Tuesday Teaser/Opening ~ Survival of the Sickest

I picked up Survival of the Sickest by Dr. Sharon Moalem because I love the title. It's one of those fun books that tricks you into learning while it entertains you. Those are some of my favorite kinds of books.

Blurb
Was diabetes evolution's response to the last Ice Age? Did a deadly genetic disease help our ancestors survive the bubonic plagues of Europe? Will a visit to the tanning salon help lower your cholesterol? Why do we age? Why are some people immune to HIV? Can your genes be turned on -- or off?

Joining the ranks of modern myth busters, Dr. Sharon Moalem turns our current understanding of illness on its head and challenges us to fundamentally change the way we think about our bodies, our health, and our relationship to just about every other living thing on earth, from plants and animals to insects and bacteria.

Through a fresh and engaging examination of our evolutionary history, Dr. Moalem reveals how many of the conditions that are diseases today actually gave our ancestors a leg up in the survival sweepstakes. When the option is a long life with a disease or a short one without it, evolution opts for disease almost every time.

Everything from the climate our ancestors lived in to the crops they planted and ate to their beverage of choice can be seen in our genetic inheritance. But Survival of the Sickest doesn't stop there. It goes on to demonstrate just how little modern medicine really understands about human health, and offers a new way of thinking that can help all of us live longer, healthier lives.


Opening:
Aran Gordon is a born competitor. He's a top financial executive, a competitive swimmer since he was six years old, and a natural long-distance runner. A little more than a dozen years after he ran his first marathon in 1984 he set his sights on the Mount Everest of marathons--the Marathon des Sables, a 150-mile race across the Sahara Desert, all brutal heat and endless sand that test endurance runners like nothing else.
  As he began to train he experienced something he'd never really had to deal with before--physical difficulty. He was tired all the time. His joints hurt. His heart seemed to skip a funny beat. He told his running partner he wasn't sure he could go on with training, with running at all. And he went to the doctor.
  Actually, he went to doctors. Doctor after doctor--they couldn't account for his symptoms, or they drew the wrong conclusion. When his illness left him depressed, they told him it was stress and recommended he talk to a therapist. When blood tests revealed a liver problem, they told him he was drinking too much. Finally, after three years, his doctors uncovered the real problem. New tests revealed massive amounts of iron in his blood and liver--off-the-charts amounts of iron.
  Aran Gordon was rusting to death.

Teaser:
There's a curious correlation between these sunspot peaks and flu epidemics. In the twentieth century, six of the nine sunspot peaks occurred in tandem with massive flu outbreaks.

Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current readOpen to a random pageShare two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! To see what others are sharing on the Teaser Tuesdays, check the comments at: http://adailyrhythm.com/




Share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you are reading. Here's the link: Bibliophile By The Sea

Thursday Writing Quotes ~ V. Moody

Most characters in fiction act like they’ve never read a book or seen a movie. They take things at face value, go along with whatever other people want, and are taken by surprise when the obvious happens. ~ V. Moody


Tuesday Teaser ~ King of the Cowboys

I don't think of myself as a big reader of biographies, but I guess it depends on the person. This week, I'm reading King of the Cowboys by Ty Murray. This is written with a lot of humor and I'm enjoying it tremendously. Plus, he gets extra points for acknowledging his ghost writer on the cover. (You don't really think most of those autobiographies of famous people are actually written by them, do you?)


Blurb:
The most famous rodeo champion of all time tells his amazing true story -- and opens a fascinating window into the world of the professional cowboy.

Ty Murray was born to be a rodeo star -- in fact, his first words were "I'm a bull rider." Before he was even out of diapers, he was climbing atop his mother's Singer sewing machine case, which just so happened to be the perfect mechanical bull for a 13-month-old. Before long, Ty was winning peewee events by the hatful, and his special talent was obvious...obvious even to a man called Larry Mahan. At the time the greatest living rodeo legend, six-time champion Mahan invited a teenaged Ty Murray to spend a summer on his ranch learning not just rodeoing but also some life lessons. Those lessons prepared Ty for a career that eventually surpassed even Mahan's own -- Ty's seven All-Around Championships.

In King of the Cowboys, Ty Murray invites us into the daredevil world of rodeo and the life of the cowboy. Along the way, he details a life spent constantly on the road, heading to the next event; the tragic death of his friend and fellow rodeo star Lane Frost; and the years of debilitating injuries that led some to say Ty Murray was finished.

He wasn't. In fact, Ty Murray has brought the world of rodeo into the twenty-first century, through his unparalleled achievements in the ring, through advancing the case for the sport as a television color-commentator, and through the Professional Bull Riders, an organization he helped to build.

In the end, though, Ty Murray is first and foremost a cowboy, and now that he's retired from competition, he takes this chance to reflect on his remarkable life and career. In King of the Cowboys, Ty Murray opens up his world as never before.

Opening:
 It all comes down to this. All the work, all the dreams, all the sweat, tears, blood, mud, fear, doubt, sacrifices, and victories boil down to this one moment in this dirt-filled arena. Everything I've dreamed of, everything I've worked for my entire life, comes down to these final eight seconds, which is how long I hope to stay on the back of a 2,200-pound brindle called Hard Copy.

Teaser:
The horse was old and smart, the kind of animal that tries to teach all new kids a thing or two. Later in my career we joked that horses like that had been around so long they could hum the national anthem.


Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current readOpen to a random pageShare two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! To see what others are sharing on the Teaser Tuesdays, check the comments at: http://adailyrhythm.com/




Share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you are reading. Here's the link: Bibliophile By The Sea