Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection

Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily PerfectionDrop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by A.J. Jacobs

Source: Library copy – audio book

Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 2012

After being hospitalized from a freak encounter with pneumonia, Jacobs makes a promise to his wife that she will not be a 40-year-old widow. From then, he embarks on a 2 year expedition to be the healthiest man on Earth.

This is my 3rd A.J. Jacob’s book, and its the one I’ve liked the least. Although I appreciate all of the information he provide and all of the avenues he explored in the realm of health and longevity, there was just something off about this book. I picked up the audio book version because Jacob’s narration is quite funny. I liked listening to him tell his story. But I think maybe the fact that it was audio made the book feel choppy. Jacobs left no stone unturned in his research. That left the listener with a lot of small tidbits of information about health fads and crazes that sometimes felt very specialized to New York eccentricities. The chapter on safety had me shaking my head at the ridiculous bubble-wrap on life that his expert would have us live in. The calorie restriction group was baffling. It felt like a slight promotion of anorexia, despite it being more about savoring your food than not eating. But I’m out of the loop on mainstream diets and fads, so maybe marathon running barefoot in the park is something Americans do all around the country.

All in all, he leaves you with a few key tips that are nothing more than common sense. Eat less processed foods, move more, and eat more fruits and vegetables. Nothing we don’t know. His quest to find out the why and how to do all this was what intrigued me about the book. But the chapters were short and few were insightful. Just as it was getting interesting, he jumped ship onto the next craze.

I found the moments where he talked about family, particularly his grandfather and Aunt Marty to be most touching part of his memoir. I could listen to him tell stories about his family for hours. They seem like such a lively and engrossing family.

Other titles

  • The Know-It-All – Wherein AJ Jacobs attempts to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica and become the smartest person in the world. Humorous and full of random trivia.
  • The Year of Living Biblically – Wherein AJ Jacobs attempts to live life according to the rules prescribed in the bible. I didn’t read it, but a good friend of mine did.
  • The Guinea-Pig Diaries – Wherein AJ Jacobs tests out different theories on himself and his family. I haven’t read this one or come across any reviews.

© 2015 by Nari of The Novel World. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @TheNovelWorld This was originally posted on The Novel World on 9/14/2015

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