136. Drop Dead Healthy (A.J.Jacobs)

Saturday, May 26, 2012
I have a love/hate relationship with A.J. Jacobs.  All his books have been entertaining, informative, and funny.  However, because they tend to cover a wide array of subjects within a larger topic (reading the entire encyclopaedia, living the Bible, or turning your life into a series of experiments), he doesn't devout a lot of time to any one particular item.  Having said that, it doesn't stop me from reading each new book he writes.

His latest venture was a quest for "bodily perfection", to become the healthiest man alive:  Drop Dead Healthy. From the author's website:

"...the intrepid Esquire editor-at-large explores every aspect of the body—from biceps to the brain, from testosterone to toenails—to get into shape. A self-described “mushy, easily-winded, moderately sickly blob” Jacobs, at the urging of his family, vowed to retool every part of his long-neglected body. The task was massive.  He assembled a team of expert medical advisers, a group that included A-list doctors, researchers, nutritionists and trainers. He pledged to disentangle medical myths from reality. He listened to his sage, 96 year-old grandfather’s advice, as well as the chiding of his hippy aunt, Marti. He made a 53-page list of things to do to improve his health. It includes everything from the traditional—“eat leafy green vegetables” and “lift weights”—to the unusual—“win an Academy Award” (Oscar winners live three years long than non-Oscar winners) and hum to prevent sinus infections. Then, over the course of two years, he subjected himself to a grueling but entertaining regimen of exercise, diets and experiments that yielded surprising insights—and tested the patience of his wife, Julie."

Drop Dead Healthy is funny, informative and touching; filled with wonderful anecdotes as Jacobs works on all aspects of his health, from assholes to elbows and everything in between.  However, no matter how healthy we are, he realizes in the end that the outcome is always the same and that the journey to becoming the "healthiest man alive" might not be worth it if you miss out on what life has to offer you along the way.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I've never read any of his books, but did hear his interview on Q a couple of weeks ago. He was surprisingly engaging for someone who takes his research to the extreme as he does.

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top