Link to our Facebook Page
Link to our Instagram Page
Link to our X Page
Link to our Youtube Page

Pandemic and Plague Literature

With the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic of early 2020, interest in both novels about past real or fiction pandemics, plus interest in non-fiction accounts of past pandemics, has spiked. This booklist, compiled by Reference Services staff at the Bennett Martin Public Library in downtown Lincoln, NE, includes novels featuring pandemics or plagues, a selection of non-fiction volumes from the adult collection related to historical plagues, and some recommended DVDs/Downloadable videos that come highly recommended on the subjects of pandemics, plagues and contagions.

Most items in this list are hotlinked into the libraries’ online catalog, to allow you to check on their status and/or place holds on the materials. A few items in this list are not hotlinked into the catalog, and therefore are not in the Lincoln City Libraries collection. We provided them in case you wish to to track them down through other resources — most of the films are available through various streaming sources online.


Giovanni Boccaccio
The Decameron (1353)

Daniel Defoe
A Journal of the Plague Year (1722)

Mary Shelley
The Last Man (1826)

Edgar Allan Poe
The Masque of the Red Death (1842)

Jack London
The Scarlet Plague (1912)

Thomas Wolfe
Look Howard Angel (1929)

John O’Hara
The Doctor’s Son (1935)

William Maxwell
They Came Like Swallows (1937)

Katherine Ann Porter
Pale Horse, Pale Rider (1939)

Albert Camus
The Plague (1947)

George R. Stewart
Earth Abides (1949)

Richard Matheson
I Am Legend (1954)

Michael Crichton
The Andromeda Strain (1969)

Stephen King
The Stand (1978)

Dean Koontz
The Eyes of Darkness (1981)

Frank Herbert
The White Plague (1982)

Octavia Butler
Clay’s Ark (1984)

Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Love in the Time of Cholera (1985)

Norman Spinrad
Journals of the Plague Years (1988)

Geoff Ryman
The Child Garden (1989)

Nicola Griffith
Ammonite (1992)

Connie Willis
The Doomsday Book (1992)

Mario Bellatin
Beauty Salon (1994)

Jose Saramago
Blindness (1995)

Patrick Lynch
Carriers (1995)

Ann Benson
The Plague Tales (1997)

Stephen Porter
The Great Plague (1999)

Greg Bear
Darwin’s Radio (1999)

Stewart O’Nan
A Prayer for the Dying (1999)

Anderson, Laurie Halse
Fever 1793 (2000) (j)

Geraldine Brooks
Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague (2001)

Jeff Long
Year Zero (2002)

Kim Stanley Robinson
The Years of Rice and Salt (2002)

Margaret Atwood (the Maddaddam Trilogy)
Oryx and Crake (2003)
The Year of the Flood (2009)
MaddAddam (2013)

Chris Adrian
The Children’s Hospital (2006)

Thomas Mullen
The Last Town on Earth (2006)

Reina James
This Time of Dying (2006)

Ann Benson
The Physician’s Tale (2006)

Harold Coyle
Pandora’s Legion (2007)

Jim Crace
The Pest House (2007)

Sarah Langan
The Missing (2007)

James Rollins
The Judas Strain (2007)

R. Scott Reiss
Black Monday (2007)

Scott Sigler (the Infected trilogy)
Infected (2008)
Contagious (2008)
Pandemic (2014)

Paolo Bacigalupi
The Windup Girl (2009)

Guilllermo del Toro
The Strain (2009)

Justin Cronin
The Passage (2010)

Colson Whitehead
Zone One (2011)

Anne Mateer
Wings of a Dream (2011)

Peter Heller
The Dog Stars (2012)

Charles Todd
An Unmarked Grave (2012)

Sara Douglass
The Devil’s Diadem (2012)

Karen Thompson Walker
The Age of Miracles (2012)

John Smollens
Quarantine (2012)

Robert Masello
The Romanov Cross (2013)

Cat Winters (YA)
In the Shadow of Blackbirds (2013)

Yuri Herrera
The Transmigration of Bodies (2013)

Makiia Lucifer
A Death-Struck Year (2014)

John Scalzi
Lock In (2014)

Emily St. John Mandel
Station Eleven (2014)

James Howard Kunstler
A History of the Future: A World Made By Hand Novel (2014)

Megan E. Abbott
The Fever (2014)

Karen Gettert Shoemakerr
The Meaning of Names (2014)

Emily Schultz
The Blondes (2015)

Aura van den Berg
Find Me (2015)

Joe Hill
The Fireman (2016)

Nicholas Wolff
The Binding (2016)

Alexandra Oliva
The Last One (2016)

Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was (2016)

