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Drop Dead Healthy by A. J. Jacobs
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Drop Dead Healthy (edition 2012)

by A. J. Jacobs

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4342724,268 (3.76)23
Member:planetjanet_99
Title:Drop Dead Healthy
Authors:A. J. Jacobs
Info:Simon & Schuster (2012), Edition: 1, Kindle Edition, 418 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by A. J. Jacobs

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Another amusing book from the self-experimenting Jacobs, who this time around conducts all sorts of health-related projects. Some of them are commonsensical (exercising more, eating less), but others range from the trendy (the Paleo diet, barefoot running) to the neurotic (wearing noise-canceling headphones everywhere) to the outright bizarre. (Apologies to those who actually use neti pots, but I find the picture at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasal_irrigation a little off-putting.) Jacobs chronicles his quest with his characteristic good humor, and is willing not only to say when certain remedies are either impractical or unproven, but is able to poke fun at himself whenever he goes completely overboard - which, thankfully for readers, is very, very often. ( )
  bostonian71 | Sep 21, 2014 |
I half expected this book to annoy me. Having read some of A.J. Jacobs' other works, I expected it would feel too extreme, but it didn't. It was missing some of the zeal of [b:The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible|495395|The Year of Living Biblically One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible|A.J. Jacobs|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327977486s/495395.jpg|2325789] or [b:The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World|28116|The Know-It-All One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World|A.J. Jacobs|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1388203479s/28116.jpg|197064], but it was still fun, informative, and entertaining.

( )
  lmm161 | Mar 30, 2014 |
Cute at first but I quickly got too bored to finish the book. ( )
  bpreed | Jan 15, 2014 |
I have to admit, I was really hesitant to read a health book, but it turns out that this book isn't just a regular, boring book about all the stuff you have to go without to be healthy. Jacobs spends 2 years focusing on specific areas of the body and, through research and talking to various doctors and experts, he tries different diets, practices, exercises, and a myriad other things to become "the healthiest man alive". Of course, that's nearly impossible to do. But through Jacobs' stories and experiments, I learned a lot about the human body and the creative, and sometimes insane, things people do to be healthy. I was even inspired to start living my life in a more healthy way (although I won't be running around barefoot with noise-cancelling headphones).

Jacobs has a humorous and self-deprecating writing style, which makes this book all the more entertaining. I want to pick up his other books (about his year of living biblically and about the time he decided to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica). ( )
  kaylaraeintheway | Sep 11, 2013 |
first off, I want to say I should get bonus points for "weight lifting" a hard cover, my first dead tree book in a while. I ducked into the library yesterday as much for AC as for a book, and saw A.J. Jacobs' Drop Dead Healthy which had been on my wishlist since I transitioned from Kindle to iPad and my bootlegged copy no longer worked. I had reservations about lugging around a hardcover and finishing it before it was due while I was racing to finish A Race Like No Other (no pun intended) before its due. No worrying needed, I finished this before I left the beach today. It may also be the quickest review posted since the dog-ears are physical and I can't just copy my notes/highlights into a draft post.

I was curious by early reviews of this book. I've tried to read Jacobs before but failed to get through either The Know it All or The Year of Living Biblically but I heard this one was lighter and I decided to give it a go. I think its chapter length and breaking the book up into a seemingly series of articles made it easier reading.

My favorite line came early: "I'm Jewish, but I'm Jewish in the same way the Olive Garden is Italian. Not very." and it's symbolic of the book. Jacobs had a light style of writing that made me feel like I was on this journey with him. I was hearing this from a friend, not reading one of an unending series of weight loss and health books. By the same token, I liked that he approached the extremes (in ether direction) with a healthy dose of skepticism, it's what kept the book readable. He wasn't preaching any one of the causes even if it worked well for him, like the weight loss associated with his raw food trial.

"But it also had banana chips, which included refined cane sugar, coconut oil, and best of all, banana flavor. When you need to add banana flavor to bananas, there's something askew with the world of food."

The amount of food, sugar an salt that we eat in the typical American diet was a theme throughout his book. I liked that he kept most elements confined to their chapter/month of focus, while others continued through. It showed how much our bodies are interconnected. When I first started the WLJ in 2010 I had to go cold turkey on candy because I didn't trust myself to handle it in moderation. Now, I trust myself and I track it, but by allowing myself it, the cravings never totally go away. I think I need to go cold turkey on the sugared candy again. I am guilty of not reading labels as much as I ought to beyond NI, and that's something this book really made me think of.

I think "eccentric Aunt Marti" and Grandpa Ted affected him more than he realized, and I like how Jacobs incorporated them into the story in a natural way. I also admire his ability to incorporate Julie and his sons into this. May they enjoy cupcakes soon.

My only complaint: his end of month summaries which included things like avocados eaten, flax seed oil consumed but he hadn't covered why he was doing all of those things in the chapter. While he obviously couldn't cover everything he tried in the 2+ year journey, I think he should have mentioned only what he discussed in the summary

Overall, a really good read. I can tell I've been spoiled rotten by ebooks. I wanted to adjust the font. Uh... no. On the plus side, it was easier to read in the sun. ( )
  skinglist | Jul 4, 2013 |
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Epigraph
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To Julie and my sons
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For the last few months, I've been assembling a list of things I need to do to improve my health.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 141659907X, Hardcover)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:26 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Having sanctified himself in The Year of Living Biblically and sharpened his mind in The Know-It-All, A. J. Jacobs had one feat left in the self-improvement trinity: to become the healthiest man in the world. He didn't want just to lose weight, or finish a triathlon, or lower his cholesterol. His ambitions were far, far greater: Maximal health from head to toe.The task was massive. He had to tackle a complicated web of diet and exercise advice, much of which was nonsensical, unproven, and contradictory. He had to consult a team of medical advisers. And he had to subject himself to a grueling regimen of exercises, a range of diets, and an array of practices to improve everything from his hearing to his sleep to his sex life all the while testing the patience of his long-suffering wife. He left nothing untested, from the caveman workout to veganism, from the treadmill desk to extreme chewing. Drop Dead Healthy teems with hilarity and warmth and pushes our cultures assumptions about and obsessions with what makes good health, allowing the reader to reflect on his or her own health, body, and eventual mortality"-- "One mans comedic journey to discover how to live as healthfully as possible"--… (more)

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