Welcome to another First Lines Fridays! I’m excited to share my chosen book with you this week – it’s a bit of a tough one, but I felt like I had to honour Non-fiction November (that’s the only hint you’re getting!).
This is a weekly meme for book lovers to judge a book by its opening lines rather than by its cover, its author or its prestige. I saw this on Mani’s Book Corner but was originally hosted by Wandering Words.
- Choose a book from your shelves/ current read.
- Open the book to the first page.
- Copy the first line on the page, making sure you don’t give away the book title.
- Reveal the book.
As I walked back through the forest that night in the summer of 2005, with twenty bats in cotton bags hanging around my neck and all manner of insect life dashing for the light of my head torch, I realised that my ankles were itching.
At twenty-two, I spent what turned out to be a life-changing three months living in the heart of Krau Wildlife Reserve in peninsular Malaysia.
Do you recognise which book these words are from?
This week’s book is: 10% Human by Alanna Collen
You are 10% human. For every one of your cells, there are nine impostors hitching a ride. You are not just flesh and bone, but also bacteria and fungi. And you are more ‘them’ than you are ‘you’.
Your gut alone hosts 100 trillion of them and until recently we thought that our microbes didn’t matter. This is all set to change as the latest scientific research tells a very different story, one where microbes run our bodies and becoming healthy is impossible without them. In this ground-breaking book, biologist Alanna Collen reveals how our personal colony of microbes influence our weight, immune system, mental health and even our choice of partner. This is a new way of understanding modern diseases – obesity, autism, mental health problems, gut disorders, allergies, auto-immunity and even cancer – as she argues they have their root in our failure to cherish our most fundamental and enduring relationship: that with our microbes.
Illuminating many of the questions still unanswered by the human genome project, 10% Human completely changes our understanding of diet, modern disease and medicine. The good news is that unlike our human cells, we can change our microbes for the better and this book shows you how. A revelatory and indispensable guide: life – and your body – will never seem the same again.
As a huge microbiology nerd, this book really stood out to me when I first bought it a few years back. I usually stay far away from non-fiction, but I just couldn’t resist! I don’t think I’ve met anyone else who’s read it, so I’m curious to see if any of our fellow bloggers (or readers) have given it a go!