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Publisher's Summary

In 2014, James Hamblin launched a series of videos for The Atlantic called "If Our Bodies Could Talk". With it, the doctor-turned-journalist established himself as a seriously entertaining authority in the field of health. Now, in illuminating and genuinely funny prose, Hamblin explores the human stories behind health questions that never seem to go away - and which tend to be mischaracterized and oversimplified by marketing and news media. He covers topics such as sleep, aging, diet, and much more:

  • Can I "boost" my immune system?
  • Does caffeine make me live longer?
  • Do we still not know if cell phones cause cancer?
  • How much sleep do I actually need?
  • Is there any harm in taking a multivitamin?
  • Is life long enough?

In considering these questions, Hamblin draws from his own medical training as well from hundreds of interviews with distinguished scientists and medical practitioners. He translates the (traditionally boring) textbook of human anatomy and physiology into accessible, engaging, socially contextualized, up-to-the-moment answers. They offer clarity, examine the limits of our certainty, and ultimately help listeners worry less about things that don't really matter.

If Our Bodies Could Talk is a comprehensive guide that entertains and educates in equal doses.

©2016 James Hamblin (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"This book answers all the questions you ever had about your health - plus a whole lot of questions that never occurred to you but should have. Even if you don't care about your health you should read it, because Hamblin is such a delightfully amusing writer." (Walter Isaacson, New York Times best-selling author of The Innovators and Steve Jobs)
"Reading James Hamblin's book is like taking a journey through the vast and uncharted landscape of 'health science.' Fad Diets. The science of vaccines. The truth (and lies) behind coffee. The rumblings of the stomach. If you want to understand the strange workings of the human body, and the future of medicine, you must read this illuminating, engaging book." (Siddhartha Mukherjee, New York Times best-selling author of The Gene and The Emperor of All Maladies)
"[Hamblin] writes with sarcasm, humor, and a sense of astonishment.... He does a stellar job with nutrition, covering supplements, multivitamins, energy drinks, and gluten. He calls out medical misinformation and marketing myths.... Educational, entertaining, and a bit eccentric." ( Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Great balancing book on what we are as humans

Just a tremendously well done book on understanding what and more interestingly who we are as humans. I loved the organization of the book around seemingly silly medical questions that turned into fascinating moral, ethical, funny and heart felt topics. A great listen with friends as they can pick up at any point and find it interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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funny and insightful.

answers those nagging questions that you didn't know you had. enjoyed the author's sense of humor.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Different

Different format than what I was expecting. The author jumps from subject to subject and start going into detail about that body part, symptom or action. It's very informative and interesting but certainly hard to find any specific areas you may be looking for. Regardless, I was glad I listened to the book as now I think of many related topics differently.

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Amazing. Funny. Helpful.

Useful. Funny and honest. Keep up the excellent work and updates. Well thought out and delivered.

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Thoroughly enjoyable

The author breaks down a lot of complicated medical concepts into digestible chunks for a non medical audience. He uses humour and empathy to review many ethical issues.
He also helps to put medical issues into a broader context of the world around us. Fascinating and highly recommended.

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Outstanding!!!

Eye opener for anybody that lives in a body. Exciting and relevant information delivered in a simple and easy way we can all understand! I will give this book to all my friends and family.

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Informative and Entertaining

The author and narrator James Hamblin is incredibly insightful and has a wonderful sense of humor. I highly recommend this book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful