It was my pick when we voted on the June book and I was excited to read it! The book chronicles the author’s attempt at becoming “the healthiest man in the world” by following all sorts of diet, fitness and lifestyle advice.
I really enjoyed the first couple of chapters and thought the author was very humorous. What I didn’t realize until I continued to read was that the book wasn’t solely focused on diet and fitness. I thought it would be all about the author’s attempts to eat healthy and exercise (which it was to a certain extent), but there was a chapter covering the attempt to improve the health of almost every part of the body! He tried to improve his eye health, his ear health, his dental health, and even his hand health – really anything you can imagine!
I wasn’t as interested in the chapters that didn’t focus on diet and exercise, though I did find many of them interesting. Due to that, coupled with the fact that there wasn’t too much of a plot, I found the book a slow read. It didn’t capture my attention and leave me eager to read the next chapter as much as I’d hoped. However, I did enjoy the book overall. Jacobs is a very funny author and I loved how he tied his wife into the story – it really added to the humor of the book.
One aspect that I found fun as I was reading was all the random statistics and anecdotes. I kept saying to Luke, “Did you know that…”. For example, he talks about how for centuries, people aimed to be pale because having a tan signaled that you were a peasant who worked in the fields. Later, being tan became a sign that you could afford a sun-filled vacation. Who knew?! He also mentions that there was a study that found that the more germ concious someone is, the more likely they are to be politically conservative. I could see it! You never know whether these sources are accurate, but I enjoyed reading about all the random things like that. Many of them made me laugh out loud.
This might be a spoiler, but since there isn’t too much of a plot, I don’t really think it is. I liked his conclusion towards the end of the book. Clearly, he wasn’t going to keep up with all the many health habits he experimented with during the book. And half of the things he did contradict each other (one diet will say to eat this and another will forbid it etc.). He did, however, mention that he was still going to continue to exercise and use his treadmill desk as well as continue to eat a plant heavy diet. The last few pages of the book are about how his crazy health conscious aunt dies from cancer. The question becomes, you can always die tomorrow, so should you really even attempt to live healthy? His conclusion, as I mentioned, is that he will – to an extent – but he thinks you can’t worry about every little health thing.
The appendix of the book gives a few tips that he took away from his journey. The overall gist seems to be to exercise and eat lots of vegetables. I agree!
I enjoyed the book and would recommend it. I would, however, forewarn you that it’s not exactly a page turner, but it will definitely peak your interest if you like health related topics.