The Body: A Guide for Occupants

Published Aug. 5, 2019 by Doubleday.

ISBN:
978-0-385-53930-2
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4 stars (34 reviews)

1 edition

Review of 'The Body: A Guide for Occupants' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Bill Bryson has made quite the career out of funny, informative, light reading books and The Body is no exception. Each chapter covers some portion of the human body, like discussions about blood, brain, nerves, sex organs, death and cancer. Here are a few tidbits of info for your perusal:

+ If you blew [a virus] up to the size of a tennis ball, a human would be five hundred miles high. A bacterium on the same scale would be about the size of a beach ball.

+ researchers infected the metal door handle to an office building and found it took only about four hours for the “virus” to spread through the entire building, infecting over half of employees and turning up on virtually every shared device like photocopiers and coffee machines.

+ Giraffes, oddly, sometimes have gallbladders and sometimes don’t.

+ To power our forward motion, we have …

Review of 'The Body: A Guide for Occupants' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

As an occupant, I enjoyed this guide to the body. I especially liked the less useful information and the gossip. It's amazing how often reknowned medical scientists were, outside of the discoveries that made them famous (if they weren't actualy the discoveries of others who never got credit) were involved in unsavory, illegal, or otherwise crazy schemes of which most of us are unaware. It's relatively recent that doctors are actually able to help their patients. George Washington died because of how his doctors chose to treat a minor sore throat.

A few random facts I recall: The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows. Hair and nails do not continue to grow after death. Near death paliative care cancer patients live longer than those who continue to get chemotherapy. Despite superior American health care, natives of Costa Rica live longer because of their healthier life styles. Most grave sites are no …

Review of 'The Body: A Guide for Occupants' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Bill Bryson has such a curiosity about the world coupled with excellent research and fabulous story telling skills. He is able to make everything he writes about interesting and fascinating to read. He ferrets out little known characters and tells their stories as he journeys through the body. There are also plenty of stats to ponder over.

I was a bit disappointed that he didn't go into full spectrum between female and male in Chapter 17s "Into the Nether Regions", but concentrated instead on only the two ends. That chapter though could really be expanded out into an entire book. The same is probably true of most of the chapters. Picking which bits to go into the book would have been a huge task, and overall it was done well.

Review of 'The Body: A Guide for Occupants' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

An enjoyable gateway into hypochondria.

Like A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bryson funnels massive amounts of research into a large, enjoyable, fact-filled book. Unlike A Short History of Nearly Everything, most of The Body is directly relevant to the reader, or likely will be at some point.

Some of my highlights are on the epidermis, altitudes and breathing, the eye, the science of smell, healthcare, etc. Near the end, the book expands outside of the body to differences in lifestyles around the world, the medical impact of empathy and kindness, and social bonds affecting your DNA, which was all very interesting.

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