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 From the bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All comes the true and truly hilarious story of one person’s quest to become the healthiest man in the world.

Hospitalized with a freak case of tropical pneumonia, goaded by his wife telling him, “I don’t want to be a widow at forty-five,” and ashamed of a middle-aged body best described as “a python that swallowed a goat,” A.J. Jacobs felt compelled to change his ways and get healthy. And he didn’t want only to lose weight, or finish a triathlon, or lower his cholesterol. His ambitions were far greater: maximal health from head to toe.

The task was epic. He consulted an army of experts— sleep consultants and sex clinicians, nutritionists and dermatologists. He subjected himself to dozens of different workouts—from Strollercize classes to Finger Fitness sessions, from bouldering with cavemen to a treadmill desk. And he took in a cartload of diets: raw foods, veganism, high protein, calorie restriction, extreme chewing, and dozens more. He bought gadgets and helmets, earphones and juicers. He poked and he pinched. He counted and he measured.

The story of his transformation is not only brilliantly entertaining, but it just may be the healthiest book ever written. It will make you laugh until your sides split and endorphins flood your bloodstream. It will alter the contours of your brain, imprinting you with better habits of hygiene and diet. It will move you emotionally and get you moving physically in surprising ways. And it will give you occasion to reflect on the body’s many mysteries and the ultimate pursuit of health: a well-lived life.

Topics: Exercise, Diets, Weight Loss, Healthy Habits, Aging, Essays, Funny, Informative, First Person Narration, Family, Irreverent, Creative Nonfiction, American Author, Male Author, and New York City

Published: Simon & Schuster on
ISBN: 9781439110157
List price: $11.99
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This was an enjoyable listen during my commute to work and to the gym. I did pick up a few tips, but it's mostly stuff I've heard before. Still, I like Jacobs' style. I'm glad I finally got to finish this one, after returning it to the library last year when I didn't have time to finish by the due date.more
This was fun, light, humorous and engaging. Now I want a treadmill desk, though. I liked the authorial voice enough that I will likely pick up his other books.more
Having lifted his spirit in The Year of Living Biblically and sharpened his mind in The Know-It-All, AJ 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 points, or finish a triathlon, or lower his cholesterol.more
God, A. J. Jacobs is irritating! I really don't know why I keep buying his books, because they all follow the same pattern - - magazine writer picks a topic, then tries to milk the hell out of it, in bite sized snippets. Never developing any theme to any depth, his writing is like a hummingbird flitting from flower to flower. This latest book is narcissistic in the extreme, chronicling Jacobs' attempts to become "the world's healthiest man". By halfway through the book I was hoping for a medical emergency. Clearly, I am no longer empathizing with Jacobs the author.more
AJ Jacobs is known for his books about "The Know it All" and "The Year of Living Biblically" where he tried to become the worlds smartest man by reading the entire set of encyclopedias and a spent a year living exactly how the Bible says. Now in this book Jacobs tries to become the worlds healthiest man. I found this book both entertaining and informal. Jacobs make becoming healthy a serious request and enlists numerous experts to help him in every aspect of health. Jacobs has great self deprecating humor and the story of his grandfather is touching. The book is funny and helpful at the same time. If you have an interest in health, exercise and diet you will find it very interesting.more
Jacobs, who wtote The Year of Living Biblically, which I did not read but which received great reviews, has penned another winner. In this work, he undertakes the task of becoming the healthiest man in the world. While he does not necessarily succeed, in the course of 25 months he focused on improving his health while imparting all sorts of useful tidbits to his readers on what might work and what likely would not. He also introduces us to his wife, their three young sons and numerous members of his extended family. The glimpse into the life of a New York City apartment dweller was interesting for someone from a more rural part of the country. This is nonfictiion at its best.more
I’m a huge fan of A.J. Jacob’s particular brand of humorous, participative journalism. Whether he is trying to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica (The Know-It-All) or attempting to follow all the rules of the Bible (The Year of Living Biblically), Jacob’s has made a living out of treating his life like a bizarro experiment. In this book, he attempts to live healthier … even if it kills him. As readable and fun as always, the book will give you some food for thought and a few laughs. It was also surprisingly sad at times when Jacobs deals with a few deaths in the family. Although this wasn’t his best effort, it is still worth reading and I’ll continue to follow him wherever he wants to go.more
A.J.Jacobs certainly has a way with words! The book is hilarious, informative, fun and easy to read, and has some substantial food for thought into the bargain.more
One of the tenets of creative non-fiction is to make your vegetables taste good, that is, to impart factual information in an entertaining way. Jacobs has a unique approach to this by involving himself personally in the story as an experimental subject. For my taste, while this book is easy to swallow, every time things got interesting he would move on, so it seemed that style triumphed over substance. Broad and shallow pop culture but great infotainment.more
I didn't enjoy this book as much as The Know-It-All or The Year of Living Biblically and I'm trying to figure out why. I think at least part of it is because this book didn't have a natural "journey" to it. In The Know-It-All, Jacobs was trying to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. In The Year of Living Biblically, Jacobs was working through the Bible. This project didn't have a clear end goal or way of measuring progress or (indeed, he arbitrarily extended the project by a few months).I did learn a few interesting things, though.more
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.more
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.more
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?more
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 reviewmore
Read all 16 reviews

