Book Club: Spring Chicken-Stay Young (or Die Trying)

What did you think of this month’s ThriveAP Book Club read? I wasn’t sure quite what to expect when I picked up acclaimed journalist Bill Gifford’s Spring Chicken-Stay Young Forever (Or Die Trying). Had Gifford discovered some anti-aging secret I needed to be aware of? Or, was the read more of the same “Americans are too fat and that’s why we’re living with diabetes and dying prematurely” message?

Spring Chicken was neither of these and certainly not quite what I expected. Gifford takes his reader on a journey through aging science. Rather than scolding in regards to diet and exercise habits or delivering rote talking points on childhood obesity, he delves into recent science exploring possible keys for living longer and better. He discusses how scientists try to “hack” the aging process by altering genetic material in mice. He explores the downfalls of anti-aging fads like the resveratrol-containing “red wine pill” which was touted to confer the drinks’s health benefits without popping a cork.

Spring Chicken is a light read, easy to follow, and presents clear and often compelling research. While Gifford takes a unique approach in his exploration of aging science, the read still somehow feels like more of the same. Perhaps I have simply read too many medically themed books. I didn’t love Spring Chicken, but I don’t regret taking the time to read it. Nurse practitioners who haven’t opened many pop-culture health books or with a particular interest in aging may find the read fresh and interesting. It’s safe to say my favorite book discussing longevity remains Dan Buettner’s The Blue Zones.

Would you recommend Spring Chicken-Stay Young Forever (Or Die Trying)?

Join ThriveAP in reading next month’s Book Club pick The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob. The fiction novel tells the story of celebrated brain surgeon Thomas Eapen taking the reader from 1970’s India to suburban 1980’s New Mexico then to Seattle during the boom. 

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