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

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

by A. J. Jacobs

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Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for the Perfect Body 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
harpospeaks More than 1 year ago
Fans of AJ Jacobs, a long-time writer for Esquire, will recall that improve his mind he read the Encyclopedia Britannica from Aardvark to Zygote and then wrote "The Know-It-All", to improve his spirit he wrote "The Year of Living Biblically" and now, in his humble quest to achieve bodily perfection, he has written "Drop Dead Healthy". This third of his "humble quest" series is a lot more amusing than the stieg Larsson trilogy (and moreover, it doesn't contain all those confusing Swedish names). Drop Dead Healthy takes us through two years of Mr.Jacobs life during which he experiments with the pros and cons of a myriad of health fads, from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. He goes "caveman" by running through Central Park with members of the Paleo movement and sharing their diet of nuts and berries (but passes on the crushed insects, notwithstanding their high protein value). He consults with experts of all stripes and takes to heart a study in the journal Neuro Report showing that volunteers could hold their hands in freezing water longer if they uttered expletives. He reads books like "Slow Death by Rubber Duck" which argue that such toys are made from endocrine disrupting plastics "that will cause my boys to grow breasts the size of Katy Perry's when they're twelve". And in an attempt to combat the "Crimes of Excessive Sedentary Behavior" and expend extra calories while at work he bypasses the webpage advertisements for a $400 treadmill desks by jury-rigging his own, with his laptop teetering atop four cardboard boxes that rest on an end table, and he dares to include a photo of it. Once again the writer's wife Julie is there to serve as both a lightning rod and a reality check to his over-the-top excesses, but this time his three sons are also there to bear witness to his eccentricities. One of many memorable moments occurs when Mr. Jacobs surprises his family with an attachment to the household toilet seat that requires a third world squatting pose, which he had read is healthier than than the conventional sitting position. All of this is not for naught. After two years of following his regimen and despite some quirky detours, Mr. Jacobs has lost 16 pounds, gone down two belt sizes and more than halved his body fat percentage. His physician congratulates him that his lipid panel numbers "are so good they'll give you a heart attack". Amidst the insightful humor and seriously valuable health tips, the book has some poignant and bittersweet aspects as well. We appreciate the writer's attentive visits to his 94 year-old grandfather and we come to know his self-described "eccentric Aunt Marti" who, despite her over-the-top preoccupation with living her life by following all things healthy, passes away at a relatively early age. There is a lot of wisdom among the book's wit, all of which makes for a most enjoyable read and a perfect gift for Mother's Day, Father's Day, National Secretary's Day (April 25), Arbor Day (April 27) or any other occasion one can think of.
frenchysandy More than 1 year ago
This book gives this nations obsessiveness on getting healthy, a good and humorous evaluation. From the ridiculous to the possible, A.J. Jacobs explores and attempts to live the many and often contradictory ways to achieve health. I laughed all the way through. I may even try some of the things he found helpful.
barbs111 More than 1 year ago
This book is lough out loud funny. His wife must be a Saiint to put up will all his "experiments". You need to read this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All this book is about is one person venture into eating healtheir and living a healtheir lifestyle. This is one persons point of view that doesn't cover a lot of areas in the health industry. A complete was of time to read. I learned more watching the new.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of AJ Jacobs books and they are fun to read, informative, well researched, funny and well written. I highly recommend them all. Can't wait to see what his next challenge will be!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun. At first I thought the style might be a little much, but I soon got into the flow of it and enjoyed it. You learn quite a bit too.
Tikigirl More than 1 year ago
I am an avid reader of health related material. This was a very funny and thought provoking book. I am now interested in reading some of his other books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good premise, and an easy read. Slightly depressing though and I didn't learn as much as I wanted to. Frequently I wanted to know where he got a factoid from, but except for the bug sections, there's no info on that and no endnotes. Often the writing was disjointed, makung me wonder if I was missing pages. Lots of abrupt ends! And I could have done without tge constant references to his last book. I guess being agnostic ups your credibility, since he mentions it in almost every chapter? Got tired of that - please talk about health, not religion. Basically, if you read this, do it for the random mildly amusing stories, not the health information. And don't expect too much.
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While not as funny as some of Mr. Jacob's other books, this one still manages to be interesting, particularly as he explores a wide range of ideas about healthy habits. One of the charms of Mr. Jacob's book is the randomness of the topics he covers and the funny pictures of himself that are included. In the end he lists some of the habits he has incorporated in his quest to become healthier.
JackieBlem on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A.J. Jacobs always entertains, and it is certainly true of this book. This is a result of slightly over 2 years of Jacobs taking on the concept of health, with a not completely tongue in cheek goal of being the healthiest human alive. Meets up with all sorts of health gurus, checking out, and often trying out, all sorts of health suggestions. Each month he focuses on a part of his body (stomach, heart, ears, but, immune system, etc.), and talks about what he's learned, what seemed to work, what didn't work, and what his "take-away" about it all was. He pokes a lot of fun of himself, but he also disseminates quite a bit of information throughout the book. You learn while you are laughing, and that is really all I have to say about it, isn't it?
