Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs, and the Curious Forces That Make Us Who We Are by Bill Sullivan

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.

8 thoughts on “Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs, and the Curious Forces That Make Us Who We Are by Bill Sullivan

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  1. My poor kids. I ate a lot of pizza, nachos, and ice cream during all four pregnancies. They are probably screwed. Ha! Thank you for being on this tour, I’m excited to read this one myself! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Sara! Thanks for stopping by!
      Thankfully, he says that that is only a small portion of what goes into making a kid… I keep thinking of the trash I’ve fed my kids in the first 5 years… That’s a lot of mac n cheese!!!


  2. I find this topic really fascinating, and am really curious about Ozzy Osbourne. My body handles alcohol in a normal fashion (so I definitely don’t drink like Ozzy haha), but I’ve long felt that it handles the processing of sugar better than most (wishful thinking???). Anyway, I’m really glad you enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

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