New York Times best-selling author and king of "immersion journalism" A.J. Jacobs tackles his most challenging experiment yet: a yearlong mission to radically improve every element of his body and mind - from his brain to his fingertips to his abs.
Having lifted his spirit 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 doesn't just want to lose a couple of pounds, or finish a triathlon, or lower his cholesterol.
First, he had to tackle a complicated web of diet and exercise advice, most which is nonsensical, unproven, and contradictory. Second, he had to consult a team of medical advisers. And finally, he had to subject himself, over the course of two years, to a grueling regimen of exercises, a range of diets and nutritional plans, and a brutal array of techniques and practices to improve everything from his hearing to his sleep - all the while testing the patience of his wife.
This latest work bursts with hilarity and warmth, all the while testing our culture's assumptions and obsessions with what makes good health and allowing the listener to reflect on his or her own health, body, and eventual mortality.
©2012 A. J. Jacobs (P)2012 Simon & Schuster, Inc.
“We can become healthier by learning from AJ's discomfort in this very funny book. He moves us from theory to practice by dragging his body through all the longevity practices. (Dr. Mehmet Oz)
"Can one man go from a 'python that ate agoat' physique to perfect specimen? From Roman soldier workouts to Areca palm plants, fromthe sublime to the absurd, AJ has tried it all. I laughed my ass off the wholeway and learned a ton ... including about my ass." (Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek)
"Who wouldn't want to be fitter, happier, more productive? In this riotous, madcap book, AJ Jacobs sets himself an ambitious goal: to become the person we all wish we could be. It's vintage AJ. Do your future self a favor and read this book." (Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein)
Great story and a great listen. I knew I wanted to read this book but since I get motion sick on the bus, I was happy to enjoy the audio version on my commute. Jacobs has a great voice and reads with enthusiasm. I enjoy his little side stories about his wife, children, grandfather, crazy aunt and trips to the doctor. I was surprised this book didn't have a profound turning point where he really started shedding pounds drastically but I think his overall message is important: We're overwhelmed with health propaganda and we needed someone like him to investigate what works and what doesn't. Great, great book and I'd definitely recommend it!
I thought this book was well written and very witty. It actually had some imformation about different products or diet and exercise methods that I had read about and thought about trying.
This book was very entertaining but not one that stuck to my ribs. I enjoyed it at the time but almost forgot about it until I was looking through my library for something else to read.
I love learning about the universe and our place in it by listening to Audible.
The book excels when the author is laughing at himself and when he gives the best lines to his wife or family. I did laugh out loud multiple times. He does jump around frequently from fad to fad and even with that there is some good random advice. Best advice of all, he mentions that he listens to NPR on his podcasts and he learned he could speed up the playback. After realizing I could speed up his narration, I immediately did and his reading performance was much better. He's a much better listen at one and half speed.
At least in regards to lowering stress and the laughing club for example, there is some redundancy with Jonathan Haidt's "The Happiness Hypothesis". I noticed when they cover the same topic, I much prefer Jonathan Haidt's book.
Those who are just looking for an amusing read. I've been doing a lot of my own research into diet and thought this might help me understand the issues and provide a few laughs along the way. I read and loved The Year of Living Biblically. This book failed on both accounts for me.
I wasn't expecting a rigorous study, but I thought this would be more of a real effort to look at different approaches to health. Instead he just did a little of this and a little of that, using the fringe approaches for laughs. I turned it off right when he said that he listened only to scientists about diet, and proceeded to settle the issue once and for all by saying that a mostly vegetarian diet is what scientists recommend. There are scientists from all points of view from vegan to 'eat lots of meat.' He chose only to listen to those who advocate a diet similar to his own and was pretty negative about alternative approaches to health - at least as far as I read.
An enjoyable one time listen. Good balance of humor and human interest. Touching ending - you gotta hang in til the end.
We listened to Drop Dead Healthy while driving up and down the California coast and were so entertained by the book that we worried we would arrive too soon.
We found the book to be equal parts entertaining, informative and funny.
A.J. is a phenomenal story teller!
Internal Medicine Doctor
This book ranks pretty high on my list of favorate audiobooks
I liked AJ's chemical avoiding aunt not because I am like that but because she admit that she is perceived as nutty.
I liked AJ's trial of the pole dancing class.
The book was lightly amusing. It wasn't a book that I JUST HAD to listen to at given points in the day. It was light hearted, made me smile and chuckle at times, but truthfully I had hoped to gain more insight and knowledge from it.
Won't read him again.
The book felt lazy. Rather than actually try to live out the various things that might make him "the healthiest man alive" as he claimed to want, he just ran around interviewing people with fringe ideas. In some cases, he tried stuff just to try it: had his teeth whitened BEFORE going home to do a simple Google search that convinced him it was an unhealthy thing to to. As he found things that he was convinced did work, he quickly abandoned them in favor of the next thing on the buffet. It's not a book about trying to be the healthiest man alive--it's a book about trying all the various things that might make you healthier, but with very little effort actually put into becoming more healthy. It's like trying to be healthier by watching the people at the gym or reading a nutrition book.
First time I've ever gotten back on Audible and looked for a way to get a refund. Reminded me powerfully of Andy Rooney, who started each piece with "Did you ever wonder why..." and went on to ramble around about the topic for several minutes without ever actually saying anything.
Stand-up comedian turned medical school student. I am not much of a non-textbook reader, but audiobooks have replaced TV for me!
The idea of the walking desk is genius, and to know that he walked more than 1,000 miles literally while writing the book is fantastic.
This book was far more amusing than anticipated, although I should have expected it would be with how entertaining Jabobs' other books have been. Overall, I learned some things about what it was like to transition to a healthy lifestyle. I won't be instituting all of the changes he made (caveman, laughing room, etc) to my life, but I might actually do some of the things he did.
Very enjoyable, particularly if you're looking for amusing storytelling and not emotional, life-changing literature.
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