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Friday, November 15, 2019

Book Review: The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson (audiobook)

I love Bill Bryson! I have read every book he's written (even his dictionary! Seriously!) I love the most his books on giant single subjects and yet I'm also always astonished when he comes up with a new area for those. The Body may be his best yet.

As always, it's utterly filled with trivia, bizarre fact, and anyone with just a passing understanding of anatomy and medicine will find something fascinating every few minutes. Did you know that if all your DNA was made into a single strand and stretched out end to end, it was stretch past Pluto and out of the solar system? Did you know that most stutterers are left-handed? And that stuttering is much worse in those who are left-handed but were forced to learn to write right-handed? Did you know that we get 2-5 cancer cells every single day of our lives, which our immune systems get rid of? And that kissing is a surprisingly bad way to spread a cold? My husband doesn't have any idea how lucky he is that I listened to this book while I was out of town and he was spared a massive amount of gasping and me telling him interesting things endlessly (he still got a few). And you need to have no prior knowledge or interest in the subject at all--I nearly failed my high school biology class.

Mr. Bryson narrates the book himself, and I know some people find him an annoying narrator, but I do not at all. He has developed a bit of a British accent and I find him charming. It's the best of both worlds where he sounds fancy and slightly foreign but he doesn't pronounce words like "laboratory" in that bizarre British way.

I found the book utterly delightful, completely fascinating, and I wish it had been twice as long.

I downloaded the eAudiobook from my local library via Libby/Overdrive.

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