Where The Germs Are

Nicholas Bakalar


The book Where the Germs Are by Nicholas Bakalar is a non-fiction book about the types of germs and microbes there are in the world, as well as how they are spread, where they are spread, and who they spread to. Topics span from disinfectant products, to human microbes, to animal microbes, to STD's. The whole book is really just a book of facts that open your eyes to the disgusting reality of the world and it's microscopic counterparts.

Author's Purpose

The purpose of writing this book, in my perspective, was to show everyone the scares of all of the germs that are out there. Nobody really understands where germs are located, how they are spread, and the dangerous things that they can do. So that means that this was an informative non-fiction book. The main purpose was to inform the reader on ways to stay clean, germ-free, and disease free.

Cell Phone Bacteria

Cell Phone Bacteria

Three Concepts

  1. One thing that I learned was that, literally, nothing is as clean as you think it is. One of the facts was that your toothbrush was a lot dirtier than everything you use daily, even your toilet seat! It is gross to think about this because that's one of the only things besides food that you actually physically put in your mouth. So it taught me to analyze things before using or touching them.
  2. Another thing that I learned is that all of the disinfectant products are not even helpful. If there are 1 trillion germs in one spot and you spray the"99.9% effective" Lysol, Febreeze, or any other "cleaning" product, it still leaves behind a vast majority of germs. There would still be a ton of germs that could be harmful to your health. So do not believe what you read on labels for disinfectant products!
  3. The last thing that I learned and thought was really interesting was the whole concept of STD's. STD's are spread so easily that you might not even know that you have them. Everyone thinks that they can only be spread through sex, but in all reality, most of them can be transmitted by touch, kissing, even hugging. It really opened my eyes to ways that they can be prevented so that I do not receive any gross diseases in the future!

Greatest Impression

The chapter that made the biggest impression was the chapter on the "clean" products that stores sell. Basically is was about where germs tend to cultivate and new products that kill germs do not even kill them. It made an impact because my parents always buy disinfectant wipes and stuff, when they don't even work!!

Book Rating

Honestly, if I were to rate this book anywhere between 1-5, I would rate this book a 3. It is to the point where it is just interesting to peak somebody's interest, but at the same time it is just non-stop facts throughout the whole book. There is no story line to it, it is just a bland informational book that teaches about germs. Scientists and Mathematicians who like reading facts would absolutely love this book.

Passage 1: What Love's Got to Do with It: Microbes and Your Sex Life

Page 98

I chose the passage from the sex chapter because it was really interesting to me that there were so many different ways for sexually transmitted diseases to be spread. It talks about the diseases that could be spread through kissing, touching, even hugging, and how they get spread.

Passage 2: Wild Kingdom: Pets and Their Germs

Page 194

I chose this passage as well because it really interested me when it was talking about the diseases and viruses that animals tend to spread to humans. One topic was the bird flu, which is actually on the rise yet again. The influenza is a huge topic in the world today, and is actually a big cause of deaths in the world, especially in Hong Kong. Another thing that was interesting was that some mice and rats actually contain poison that, if you are bitten, there is a 40% mortality rate among humans. It's actually really scary to think this considering you see mice all the time, and you never consider the fact that they are poisonous...

Connection to the Outside

The Wild Kingdom chapter actually relates to everyone's life right about now. The old strand of bird flu is on the rise in Hong Kong, but it is actually "new and improved". The new flu is actually one that has never been seen before, and humans do not have antibodies to fight off the disease, so if you come in contact with it, you're basically guaranteed to receive the disease. In Hong Kong, they have killed over 1 million birds in the past to stop the spread of the bird flu, and right now they have stopped the production and selling of all types of birds and foods containing birds to try and stop the spread.