The Body: A Guide for Occupants
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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2019
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Description
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 the Vintage paperback.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.ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR:THE WASHINGTON POST • FINANCIAL TIMES • THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS • BOOKPAGE • BOSTON.COM
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Street Date:
10/15/2019
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780385539319
ASIN:
B07M82PNSX
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Bill Bryson. (2019). The Body: A Guide for Occupants. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Bill Bryson. 2019. The Body: A Guide for Occupants. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Bill Bryson, The Body: A Guide for Occupants. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2019.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Bill Bryson. The Body: A Guide for Occupants. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2019. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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      • bioText: 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.
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title
The Body
fullDescription
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 the Vintage paperback.
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.
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR:
THE WASHINGTON POST • FINANCIAL TIMES • THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS • BOOKPAGE • BOSTON.COM
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 1, 2019

        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, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        August 1, 2019
        The intrepid explorer and popular travel writer journeys inward--literally--to explore our mortal coil. A narrative by Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain, 2016, etc.) rarely involves the unfolding of a grand thesis; instead, it's a congeries of anecdotes, skillfully strung, always a pleasure to read but seldom earthshakingly significant. So it is here. The author does some on-the-ground digging, talking to scientists and physicians, while plowing through libraries of literature to get at the story of how our bodies work. Early on, he pokes at the old bromide that the human body is an assemblage of a few dollars' worth of assorted chemicals and minerals. Not so, he writes: We're made up of 59 elements, including carbon and oxygen. But, he adds, "who would have thought that we would be incomplete without some molybdenum inside us, or vanadium, manganese, tin, and copper?" Bryson employs the example of an "obliging Benedict Cumberbatch," of medium height and build and good health, to venture that the real cost of a human is "a very precise $151,578.46," a figure that turns out to wiggle and wobble as we layer on additional costs. As ever, the author collects lovely oddments and presents them as so many glittering marbles: The largest protein in the body is titin, whose "chemical name is 189,819 letters long, which would make it the longest word in the English language except that dictionaries don't recognize chemical names." The heart, which, Bryson notes, doesn't really look like a valentine, does only one thing: It beats, "slightly more than once every second, about 100,000 times a day, up to 2.5 billion times in a lifetime." Along the way, the author considers whether the old surgical practice of bleeding was really a good thing to do (it wasn't), how "cytokine storms" work, and what the winning combination is for a long life--one factor is wealth: "Someone who is otherwise identical to you but poor...can expect to die between ten and fifteen years sooner." A pleasing, entertaining sojourn into the realm of what makes us tick.

        COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from August 26, 2019
        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.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from September 1, 2019
        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.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
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 the Vintage paperback.
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...
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