Monday, July 9, 2012

Book Review: Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs

Remember that time I read The Year of Living Biblically and raved about it and then A.J. Jacobs EMAILED ME???  Me too.  I was a brand-new blogger and almost died when I realized that authors actually read blogger reviews and respond to them.  So basically, besides the fact that The Year of Living Biblically was incredibly well done, the fact that A.J. Jacobs actually replied to my review (which, let's be honest, was not that great) made me a fan for life.  I was dying to read this one and the perfect opportunity arose when Jennie got a copy from Goodreads (I think).  She passed it on to me and I'm supposed to pass it on to Jacki, which I really do intend to do one day in the very near future.  Really.

So Drop Dead Healthy is similar to Jacobs' other books in terms of the whole guinea-pig thing.  Basically his style is to choose something and learn all about it by using his life as an experiment.  In The Year of Living Biblically, he spends an entire year living as close as he can to Old Testament law.  In The Know It All he reads through an entire set of encyclopedias.  In Drop Dead Healthy, the theme is phsyical fitness and how to achieve it.  Jacobs goes through all of the body systems, one by one, and tries out different methods, diets, and fitness regimes and chronicles their success.

I, for one, think Jacobs is hilarious.  His sense of humor is spot on with my tastes and I spent most of the book laughing out loud.  It's written like a memoir and it's about his personal experiences, but he also includes good background information from a scientific standpoint and references many other texts that offer the data and research information that is missing from his own personal experiences.  I probably added ten or so books to my to-be-read list based on Jacobs' references.  I think he did a great job of balancing the scientific information with humor and his own personal anecdotes. 

Entertainment Value
Again, the book was really funny.  I like humor and I like learning new things, and Jacobs combines both in his books.  I'm also interested right now in dieting and fitness, so this gave me some insight into what worked and what didn't, for Jacobs at least, as well as what the current trends are - and what I ought to avoid.  The caveman workout, for example, isn't one I'm anxious to try any time soon.

I highly recommend picking this one up.  It's a fast read, informative and funny.  I think it's a good jumping off place for those who enjoy humor or memoir and are interested in non-fiction, as well as those who are interested in health and fitness.  It's a good way to ease your way into more hard-core scientific reads (and provides a great list of those more in-depth books as well). 

Thank you, Jennie, for sending me your copy and I promise I'll have it on its way to Jacki ASAP!


  1. We watched an interview with him on George Stombolopolous. He's VERY funny. Sadly I couldn't make it through his first one.
    He's very animated.

  2. I've been wanting to read one of his books. I love the premises.

  3. So glad you enjoyed it. I was dying with laughter so many times!