The body A guide for occupants

Bill Bryson

Book - 2019

"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. As compulsively readable as it is comprehensive, this is Bryson at his very best, a must-read owner's manual for everybody. 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 extrao...rdinary facts (your body made a million red blood cells since you started reading this) and irresistible Bryson-esque 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"--

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Bookmobile Nonfiction 612/Bryson Due Sep 17, 2022
Subjects
Published
New York : Doubleday 2019.
Edition
First United States edition
Language
English
Physical Description
x, 450 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9780385539302
0385539304
0857522418
9780857522412
Main Author
Bill Bryson (author)
  • How to build a human
  • The outside: skin and hair
  • Microbial you
  • The brain
  • The head
  • Down the hatch: the mouth and throat
  • The heart and blood
  • The chemistry department
  • In the dissecting room: the skeleton
  • On the move: bipedalism and exercise
  • Equilibrium
  • The immune system
  • Deep breath: the lungs and breathing
  • Food, glorious food
  • The buts
  • Sleep
  • Into the nether regions
  • In the beginning: conception and birth
  • Nerves and pain
  • When things go wrong: diseases
  • When things go very wrong: cancer
  • Medicine good and bad
  • The end.
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Mysterious and miraculous, the human body is more than a masterfully engineered biological machine. And Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling, 2016) serves as a delightful tour guide to nearly every component, protuberance, and crevice of it: skin, brain, sensory apparatus, heart, blood, bones, lungs, guts, immune system, genitourinary organs. Sleep, memory, hormones, pain, and aging are also explored. Peculiar bodily functions—hiccups, yawning, crying—are examined. We produce three types of tears (lubricating, reflex, and emotional). We blink about 14,000 times a day. The plethora of facts presented runs the gamut from mind-boggling to bizarre. A teaspoon of human blood contains around 25-billion erythrocytes. A typical American will eat about 60 tons (yes, tons!) of food during a lifetime. At the other end, an adult will eliminate roughly 180 pounds of poop annually. The runty Y chromosome has been shrinking for millions of years. Fifty-nine elements are necessary to build a body. Carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorous make up about 99-percent of it, but would you have guessed a bit of tin and zirconium are necessary, too? Bryson's splendid stroll through human anatomy, physiology, evolution, and illness (diabetes, cancer, infections) is instructive, accessible, and entertaining. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

The author of numerous best sellers, including A Short History of Nearly Everything, the whimsical and ever-curious Bryson uses his own body as his story here, exploring it from tip to toe, inside and out, to clarify how the body works so brilliantly and how it also, finally, fails. Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Best known for his travel and history of science books, Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling; A Short History of Nearly Everything) combines both genres in this journey through the human body. Traveling from head to toe, he describes the anatomical machinery of the body; explains the workings of hormones, digestion, and sleep; and examines topics ranging from the vital role of our microbiome to the current antibiotic crisis. He dispels a number of persistent myths (we should drink eight glasses of water a day) and reports that the flu may be our greatest potential health risk. While applauding the advances made by medical science in the two past centuries, Bryson is quick to point out that the body remains "a universe of mystery." He keeps the science lively by interweaving facts and statistics with anecdotes, interviews with scientists and doctors, and his trademark dry humor. VERDICT Bryson has shaped an enormous amount of anatomy and physiology into an informative and entertaining biostory. Recommended for Bryson fans and nonspecialists interested in human health and biology.—Cynthia Lee Knight, Hunterdon Cty. Historical Soc., Flemington, NJ Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling), known for his travel narratives and, more recently, popular scientific works, turns his humorous and curious eye to the human body. Through anecdotes about scientific history and startling facts that seem too extraordinary to be true—the DNA in one person, if stretched out, would measure billions of miles and reach beyond Pluto—Bryson draws the reader into his subject. Tracing the beginnings of the modern understanding of the human body, Bryson introduces his audience to such foundational figures as Henry Gray, whose book Anatomy: Descriptive and Surgical (better known as Gray's Anatomy) has taught generations of medical students since its first publication in 1858, and Wilbur Olin Atwater, a chemist whose 1898 The Chemical Composition of American Food Materials "remained the last word on diet and nutrition for a generation." Bryson also describes the often bewildering mystery of diseases, the science of pain, and the advances made in medical treatment, all with care and concern. Bryson's tone is both informative and inviting, encouraging the reader, throughout this exemplary work, to share the sense of wonder he expresses at how the body is constituted and what it is capable of. (Oct.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"From the bestselling author of A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING, a head-to-toe tour of the marvel that is the human body"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The award-winning author of A Short History of Nearly Everything presents an engaging head-to-toe tour of the human body that shares anecdotal insights into its functions, ability to heal and vulnerability to disease. Illustrations.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"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. As compulsively readable as it is comprehensive, this is Bryson at his very best, a must-read owner's manual for everybody. 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 Bryson-esque 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"--

Review by Publisher Summary 4

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST • LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN E.O. WILSON LITERARY SCIENCE WRITING AWARD"Glorious. . .You will marvel at the brilliance and vast weirdness of your design." —The Washington Post 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. As addictive as it is comprehensive, this is Bryson at his very best, a must-read owner's manual for everybody.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 Bryson-esque 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.