One way I stay up-to-date in my field is by reading books, journals, and studies about health and wellness. When I heard that one of my favorite writers, A.J. Jacobs, was coming out with a book all about health, I was ecstatic. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed his previous two books,The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically, I was pretty certain that Drop Dead Healthy would be a recommended read for friends and colleagues.
The overall theme of Jacobs’ quest is to live as healthy as possible and to try to do everything right nearly all of the time. As the reader quickly finds out, this is no easy task. For example, do the benefits of exercise outweigh the risk of contracting MRSA while at the gym? Are blueberries really superfoods or was that a marketing ploy used by the Maine blueberry industry to get out of a sales slump? He also informs readers as to why he no longer takes reading materials to the loo and the reason his Aunt Marti left the windows in her new car open for six months before she was willing to take it for a spin. While I’m generally not a fan of outsourcing, Jacobs outsourced his stress to a stranger which he highly recommends.
I’ve nearly memorized Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, pushed through all 640 pages of Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories, understand how the Tarahumara can run hundreds of miles without rest or running shoes, and have heard Dan Buettner speak about The Blue Zones on two different occasions. While those books were informative and interesting, I can’t say I laughed very much, if at all. What I enjoyed most about this book is its entertainment value. Like his other books and Esquire articles, I found myself laughing out loud every few pages, which, of course, is very healthy.