I’m going to attempt a book review here. I’ve never really done one. Book reports, sure, but not since high school. I wonder if any of my teachers would be disappointed to know that I didn’t keep up book report writing as a hobby… or science projects, for that matter. This is now giving me a mental picture of my basement all covered in neon Bristol boards with little fact cards glued to them and big titles in bubble letters (always go with the bubble letters, they take up space where information and/or effort would have to go).
Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs came out back in May, so I’m a little late to the party. I mentioned it briefly in my first post about the standing desk experiment. It was actually what prompted me to try that in the first place and I’ve been meaning to talk about it in more detail ever since. Obviously, given my own attempts to find humour in my health and fitness trials and errors, this one really connected with me. So, I may be uniquely biased but I enjoyed it enormously.
I’m a big fan of Jacobs’ books. If you’re not familiar with his work, he’s a humourist who puts himself through all kinds of unbelievable challenges. In The Year of Living Biblically, he took it upon himself to follow all the rules in the bible, to the letter. In The Guinea Pig Diaries, he outsources his entire life to India, practices radical honesty and attempts to live by George Washington’s rules. His books are sometimes touching, always funny and still manage to present interesting information and honest opinions.
Drop Dead Healthy is a collection of his efforts to become the healthiest man on Earth. Jacobs documents his (hilarious) observations on all kinds of diet and exercise programs, gadgets and gear, completes a triathlon and goes into a surprising amount of detail about hand-washing and germs. I took this book with me to Scotland and happened to get to the germ chapter at the beginning of my nine-hour flight. Reading about germs while trapped in a giant incubator in the sky is a little like watching a Jaws marathon before your first surfing lesson.
This isn’t a how-to diet or exercise book, although it contains an overwhelming amount of great information, broken down by body part (stomach, heart, ears, teeth, head, hands etc.). The chapter on hands was a particular favourite. He recommends a series of youtube videos by Greg Irwin (who apparently calls himself the Richard Simmons of hands). Irwin walks you through some really great exercises that make your paws feel amazing! I’ve bookmarked a few of my favourite clips and made them part of my daily drawing warm-up.
If you’re looking for a good read this weekend, I hope you’ll enjoy this one as much as I did. (Just remember to put it down, get up and walk around a bit every half hour or so.)