’s The Plague Year tells the story of Covid-19 in authoritative, galvanizing detail and with the full drama of events on both a global and intimate scale, illuminating the medical, economic, political, and social ramifications of the pandemic.   Wright takes us inside the CDC, where a first round of faulty test kits lost America precious time . . . inside the halls of the White House, where Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger’s early alarm about the virus was met with confounding and drastically costly skepticism . . . into a Covid ward in a Charlottesville hospital, with an idealistic young woman doctor from the town of Little Africa, South Carolina . . . into the precincts of prediction specialists at Goldman Sachs . . . into Broadway’s darkened theaters and Austin’s struggling music venues . . . inside the human body, diving deep into the science of how the virus and vaccines function—with an eye-opening detour into the history of vaccination and of the modern anti-vaccination movement. And in this full accounting, Wright makes clear that the medical professionals around the country who’ve risked their lives to fight the virus reveal and embody an America in all its vulnerability, courage, and potential.   In turns steely-eyed, sympathetic, infuriated, unexpectedly comical, and always precise, Lawrence Wright is a formidable guide, slicing through the dense fog of misinformation to give us a 360-degree portrait of the catastrophe we thought we knew.

  • Author: Lawrence Wright
  • Publisher: Knopf (June 8, 2021)
  • Genre: Medical Books, Medicine
  • ISBN: 978-0593320723
  • Dimensions: 6.51 x 1.08 x 9.54 inches

                 

8. The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Forensic Medicine - August 2021

The bestselling landmark account of the first emergence of the Ebola virus. Now a mini-series drama starring Julianna Margulies, Topher Grace, Liam Cunningham, James D'Arcy, and Noah Emmerich on National Geographic. A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic "hot" virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.

  • Author: Richard Preston
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (March 14, 2012)
  • Genre: Medical Books, Medicine

                 

9. The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Forensic Medicine - August 2021

Equal parts true crime, twentieth-century history, and science thriller, The Poisoner's Handbook is "a vicious, page-turning story that reads more like Raymond Chandler than Madame Curie." — The New York Observer “The Poisoner’s Handbook breathes deadly life into the Roaring Twenties.” — Financial Times “Reads like science fiction, complete with suspense, mystery and foolhardy guys in lab coats tipping test tubes of mysterious chemicals into their own mouths.”   —NPR: What We're Reading A fascinating Jazz Age tale of chemistry and detection, poison and murder, The Poisoner's Handbook is a page-turning account of a forgotten era. In early twentieth-century New York, poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. Science had no place in the Tammany Hall-controlled coroner's office, and corruption ran rampant. However, with the appointment of chief medical examiner Charles Norris in 1918, the poison game changed forever. Together with toxicologist Alexander Gettler, the duo set the justice system on fire with their trailblazing scientific detective work, triumphing over seemingly unbeatable odds to become the pioneers of forensic chemistry and the gatekeepers of justice. In 2014, PBS's AMERICAN EXPERIENCE released a film based on  The Poisoner's Handbook.

  • Author: Deborah Blum
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (January 25, 2011)
  • Genre: Medical Books, Medicine
  • ISBN: 978-0143118824
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches

                 

10. Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Forensic Medicine - August 2021

Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband and their toddler holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation-performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, and counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy's two years of training, taking listeners behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple. Lively, action-packed, and loaded with mordant wit, Working Stiff offers a firsthand account of daily life in one of America's most arduous professions. The body never lies - and through the murders, accidents, and suicides that land on her table, Dr. Melinek lays bare the truth behind the glamorized depictions of autopsy work to reveal the secret story of the real morgue.

  • Author: Judy Melinek MD
  • Genre: Medical Books, Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pathology, Forensic Medicine