Top 5 life extension books of 2019
There year has a bumper crop of books looking at, not just the potential of life extension, but actual scientific breakthroughs happening today. This the reflects the growing interest in, and recognition of, ageing research and how we are slowly understanding the causes of aging and how we can stop it.
So here are my top 5 books for 2019 – either for yourself or a xmas gift for someone else who wants to live forever.
1. Lifespan: Why We Age―and Why We Don't Have To
He provides an update on the latest advances in rejuvenation therapies, revealing research from his own team of researchers and from around the world. And also explains how some simple lifestyle changes can slow down ageing without any pills at all.
2. The Body: A Guide for Occupants
For those (including me) looking for more of a beginners guide to human biology before jumping into the detail, Bill Bryson brings his own style to human biology, providing a narrative tour of the whole body.
His love of science, and wonder at how things work, comes across as much in this book as it does in his best-selling A Short History of Nearly Everything. A most enjoyable read.
3. Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever
Somewhere in between the first 2 books on a scientific level, is the book by Dave Asprey of Bulletproof coffee fame. I’ll confess, before seeing this book I’d assumed Dave was just marketing some trendy coffee; I hadn’t realised he might just know what he’s talking about!
He has no intention of letting middle-age be his peak, and reveals the science-backed approaches he as taken, as a human guinea pig, to slow down his cellular-level ageing.
4. Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity
By Jamie Metzl. Going away from general ageing research, I’ve chosen this book as genetic engineering will be one of the key solutions to stop ageing, and will also likely change the species over time. And that time will be a lot faster than evolution could ever work; and it will be planned changes to improve ourselves, not just those that ensure the survival of the human race. Though hopefully they are mutually compatible!
5. The AI Does Not Hate You: Superintelligence, Rationality and the Race to Save the World
It is undoubted that artificial intelligence is going to change the world - and it already is. Clever smart assistants and amazingly fast web searches are just an interface into the incredible power of pattern recognition and machine learning. AIs can now outperform medical experts in diagnosing a range of cancers and diseases - at a fraction of the cost and in the blink of an eye.
We won't be able to resist AI - wanting it to help us cure ageing and save the planet - but we also need to be careful to make sure it doesn't destroy us at the same time. Tom Chivers is here to explain what people in the know are worrying about, and how me might be able to tame the beast.
6. Live Forever Manual by Adrian Cull (me!)
OK, this is the top 5 books of 2019, but my book was released in December 2018 so is almost in the category. And if you’re still wondering which book provides an easy to read introduction to the reality of life extension, and worry that the likes of LifeSpan and Hacking Darwin might be a pretty heavy read for a Christmas read, then I can highly recommend the Live Forever Manual.
A perfect present for friends and family of all ages, it provides a quick reference to the many things you can do to live long enough to live forever.