Anyone looking at the list of books I review will know that anatomy and the human body are quite high up my list of reading interest – this is a very different style of writing on the topic.

Bryson is classified, I think, loosely, as a travel writer, and I suppose this is a travel guide around the human body from a lay perspective.  At 380 pages its not short, but its both informative and slightly wry in its journey – a technical work its not, but as a lay guide it works well with whimsical fact and well honed explanation.

Despite being a connoisseur of more technical writings, I found things of interest in here, and I would certainly endorse this book to anyone looking to understand their corporeal home just that little bit more.

Reading Bryson’s section on pandemics is somewhat unnerving:

When I met Washington University’s Michael Kinch, I asked him what he believed was the greatest disease risk to us now.  “Flu”, he said without hesitation.  “Flu is way more dangerous than people think…  … it also evolves rapidly and that’s what makes it especially dangerous”

“The fact is” he says “we are really no better prepared for a bad outbreak today than we were when Spanish flu killed tens of millions of people a hundred years ago.  The reason we haven’t had another experience like that isn’t because we have been especially vigilant.  Its because we have been lucky”

All in all a book that’s worth a read.

You can buy The Body – A guide of Occupants by Bill Bryson on Amazon, and using this link earns a small commission for Yinspire