Carmen Maria Machado
Her Body and Other Parties (2017)

David Walton
The Genius Plague (2017)

Robin Cook
Pandemic (2018)

Ling Ma
Severance (2018)

Susan Meissner
As Bright as Heaven (2018)

Peng Shepherd
The Book of M (2018)

Karen Thompson Walker
The Dreamers (2019)

David Koepp
Cold Storage (2019)

Chuck Wendig
Wanderers (2019)

Namwali Serpell
The Old Drift (2019)

Rory Power
The Wilder Girls (2019)

Katie Flynn
The Companions (2020)

Lawrence Wright
The End of October (2020 – forthcoming)


Carlo M. Cippola
Faith, Reason and the Plague in 17th Century Tuscany (1979)

Randy Shilts
And the Band Played On (1987)

Richard Preston
The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story (1994)

Gina Kolata
Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918, and the Search for the Virus That Started It All (1999)

George C. Kohn
Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence: From Ancient Times to the Present (2001)

Richard Preston
The Demon in the Freezer: A True Story (2002)

Howard Markel
When Germs Travel: Six Major Epidemics That Have Invaded America Since 1900 and the Fears They Have Unleashed. (2004)

John Kelly
The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time (2005)

John R. Pierce
Yellow Jack: How Yellow Fever Ravaged America and Walter Reed Discovered its Deadly Secrets (2005)

Molly Caldwell Crosby
The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic That Shaped Our History (2006)

Steven Johnson
The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic – and How It Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World (2006)

Randall Packard
The Making of a Tropical Disease (2007)

Evelyn V. McKnight
A Never Event: Exposing the Largest Outbreak of Hepatitis C in American Healthcare History (2008)
The only copy of this is a non-circulating copy in the Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors.

Mariola Espinosa
Epidemic Invasions: Yellow Fever and the Limits of Cuban Independence, 1878-1930 (2009)

Nathan Wolfe
The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age (2011)

Michael Willrich
Pox: An American Story (2011)

David M. Haugen
Epidemics: Opposing Viewpoints (2011)

David Quammen
Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic (2012)

Nancy K. Bristow
The American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic (2012)

James D. Nowka
Prepper’s Guide to Surviving Natural Disasters (2013)

James William Daschuk
Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation and the Loss of Aboriginal Life (2013)

Ali Khan, MD
The Next Pandemic: On the Front Lines Against Humankind’s Gravest Dangers (2016)

Sonia Shah
Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, From Cholera to Ebola and Beyond (2016)

Laura Spinney
Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World (2017)

Michael T. Osterholm
Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs (2017)

Jennifer Ashley Wright
Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them (2017)

Jeremy Brown
Influenza: The Hundred-Year Hunt to Cure the Deadliest Disease in History (2018)

Catharine Arnold
Pandemic 1918: Eyewitness Accounts From the Greatest Medical Holocaust in Modern History (2018)

Don Brown (j)
Fever Year: The Killer Flu of 1918: A Tragedy in Three Acts (2019)


Classic Contagion/Infection

Outbreak (1995)
Contagion (2011)
The Flu (2013)
The Cassandra Crossing (1976)
Infection (2019)
Virus (2019)
The Bay (2019)
Deranged (2012)
Patient Zero (2018)
Carriers (2009)
The Host (2006)
The Last Days (2013)
Pontypool (2008)
93 Days (2016)

Zombie Wasteland

28 Days Later (2002)
28 Weeks Later (2008)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
It Stains the Sands Red (2016)
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Rabid (1977)
Train to Busan (2016)
World War Z (2013)
Zombieland (2009)
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)


I Am Legend (2007)
Cargo (2017)
Here Alone (2016)
It Comes at Night (2017)
The Last Man on Earth (1964)
The Night Eats the World (2018)
The Omega Man (1971)
Resident Evil (franchise 2002-present)
Ravenous (2017)

Surviving the Pandemic

12 Monkeys (1995)
The Stand (1994 TV mini-series)
The Girl With All the Gifts (2016)
Children of Men (2006)
The Cured (2017)
Daybreakers (2009)
Doomsday (2008)
Maggie (2015)
The Maze Runner (franchise 2014-2018)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Alien Interactions

The Andromeda Strain (1971)
The Faculty (1998)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
The Puppet Masters (1994)

Pandemic Comedies

Slither (2006)
Warm Bodies (2013)
Shaun of the Dead (2007)
Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)
Planet Terror (2007)

Misc. Pandemic

Cabin Fever (2002)
Blindness (2008)
I Drink Your Blood (1970)
Shivers (1975)
Trench 11 (2017)
Crazies (2010)
REC (2007)