Wendy’s Books

Masks, Misinformation, and Making Do: Appalachian Health-Care Workers and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The firsthand pandemic experiences of rural health-care providers—who were already burdened when COVID-19 hit—raise questions about the future of public health and health-care delivery.

This volume comprises the COVID-19 pandemic experiences of Appalachian health-care workers, including frontline providers, administrators, and educators. The combined narrative reveals how governmental and corporate policies exacerbated the region’s injustices, stymied response efforts, and increased the death toll.

*Masks, Misinformation, and Making Do was chosen through a competitive selection process for inclusion in the 2023 collection of Knowledge Unlatched, an open-access platform for scholarly works. Through this platform, it will be available in libraries around the world. The anthology was featured by the National Rural Health Association and authors have guested on several podcasts focused on rural health, misinformation, and/or Appalachia.*

(Ohio University Press, 2023)

COVID-19 CONSPIRACY THEORIES: QAnon, 5G, the New World Order and Other Viral Ideas

As the novel coronavirus spread around the world, so did theories, stories, and conspiracy beliefs about it. These theories infected communities from the halls of Congress to Facebook groups, spreading quickly in newspapers, on various social media and between friends. They spurred debate about the origins, treatment options and responses to the virus, creating distrust towards public health workers and suspicion of vaccines.

This book examines the most popular Covid-19 theories, connecting current conspiracy beliefs to long-standing fears and urban legends. By examining the vehicles and mechanisms of Covid-19 conspiracy, readers can better understand how theories spread and how to respond to misinformation.

(McFarland Press, 2021)

FROM THE FRONT LINES OF THE APPALACHIAN ADDICTION CRISIS: healthcare providers discuss opioids, meth and recovery

Stories from doctors, nurses, and therapists dealing on a daily basis with the opioid crisis in Appalachia should be heartbreaking. Yet those told here also inspire with practical advice on how to assist those in addiction, from a grass-roots to a policy level. Readers looking for ways to combat the crisis will find suggestions alongside laughter, tears, and sometimes rage. Each author brings the passion of their profession and the personal losses they have experienced from addiction, and posits solutions and harm reduction with positivity, grace, and even humor. Authors representing seven states from northern, Coalfields, and southern Appalachia relate personal encounters with patients or providers who changed them forever. This is a history document, showing how we got here; an evidenced indictment of current policies failing those who need them most; an affirmation that Appalachia solves its own problems; and a collection of suggestions for best practice moving forward.

(McFarland Press, 2020)

FALL OR FLY: The Strangely Hopeful Story of Foster Care and Adoption in Appalachia

tells the story of how the opioid crisis affected the region’s most vulnerable population, creating compassion fatigue and losing a generation in the process. Solutions suggested by those in the midst of the crisis feature in the more than sixty interviews with social workers, parents, and children (bio/foster/adopted) and community stakeholders. There’s a lot the public doesn’t know about how the foster care system works.

(Ohio University Press, 2019)

PUBLIC HEALTH IN APPALACHIA: Essays from the Clinic and the Field

In this collection of essays, health professionals explore how clinics and communities address the barriers to healthcare that continue to plague this underserved region and discuss theoretical perspectives about Appalachian healthcare. Topics include regional dental care, cancer and diabetes treatment, the integration of primary care and behavioral health, telehealth, the importance of “patient responsibility,” and the effects of faith, fatalism and family dynamics on the health of Appalachian youth. Avoiding simplification and stereotype while presenting data, analysis and anecdotes, this volume gives a detailed picture of Appalachia’s complex and multi-faceted public health challenges.

(McFarland Press, 2014)

THE LITTLE BOOKSTORE OF BIG STONE GAP: A Memoir of Friendship, Community, and the Uncommon Pleasure of a Good Book

Describes how Wendy and her husband Jack Beck set up and ran a bookstore for fifteen years in rural Virginia. Foibles, fun, and lots of felines feature in the warm and witty story of how the beat the odds (and Amazon) to prove bookstore have a future in America–and beyond. Little Bookstore was translated into five languages and named Book of the Year in South Korea.

(St. Martin’s Press, 2012)

Here’s a link to Wendy’s Festival of the Book appearance on C-SPAN

And her interview at CHAPTERS bookstore

Own Wendy’s Only Non-Print Book

(and pay it forward)