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Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection Paperback – November 13, 2012
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, April 2012: You may know A.J. Jacobs as the man who attempted to read the Encyclopedia Britannica from cover-to-cover. Or you may have been introduced to him when he spent a year trying to follow the Bible as literally as possible. He returns once again with another seemingly impossible task--that of becoming the healthiest man alive. As with his earlier books, Jacobs brings his quick wit, self-deprecating humor, and journalistic eye to the experiment. He leaves no health stone unturned: from literally running his errands and wearing noise-cancelling headphones for hours a day to rigging a desk that he can work at while walking on the treadmill (there are instructions at the end for those interested), Jacobs chronicles the good, bad, and ugly of trying to attain “perfect” health. Jacobs’ writing is breezy, informational, and entertaining, and he manages to achieve the near impossible--discussing issues of health without sounding preachy. --Caley Anderson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A.J. Jacobs is very, very bad for your health. He will keep you up reading til 2 a.m., disturbing your circadian rhythms, making you sleep through breakfast and overeat at lunch. He is delicious. He's habit-forming. He will give you infectious titters and terminal glee. Don't let that stop you. Indulge."--Mary Roach, author of "Bonk "and "Packing for Mars"
"While Jacobs's attempts at health enlightenment can be hilarious, visits with his grandfather, famed labor lawyer Theodore Kheel, provide the most revealing glimpse into the secrets of aging well."--"More"
"We can become healthier by learning from AJ's discomfort in this very funny book. He moves us from theory to practice by dragging his body through all the longevity practices."--Dr. Mehmet Oz, host, "The Dr. Oz Show"
"Jacobs' light touch camouflages the impressive amount of research that goes into each chapter. He reads books and medical reports, interviews experts and scientists as well as enthusiasts on the fringe, then tries everything himself. He brings a skeptic's eye to each point of view, but he remains respectful of even the wackiest ideas... Yes, the results are funny, but this is, at heart, a serious book, with an underlying poignancy: As Jacobs works to get healthier, his beloved grandfather begins his slow decline, reminding us that no matter how healthy we are, it's all going to end the same way."--Laurie Hertzl, "The Minneapolis Star Tribune"
"Why go to the gym when you can sit and read a funny book about it instead?""--USA Today"
"Can one man go from a 'python that ate a goat' physique to perfect specimen? From Roman soldier workouts to Areca palm plants, from the sublime to the absurd, A.J. has tried it all. I laughed my ass off the wholeway and learned a ton ... including about my ass."--Timothy Ferriss, author of "The 4-Hour Workweek"
"I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book, and once again, the brilliant A.J. Jacobs had me laughing out loud--and also deciding to change the way I live. "Drop Dead Healthy" is a rare mixture of the hilarious, the absurd, and the scientifically sound. Who knew it could be so entertaining to read about broccoli puree and shoeless jogging?"--Gretchen Rubin, author of "The Happiness Project"
"You'll exercise your abdominals laughing over his adventures."--"Entertainment Weekly"
"Who wouldn't want to be fitter, happier, more productive? In this riotous, madcap book, A.J. Jacobs sets himself an ambitious goal: to become the person we all wish we could be. It's vintage A.J. Do your future self a favor and read this book." --Joshua Foer, author of "Moonwalking with Einstein"
"You'll burn calories laughing out loud."--"Shape"
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Top Customer Reviews
Because the cover design shows the author doing a chin-up, I assumed the book focused only on exercise, but he takes a more holistic approach by covering such areas as including noise pollution; the immune system; having more sex (I'll never look at a Graham cracker the same again.); the nervous system; acupuncture; placebos; proper poop practices; managing stress; improving brain proficiency; living in a nontoxic home; teeth; sleep; the bladder; and good posture. There are a few quirky subjects such as the Quantified Self movement, Hygiene Hypothesis, Egonomics (not a typo), and the Caveman Workout. There are amateurish black-and-white photos near the beginning of each chapter showing Mr. Jacobs's in various "health" activities. The inclusion of his interactions with his 94-year-old grandfather and Aunt Marti throughout the book were especially heartwarming and introspective.
After previously reading two successive depressing/infuriating nonfiction works, 'Drop Dead Healthy' was a welcome respite. The only thing that was unnerving in it was a small excerpt describing an 1810 mastectomy that made my nipples tingle... and not in a good way. The Appendix includes a helpful synopsis of what Mr. Jacobs found valuable in his quest for better health. You could just read them and ignore the rest of the book but you'd be missing out on a lot of funny material.
AJ Jacobs writes in the same easy, conversational way he did in his other two books. In this one, he commits himself to getting healthy; and as usual, does the 360-degree research, interviewing completely opposite points of view. He dives into it 100%, doing offbeat things like running caveman-like through Central Park (one of my favorite parts), typing while on a treadmill, wearing noise reducing headphones (it was very interesting to read the various decibel levels of everyday noises). Along the way, he is inspired in different ways by his eccentric aunt, his grandfather, and his wife Julie.
AJ Jacobs tackles his projects very methodically and never takes anyone's word as the last word. I did feel the book lagged a bit; maybe he got tired on the treadmill, but my sense is that it lagged because it took so long to write and there was just so much he wanted to cover that it almost overwhelmed him. I very much enjoyed it and along the way, I learned a few things. Now, I am off to eat a few walnuts.
Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the book - even learnt a thing or two- and I really enjoy the author's sense of humour. I laughed out loud in several places, and judging from the book, his long-suffering wife Julie sounds just as funny.
In previous books, A.J.has investigated the intellectual life and the spiritual - what else is left? I wait with bated breath for his next book.