The Body: A Guide for Occupants (Signed Book)

The Body: A Guide for Occupants (Signed Book)

by Bill Bryson

Hardcover(Signed Edition)

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385546218
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/15/2019
Edition description: Signed Edition
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 20
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.90(d)

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.


Hanover, New Hampshire

Date of Birth:


Place of Birth:

Des Moines, Iowa


B.A., Drake University, 1977

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The Body: A Guide for Occupants 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Snooty1 5 days ago
This was PHENOMENAL! What an absolutely interesting and eye opening adventure into our bodies; and told in such a entertaining way!!! Recommend for ANYONE and EVERYONE Thanks to netgalley and Doubleday books for providing me with a copy of this book for my honest review.
Anonymous 14 hours ago
Bryson is always intelligent, quirky, and entertaining and The Body is all of that. He takes often dry factual material and enlivens it. The organization of the book, by body sections and systems, is clear. His interjection of strange stories about the personalities and lives of some significant medical researchers adds to the fun. The very last chapters are somewhat different. Instead of describing physiological facts, he begins talking about the health care systems in different countries. He compares death rates, death causes, number of tests run, and of course, cost. Some might find this off-putting but it seemed to me to be germane when talking about the body. He ends naturally enough by talking about dying and again discusses different death experiences according to various factors. All in all, a book that informs but holds your attention and encourages pondering. Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
JillMlibrarian 5 days ago
I received an Advance Readers Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Bill Bryson’s “The Body” is a sprightly and vastly entertaining work of popular science, so much fun to read that I can’t imagine anyone except Bryson pulling it off. It’s also a staggering research work, with more than 350 endnotes and dozens of professional consultants in multiple countries. “The Body: A Guide for Occupants” is difficult for a curious reader to progress through at anything approaching a decent clip because every paragraph invites further study. While reading it, I researched further on brain death, breast milk, digestion, smallpox and at least a dozen other subjects. I also looked up several historical figures whose profiles appear in the book due to their (often overlooked) contributions to science. I was stunned at the number of misconceptions I hold about this body that I inhabit and how to care for it, and also marveled at the problems plaguing humanity which I thought that medical science had partially or entirely solved, about which doctors are still more or less clueless. I ended up in possession of my first issue of Scientific American to read articles on early puberty and female reproductive medicine. I expect that experts will find plenty to quibble with considering the broad range of subjects, but Bryson isn’t trying to write the definitive work on any biological or anatomical subject area. However, between this book and Googling reliable sources, the lay reader will get a good overview of biology and related subjects such as immunology and nutrition. I plan to purchase it for handy personal reference—how else to mark it up and stuff it full of additional citations, and work back and forth between chapters and endnotes? I understand Bryson is the narrator of the audiobook as well. Irresistible. I finished the book with a sense of awe and gratitude just to be alive and inhabiting such an amazing vehicle. Then I walked a couple of miles.
bamcooks 5 days ago
"I didn't know that!"--the phrase most often used by me as I read this book. Bill Bryson explores what makes up the human body from head to toe, from birth to death, with his trademark wit and wisdom. He delves into how a healthy body functions and what can go wrong, how medicines and treatments have evolved over the years, discussing which scientists and doctors made important discoveries that benefitted humanity and which crackpot theories were eventually debunked. Best advice for living a long life? Eat healthy foods, the less processed the better, exercise, don't smoke, don't drink to excess. Take an aspirin and call me in the morning..
SheTreadsSoftly 5 days ago
The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson is a very highly recommended guide to the human body. Sure we have bodies, but have you ever pondered how and why your body functions the way it does. Bryson takes us on an entertaining, compatible tour of our bodies and the modern understanding of why it works the way it does and what all the various bits and parts do. He talks to doctors and scientists, presenting facts, a scientific history, and interesting tidbits about our various body parts. He manages to present his information in an informative, fascinating, and interesting manner. The writing is terrific. Bryson, known for his conversational style of writing, along with his dry humor and wit, makes this narrative an interesting, entertaining, and educational experience. Chapters start out with the skin and hair, microbes, the brain, and then work their way down and through the body the brain. This isn't a biology textbook so you aren't going to find all the information about everything, but it is a fascinating book full of extraordinary facts and also disproves several falsehoods, like we only use 10% of our brains. (We don't. We use more.) There are several experiments and studies presented with amazing and engrossing results. The text contains chapter notes, a bibliography, and index. Two quick, but interesting facts: a teenager's brain is only about 80% developed and all the synapses aren't fully wired until a person is in their mid to late twenties. This explains a whole lot. Another interesting point was about MSG, which no scientists have ever found any reason to condemn, but it has a bad reputation all based on a letter, not a study or article, in the 1968 New England Journal of Medicine. And that is just a small taste of the interesting facts and stories you will discover in The Body: A Guide for Occupants. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.