Review: “Drop Dead Healthy” by A. J. Jacobs

Thumbs up for Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by A. J. Jacobs. Memoir.

Every time A. J. Jacobs comes out with a new book I am filled with dread, because how many books about I-tried-this-weird-thing-and-this-is-what-happened can one man write? But I have not yet been disappointed. He is genuine, and genuinely funny. He embraces his projects as wholeheartedly as only someone with OCD can. I confess, I had to grit my teeth a little before I leaped into this one, which is about his attempt to become maximally healthy. The reason for that is that I, too, am on a quest to be maximally healthy; and a lot of that involves tossing standard-issue health axioms out the window. (“Eat less fat,” for example. I have eaten, hm, seven kinds of fat today, most of it saturated. Yes, on purpose.) But I was pleasantly surprised that Jacobs took a fairly balanced approach, and although I sometimes disagreed with him, I was never irritated. (Though – oatmeal? Dude? Really?)

On another test, I have thirty seconds to say – out loud – all the words I can think of that start with the letter F. I begin with the perfectly acceptable “father, fancy, frankfurter.” But inevitably, my brain starts working blue. Do I say the F-word? What about a particularly offensive slur for gay men? I am torn between my conscience and my competitive side. My competitive side wins.

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