Pleased to Meet Me is a close look into why are we different… We all have different tastes, hobbies, interests, addictions, appetites, and loves. The book’s message relies on little history, a bit of scientific research, some key anecdotes, and quite a few enjoyable cultural references. What happens at the intersection of DNA, the microbiome in our gut, and the world around us?
*Genes build a house but something else makes it a home*
Much of Sullivan’s writing looks at individual traits or qualities and explains how they are determined. He specifically examines how they affect our behaviors. One fascinating example is Ozzy Osborne, the Father of Heave Metal. How has that man been able to party it up for over fifty years and still possess the ability to function? Welp, it’s in his genes. His body has the capabilities to burn through alcohol at a faster rate than the average human. But Sullivan tells the reader through the actual science that is involved.
Speaking of the science-y words and evidence: as an English major who kept pretty far away from any microscopes, I was able to easily understand the details of the double helix, the proteins, and the many experiments using all those lab rats. It’s a quick read that I was able to step away from feeling quite a bit smarter than when I started. He uses high-interest examples like junk food, milk, and wine to the actual feeling of fullness and appetite.
There were several topics that I really got into. Here are a couple: He delves into the many gut issues that can afflict people and the messages that the gut biome sends to the brain regarding diet was fascinating. He explains that there is a great difference between what our bodies want vs what we need to have a healthy gut. I was also surprised by how much is affected by what the mother consumes during pregnancy (fetal programming).
Sullivan mentions more than once about the importance of not shaming or blaming the victims of these genetic issues. He also stresses that it is never one factor that leads to a preference, tendency, or addiction. And his overall conclusions point to a rehaul of how harmful behaviors and habits are treated. What we denote as science fiction might soon be real in the realm of gene and microbiome manipulation. This is a very good book that is easy for the layman to understand.
Thank you to TLC Book Tours and the author for an advanced copy for review.