I think Esquire editor A.J. Jacobs is interesting, endearing, and hilarious. Considering my own vegetarian experiment in the works, I’m definitely a supporter of the try it and see approach, so I kind of can’t help but find a kindred spirit in A.J. I love it when people are willing to try things out for themselves and give everything, even the crazy sounding stuff, its fair shake. Sure, there is always a point where too much open-mindedness can make you seem like a space cadet (I find that amusing too) but sometimes it seems our society is kind of jaded and close minded. Discovery, personal or otherwise, requires exploration, so no matter how small, I hold great respect for anyone who is willing to give the weird and the new a try. It’s refreshing seeing someone willing to be their own guinea pig.
When I read A.J’s The Year of Living Biblically I thoroughly enjoyed it because he embraced everything with youthful open-mindedness that was fun to read. He’s done it again with Drop Dead Healthy, where he now takes 2 years of his life to make himself the healthiest person alive. This has pretty much cemented The Know it All (his first book) and My Life as an Experiment (his third book) firmly into my “to read” list, and I’m pretty confident both will be delivering on the funny and witty.
With each chapter in Drop Dead Healthy devoted to a different body part, it was a fun kind of body info smorg that went lengths to find some of the weirdest stuff that the health industry can throw at you, which A.J. embraced, mostly, with reckless abandon. Some highlights were the chapter on the butt, mainly because I’m a sucker for any kind of joke in this department. I’m not sure if it’s a part of my brain that can’t mature past age 12 or what, but this stuff just cracks me up (oh yeah, pun intended). Seeded throughout the book (akin perhaps to the amount of seeding in a ¼ section wheat field) are some awesome nuggets of interest to ponder such as forest bathing (which I enjoy – who knew?), finger fitness, the BPA in plastics poem (“4, 5, 1 & 2 all the rest are bad for you” How handy is that?) and so much more that it really would be worthwhile to anyone else with a streak of the infophile (you may have noticed mine, now if only I could have it artfully placed…) in them.
Although A.J. is extremely amusing, there is also a softer human side to his writing that sneaks in, particularly in this volume, that would appeal to anyone who likes biographies, auto or otherwise, and he manages to scatter some tender thoughts and moments in which I find nicely rounds things out. But don’t take my word for it! Try it out yourself! You might find the experiment worthwhile. 🙂