In 2014, James Hamblin launched a series of videos for The Atlantic called "If Our Bodies Could Talk". With it, the doctor-turned-journalist established himself as a seriously entertaining authority in the field of health. Now, in illuminating and genuinely funny prose, Hamblin explores the human stories behind health questions that never seem to go away - and which tend to be mischaracterized and oversimplified by marketing and news media. He covers topics such as sleep, aging, diet, and much more:
Can I "boost" my immune system?
Does caffeine make me live longer?
Do we still not know if cell phones cause cancer?
How much sleep do I actually need?
Is there any harm in taking a multivitamin?
Is life long enough?
In considering these questions, Hamblin draws from his own medical training as well from hundreds of interviews with distinguished scientists and medical practitioners. He translates the (traditionally boring) textbook of human anatomy and physiology into accessible, engaging, socially contextualized, up-to-the-moment answers. They offer clarity, examine the limits of our certainty, and ultimately help listeners worry less about things that don't really matter.
If Our Bodies Could Talk is a comprehensive guide that entertains and educates in equal doses.
"This book answers all the questions you ever had about your health - plus a whole lot of questions that never occurred to you but should have. Even if you don't care about your health you should read it, because Hamblin is such a delightfully amusing writer." (Walter Isaacson, New York Times best-selling author of The Innovators and Steve Jobs)
"Reading James Hamblin's book is like taking a journey through the vast and uncharted landscape of 'health science.' Fad Diets. The science of vaccines. The truth (and lies) behind coffee. The rumblings of the stomach. If you want to understand the strange workings of the human body, and the future of medicine, you must read this illuminating, engaging book." (Siddhartha Mukherjee, New York Times best-selling author of The Gene and The Emperor of All Maladies)
"[Hamblin] writes with sarcasm, humor, and a sense of astonishment.... He does a stellar job with nutrition, covering supplements, multivitamins, energy drinks, and gluten. He calls out medical misinformation and marketing myths.... Educational, entertaining, and a bit eccentric." (Booklist)
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funny and insightful.
- Sarah Fitz