Synopses & Reviews
The New York Times
's intrepid health reporter investigates the truth about sex, eating, exercise, and other health conundrums.
For more than two years, the New York Times's science and health columnist Anahad O'Connor has tracked down the facts, fictions, and occasional fuzziness of old wives' tales, conventional-wisdom cures, and other medical mysteries. Now in this lively and fun book, he opens up his case files to disclose the experts' answers on everything, from which of your bad habits you can indulge (yo-yo dieting does not mess up your metabolism and sitting too close to the television does not hurt your eyes) to what foods actually pack the punch advertised (you can lay off the beet juice!).
A compendium of answers to the curious and nagging questions of how to keep healthy, Never Shower in a Thunderstorm will provide guidance and amusement to anyone who has ever wondered if the mosquitoes really are attacking her more than everyone else. (Yes, they are.)
"O'Connor, a contributor to the New York Times Science Times section, has amassed more than 100 peculiar tidbits on everything from the potency of Spanish fly to the cancerous effects of cellphone use. O'Connor easily waxes on about whether bicycle seats cause impotence or if knuckle cracking can lead to arthritis. While regular Times readers will remember many of these topics, the newly casual tone of the discussions will either entertain or distract, depending on one's tolerance for anecdote. For instance, in exploring the infamous 'Will eating poppy seeds make you fail a drug test?' conundrum, O'Connor got right to the point in his 2005 column ('a couple of bagels heavily coated with poppy seeds can result in morphine in a person's system for hours'), but here he begins with the retelling of a Seinfeld episode where Elaine, after a bagel breakfast, tests positive for 'You know, white lotus. Yam-yam. Shanghai Sally.' All of O'Connor's research is backed by legit scientific studies, but he refers to them only in passing. A bibliography would have been welcomed. Nonetheless, medical receptionists take note: this is a great book for the waiting rooms of physicians, dentists and psychiatrists alike. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Anahad O'Connor is a reporter for The New York Times covering science, health, immigration, and life in the greater New York area and contributes the weekly column "Really?" named for his favorite word in journalism to the paper's "Science Times" section. He lives in New York City.