Plano Reads: The Body

We’re reviewing The Body: A Guide For Occupants by Bill Bryson in our next Brown Bag Book Club.

Join us on Thursday, February 25 at 12 p.m. Register here to join us (and get reminders about it!) Read a review of The Body below from Librarian Cynthia.

The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

As you read this your body is busy creating 200 million red blood cells, while your heart beats more than once a second or 100,000 beats per day.  Bryson reminds you of the rarely acknowledged body activities in an accessible and enjoyable style. The book is a field trip of the body, part by part, with chapters devoted to the skin, hair, gut, and brain. 

Bryson synthesizes research, expert interviews, history, and always includes the anecdote you’ll never forget. For example, did you know that Phineas Gage, the railroad worker who had an iron bar blast through a frontal lobe; Alexis St. Martin, whose chronic fistula between stomach and skin enabled early studies of gastric physiology; and scientist Nettie Stevens, who discovered the X and Y chromosomes all lived in the tiny town of Cavendish, Vermont, although not at the same time? Now you know.

The pages devoted to the overuse of antibiotics is a must read and his comments on pandemics seem eerily prescient during COVID. He lauds the unsung heroes of medicine like John Harnley who invented the artificial hip which has given pain relief to so many. If you haven’t studied biology since fulfilling a course requirement this is the refresher for you.

Like this kind of book? Here are a few books similar to The Body available from Plano Public Library:

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach

Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ by Giulia Enders and Jill Enders

Your Inner Fish: a Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin


Register and join us at the Brown Bag Book Club at noon on Thursday, February 25, 2021 for a virtual discussion.

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