Reviews

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????more
This was an enjoyable listen during my commute to work and to the gym. I did pick up a few tips, but it's mostly stuff I've heard before. Still, I like Jacobs' style. I'm glad I finally got to finish this one, after returning it to the library last year when I didn't have time to finish by the due date.more
This was fun, light, humorous and engaging. Now I want a treadmill desk, though. I liked the authorial voice enough that I will likely pick up his other books.more
Having lifted his spirit in The Year of Living Biblically and sharpened his mind in The Know-It-All, AJ 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 points, or finish a triathlon, or lower his cholesterol.more
God, A. J. Jacobs is irritating! I really don't know why I keep buying his books, because they all follow the same pattern - - magazine writer picks a topic, then tries to milk the hell out of it, in bite sized snippets. Never developing any theme to any depth, his writing is like a hummingbird flitting from flower to flower. This latest book is narcissistic in the extreme, chronicling Jacobs' attempts to become "the world's healthiest man". By halfway through the book I was hoping for a medical emergency. Clearly, I am no longer empathizing with Jacobs the author.more
AJ Jacobs is known for his books about "The Know it All" and "The Year of Living Biblically" where he tried to become the worlds smartest man by reading the entire set of encyclopedias and a spent a year living exactly how the Bible says. Now in this book Jacobs tries to become the worlds healthiest man. I found this book both entertaining and informal. Jacobs make becoming healthy a serious request and enlists numerous experts to help him in every aspect of health. Jacobs has great self deprecating humor and the story of his grandfather is touching. The book is funny and helpful at the same time. If you have an interest in health, exercise and diet you will find it very interesting.more
Jacobs, who wtote The Year of Living Biblically, which I did not read but which received great reviews, has penned another winner. In this work, he undertakes the task of becoming the healthiest man in the world. While he does not necessarily succeed, in the course of 25 months he focused on improving his health while imparting all sorts of useful tidbits to his readers on what might work and what likely would not. He also introduces us to his wife, their three young sons and numerous members of his extended family. The glimpse into the life of a New York City apartment dweller was interesting for someone from a more rural part of the country. This is nonfictiion at its best.more
I’m a huge fan of A.J. Jacob’s particular brand of humorous, participative journalism. Whether he is trying to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica (The Know-It-All) or attempting to follow all the rules of the Bible (The Year of Living Biblically), Jacob’s has made a living out of treating his life like a bizarro experiment. In this book, he attempts to live healthier … even if it kills him. As readable and fun as always, the book will give you some food for thought and a few laughs. It was also surprisingly sad at times when Jacobs deals with a few deaths in the family. Although this wasn’t his best effort, it is still worth reading and I’ll continue to follow him wherever he wants to go.more
A.J.Jacobs certainly has a way with words! The book is hilarious, informative, fun and easy to read, and has some substantial food for thought into the bargain.more
One of the tenets of creative non-fiction is to make your vegetables taste good, that is, to impart factual information in an entertaining way. Jacobs has a unique approach to this by involving himself personally in the story as an experimental subject. For my taste, while this book is easy to swallow, every time things got interesting he would move on, so it seemed that style triumphed over substance. Broad and shallow pop culture but great infotainment.more
I didn't enjoy this book as much as The Know-It-All or The Year of Living Biblically and I'm trying to figure out why. I think at least part of it is because this book didn't have a natural "journey" to it. In The Know-It-All, Jacobs was trying to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. In The Year of Living Biblically, Jacobs was working through the Bible. This project didn't have a clear end goal or way of measuring progress or (indeed, he arbitrarily extended the project by a few months).I did learn a few interesting things, though.more
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.more
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.more
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?more
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 reviewmore
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