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I like to rate books the way I rate food; books and food can be (1) delicious and (2) nutritious. Some books, like chick lit and mysteries, are mostly just delicious. Some books, like history books, are mostly just nutritious. A. J. Jacobs¿ books are a little of both. Yummy and good-for-you. Especially this book. Drop Dead Healthy, like all of Jacobs¿ books, is the story of Jacobs attempting to challenge himself to do something very difficult. This time Jacobs takes on the challenge of becoming very healthy. Very, very healthy. And, like all of his books, Jacobs loves to push himself to extremes. (Who can forget the chapter in Year of Living Biblically when Jacobs tells how he went to the park in NYC and began to follow the Biblical edict to stone adulterers?) Jacobs, in his quest to become very, very healthy, attempts to eat right, exercise properly, experience quiet, lower his stress, de-toxify his home, breathe better, have a perfect night¿s sleep, stand up straight, see better¿.Whew! It is exhausting to just read the list of all the things he attempts to do in order to try to be the world¿s healthiest person. Yes, exhausting but also hilarious. Jacobs doesn¿t do anything halfway. He is torn, at one point in the book, between trying to decide whether to wear earphones (to mute the noise of city life) or a helmet (to protect his skull). (His poor wife. I always think about his poor wife when I read his books. Did she have any idea what she was in for when she married him?!) You can¿t help but take in a little of the knowledge about good health that Jacobs shares in bits and pieces all through the book.
mountie9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Good Stuff I think this is my favorite non-fiction books this year Author is self deprecating and you know I adore that in a writer Truly fascinating, unique and positively hilarious Touched by his obvious love for his wife and children and the appreciation he has for them putting up with all his shenanigans I need to read all the rest of his books now Has a "Super Size Me" feel to it He is a master at transitioning from one topic to the next - very impressive! Classy and tactful I have never laughed this hard while reading a non-fiction book before & I have read ALOT of hilarious non-fiction Enjoyed the comments from his wife about some of the things he did -- she sounds like a fabulous woman Best idea ever for motivating someone to stop doing something - don't want to spoil it for you but page 231 in my ARC The bit about Coco Chanel will make you laugh Inspired me to make some changes in my life The Not So Good Stuff If he was my husband I would have killed him by now with all the crazy stuff he does When I read about the Dr who actually performs surgery to change the sounds of your farts - I laughed so hard the cat jumped off my lap and left nasty scratch marks on me -- A.J. you owe me some polysporin Now have sudden urge for dried mango'sFavorite Quotes/Passages"I want to be around to teach the importance of having compassion and why the original Willy Wonka is superior to the remake.""If done properly, with enough protein and B12 supplements, it's certainly better than the Standard American Diet. (Then again, eating nothing but asbestos sandwiches is probably better than the Standard American Diet.)"His quotes are both hilarious and inspiring: "Fifteen minutes to warm up? Does a lion warm up when he's hungry? 'Uh-oh, here comes an antelope. Better warm up.' No! He just goes out there and eats the sucker." I printed that out and put it on my wall next to the passage about Carl Sagan.""Though in the case of my children, the rate is much higher. It's amazing how a strip of sticky plastic will make my kids' pain vanish. Lucas will be howling about a stepped-on finger, but as soon as the SpongeBob Band-Aid touches his pinkie, he is all smiles. My sons are so convinced of the magical healing powers of Band-Aids, they think they can solve almost any problem. A couple of years ago, when our Sony TV blew a fuse, Jasper stuck a Band-Aid on the screen hoping to revive it."What I learned About who created the graham cracker and why he created it (No I am not telling you - go buy the book - or go to your local library and pick up a copy - and while you are there tell the Library workers how wonderful they are -- and maybe bring them some chocolate) Tons of other fascinating facts about health and diet that sorta scared me at times About Blueberries - trust me that was interesting Who Should/Shouldn't Buy Yup this one is a highly recommended read for everyone This will be a Christmas purchase for the brother in laws -- all FOUR of them 5 Dewey'sI received book from Simon and Schuster in Exchange for an honest review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Got halfway through it and gave up. Too many pointless details. Not nearly as good as his others.
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"Yay I'ma punch Photo Finish in the stomach too!" <br> Real Fluttershy: "S-she wasn't really that-t bad." <br> Pinkie: "Yay we get to kill Chrysalis again!" Takes out her party cannon. <br> Vynx: Takes out a walky-talky. "Agents Gordon Freeman and MiCheLLe JoHnsON report to Ponyville immediately." <p> But really, continue now or IWILLFALLOFFACLIFF!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
YAY IMMA MEGA PUNCH HER!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fluttershy shuddered at the words. Twilight tryed zapping Crysilis." Oh. So the itty bitty ponys wanna fight, huh?" She sneered." We'll give you a fight!" Suddenly the Changelings, Timberwolves, and their two leaders were rushing at the ponies. Before they reached them, however, the Elements of Harmony appeared on the ponies. Not Spikes element, though. Nightmare Rarity went for Twilight first." Snap out of it, Rarity!" She yelled as the wrestled on the ground. Twilight punched Rarity in the stomache, but it hardly had an effect. Dashie punched waaayyyy harder. Nightmare Rarity growled and levitated Twilight in the air." Put me down!" She screeched. Laughing at Twilights weak attempt at escaping, she threw her across Ponyville. The others were busy fighting Changelings and Timberwolves. Soon the hiding ponys came out to fight. The Cutie Mark Crusaders, The Cake family, everypony. Finally Rarity found who she was looking for: Photo Finish. Making Fluttershy a model, but not her a designer? That was uncalled for, and Nightmare Rarity wanted to teach her, and everypony else who had wronged her, a lesson.
jane_gayle More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy A. J. Jacobs' books. Like his others, this isn't a "how to" type of book. He enjoys experimenting, using himself as the guinea pig, and reports what he finds. There are gems of information as you read and a wonderful sense of humor that makes the book highly readable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Informative and entertaining
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hilarious read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book, as all other A. J. Jacobs books I've read, has been both hilarious and fascinating. I now have a great mental archive of cool facts to annoy my husband with, ha! Honestly, I really enjoyed this book and definitely learned something along the way.