The Body: A Guide for Occupants (Paperback)
Nobody makes learning more fun than Bill Bryson. From the biology that made humans such a successful species (hint: it's not your opposable thumb; it's in the neck) to the stories of the people who made important discoveries about the body, he recounts it all with humor, yes, but also rigorous scholarship and not a little awe. My husband may be getting tired of me saying, "Wait! Did you know...?"— Sarah
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Bill Bryson, bestselling author of A Short History of Nearly Everything, takes us on a head-to-toe tour of the marvel that is the human body—with a new afterword for this edition.
Bill Bryson once again proves himself to be an incomparable companion as he guides us through the human body—how it functions, its remarkable ability to heal itself, and (unfortunately) the ways it can fail. Full of extraordinary facts (your body made a million red blood cells since you started reading this) and irresistible Brysonesque anecdotes, The Body will lead you to a deeper understanding of the miracle that is life in general and you in particular.
As Bill Bryson writes, “We pass our existence within this wobble of flesh and yet take it almost entirely for granted.” The Body will cure that indifference with generous doses of wondrous, compulsively readable facts and information. As addictive as it is comprehensive, this is Bryson at his very best, a must-read owner’s manual for every body.
About the Author
BILL BRYSON's bestselling books include A Walk in the Woods, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, and A Short History of Nearly Everything (which won the Aventis Prize in Britain and the Descartes Prize, the European Union's highest literary award). He was chancellor of Durham University, England's third oldest university, from 2005 to 2011, and is an honorary fellow of Britain's Royal Society.
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: THE WASHINGTON POST • FINANCIAL TIMES • THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS • BOOKPAGE • THE BOSTON GLOBE
"Glorious. . . . Having described the physical nature of our world and beyond, from the atomic to the intergalactic, in The Body [Bryson] now turns inward to explain—in his lucid, amusing style—what we’re made of. . . . Astonishing. . . . You will marvel at the brilliance and vast weirdness of your design." —The Washington Post
"Delightful . . . reveals the thousands of rarely acknowledged tasks our body takes care of as we go about our day. . . . Informative, entertaining and often gross (kissing, according to one study, transfers up to one billion bacteria from one mouth to another, along with 0.2 micrograms of food bits). . . . Bryson, who gives off a Cronkite-like trustworthy vibe, is good at allaying fears and busting myths.” —The New York Times Book Review
"Bryson is a master explainer, with a gift for the pithy simile and all-encompassing metaphor. . . . Mr. Bryson’s account is enlivened by his excellent command of the history of medicine. . . . Brisk, provocative and entertaining throughout." —The Wall Street Journal
"Bryson launches himself into the wilderness of the human anatomy armed with his characteristic thoroughness and wit. . . .This book is full of such arresting factoids and, like a douser hunting water, Bryson is adept at finding the bizarre and the arcane in his subject matter. . . . Amazing." —USA Today
"A witty, informative immersion. . . . The Body—a delightful, anecdote-propelled read—proves one of his most ambitious yet, as he leads us on a head-to-toe tour of a physique that’s terra incognita to many of us. . . . Playful, lucid. . . . [Bryson] cover[s] a remarkably large swathe of human corporeal and cerebral experience." —The Boston Globe
"A directory of wonders. . . . Extraordinary. . . . A tour of the minuscule; it aims to do for the human body what his A Short History of Nearly Everything did for science. . . . Wry, companionable, avuncular and always lucid . . . [The Body] could stand as an ultimate prescription for life." —The Guardian
"A delightful tour guide. . . . Bryson's stroll through human anatomy, physiology, evolution, and illness (diabetes, cancer, infections) is instructive, accessible, and entertaining." —Booklist, starred review
"Amusingly informative." —Forbes
"A pleasing, entertaining sojourn into the realm of what makes us tick." —Kirkus Reviews
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