Book Analysis.

“One can forget the meaninglessness of his own existence by occupying himself with scientific experiments of dubious import. Countless scientists and scholars spend their lives in search of truths that are irrelevant to them.” -John R. Silbur

The written word has a different effect on the reader than the spoken word. There is no body language, facial expression or voice infliction to convey meaning. Thus it must be more precise, analytical and carefully scripted. As a student you need to be exposed to many voices and explanations. You need to evaluate the nuances of persuasion and the facts that are brought to bear on a subject, and then come to your own conclusions. By reading both the text and other points of view, and combining these with your personal experiences, you can arrive at your own educationally-sound opinions. You will be, at the least, an informed citizen, and if you continue learning about a given topic you will become an expert in the field.

When all is said and done the world boils down to just a few people for most of us (paraphrased from Ani DiFranco). It is easy to become myopic about our lives, believing that Denver is really an important sampling of humanity or that Colorado’s problems are the most urgent. In one province of China there are over 10,000,000 men who are rural sheepherders and subject to hydatid disease (70% infection rate). The continent of Africa is five times the size of the United States, and an area equal of the size of the U.S. cannot be utilized for any kind of modern agriculture or industry due to a fly. Over 6 million people die every year from malaria. People lose all concept of scale when they are caught up in local problems. Hopefully reading can help us avoid small-minded provinciality.

I have compiled a list of thirteen popular-style books relating to parasitology. You will choose one of these books to read and then write a two-page summary of the book (typed, double spaced) discussing the book’s merits and weaknesses. Please include a paragraph about how the book relates to the class. I have included some questions that may help you in deciding what to discuss, but each book is unique and such lists of questions for analysis seldom fit all books. You will then give your paper to your team members for evaluation (you may make corrections and changes according to their suggestions). Before you turn in this assignment, all members of your team should complete an evaluation form (see below). You do not need to attach your peer reviewer's’ comments when you submit your analysis.

FYI: The Writing Center, located in King Center 425, can help you with any aspect of your writing, from generating ideas to supporting your arguments to organizing to editing for style. For the current schedule or to make an appointment, visit the Writing Center’s website: or call 303-556-6070.

Book list:
Combes, Claude. 2005. The Art of Being a Parasite University of Chicago Press.

Dailey, Murray. 2008. The Worm Chronicles Xlibris Corporation.

Desowitz, Robert S. 1993.  Malaria Capers W.W. Norton and Co. New York.

Desowitz, Robert S. 2002. Federal Bodysnatchers and the New Guinea Virus W.W. Norton and Co. New York.

Desowitz, Robert S. 1997.   Who Gave Pinta to the Santa Maria W.W. Norton and Co. New York.

Dunn, R. 2011. The Wild Life of Our Bodies: Predators, Parasites, and Partners That Shape Who We Are Today. Harper Collins. New York.

Harrison, G. 1978. Mosquitoes, Malaria and Man: A History of the Hostilities Since 1880. E.P. Dutton. New York.

Kaplan, Eugene H. 2010.  What's Eating You? People and Parasites. Princeton University Press.

Hughes, David P., Brodeur, Jacques, and Frederic, Thomas. 2012. Host Manipulation by Parasites. Oxford University Press.

Spielman, A. and D'Antonia, M. 2001.  A Natural History of Our Most Persistent and Deadly Foe: Mosquito Hyperion Press. New York.

Zimmer, C. 2000. Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures New York Free Press.

Parker, Rodney. 1998. And the Waters Turned to Blood Touchstone Publishing.

Zuk, Marlene. 2008. Riddled with Life. Friendly Worms, Ladybug Sex, and the Parasites that Make Us Who We Are. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Remember that as a scientist you should write as concisely as possible while still providing all the necessary information (which explains the 2-page limit).
Here are some questions that might help you analyze the book you selected:

Is this an important book? Why? Why not?
Who should read this book?
What was the author’s purpose in writing the book?
How does he accomplish this purpose? Is he successful?
Is the book interesting? Why or why not?
What was your favorite part of the book? Why?
What was your least favorite part of the book? Why?
Did the book contribute to your education? How?

Here is a form that your peer reviewer can use to give you feedback. You do not have to turn this in to me.

Evaluation Form—Book Analysis

analysis of (book name) _________________________

by __________________________________________

evaluator _____________________________________

1. The essay is well organized so that thoughts flow from one subject to the next. _________

2. The essay is written in complete sentences and well developed paragraphs. _________

3. The writing is concise (i.e., the writer only uses words that add substantive content to the essay. __________ 

4. The essay is typed, double spaced, and no more than two pages long. _________

5. The student uses correct spelling and mechanics _________

6. After reading this essay I feel I can accurately judge whether this book would be of interest to me or not. _________

7. I feel confident that this student really did read the entire book. _________

Reviewer's comments:_______________________________________________________________________________