History - Medical - Nonfiction - Science

The Body by Bill Bryson

Check out if you enjoy random facts and sometimes feeling the heebie jeebies.

I am a nerd at heart and took many science courses when I was in college. So it was fun to hear some terms again that I haven’t heard in awhile. There is a high probability that I finally picked this one up because I was feeling somewhat nostalgic for my college days. However, even non-science lovers could enjoy this book.

There are some descriptive moments not for the weak of stomach. Such as a woman who had her breast-cancer resected before the days of anesthesia, a man who suffered a gunshot wound that, when healed, left a hole straight to his stomach, and a pipe being blown through a man’s brain; just to name a few. Those pleasant images are scattered throughout descriptions of our various bodily systems, how they were discovered, researched, work together, and everything in between. Bill Bryson seems to enjoy giving credit where credit is due as well as correcting common misconceptions.

I decided to listen to the audiobook version that is read by the author, which I would highly recommend as his voice is quite nice to listen to, even as he discusses the topics listed above. There are some photos in the print book that also add to the overall feel.

People who grew up with and loved Ms. Frizzle’s Magic School Bus adventures may particularly enjoy this read.