The Longevity Reading List

The Longevity Reading List

Finding good books about longevity (like all books) is hard, there is a lot of junk pumped out by the literary industry. Too many books on the topic of health offer a lot of promises without any of the references (we mean scientific research) to back up their claims. Now, we do love a good fantasy or far fetched dream now and then (still waiting on those nano bots), but when it comes to making adjustments to our lifestyles now and finding concrete changes to make, it goes without saying that objective data is key. If you don't find an appendix full of references that site studies and trials be very careful about taking advice from any book (not to mention IG Influencer, YouTuber or website). And even then the hard reality is the references may themselves be to less than fully trustworthy research. So when something really gets your attention, look up the reference and make sure you buy the implied discoveries and/or findings in question.

All of that is a long winded way of saying there are some good books to read about longevity, and we're going to list them below. These have survived the test of time (mostly) and at the time of publishing were the first of their kind. If you have one to recommend, please leave a comment below or send us an email at info@augmentlifeshop.com.

And here are the books:

1. The Longevity Diet by Dr. Valter Longo, PhD

If you've thought about intermittent fasting or heard of Autophagy you can probably thank Dr. Longo. His research and findings were ground breaking at the time. He's also into rock music and includes lots of recipes, actionable steps to take to safely try out intermittent fasting, and rightly admits, not everyone needs to be doing this all the time. If you're skipping breakfasts to help clean up your junk DNA and haven't read this book, you should probably take a break and dig in. It's a quick fun read!

2. The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner

Blue Zones is a step out of the laboratory, but National Geographic journalist Dan Buettner takes us inside the homes of the longest living people in the world. (Spoiler alter: they don't take supplements!) Not only do you learn what the so called "Blue Zoners" are eating, you learn about their lifestyles, how they don't have lots of pollution, stress, or meat in their diets. Many of them do eat sparingly, so here comes a theme that repeats itself throughout several of these books. The Blue Zones will show you how community, movement, diet, and sex all come together. And in seven different regions of the world people have lived up to 116 years (honorable mention to Jeanne Louise Calment who is said to have lived to 122 but is not in the blue zones for several reasons, evidence is not least of which). There aren't any labs or petrie dishes in this book, but these people did it, it's worth understanding what they all had in common.

3. Fantastic Voyage and Transcend by Raw Kurzweil and Terry Grossman, M.D.

Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman are admittedly not the straightest shooters across all the subjects and authors in this book list But they have done significant research, and were deeply living true to the longevity life all the way back to 2004. These books are a bit on the SciFi side, but include a sort of 360º review of all aspects of long living, fitness, diet, sleep, sexual activity, stress, technology, nutrition, and more. You have to decide for yourself if you think you can live forever, as these two more than insinuate. Or if nano bots will be the way we remove plaques from our arteries in the future. But still, there are solid take aways in these. Some reviewers on Good Reads say Transcend is more of the same from Fantastic Voyage, we found it to build upon but not simply restate.

4. How Not To Die by Micheal Greger, M.D. with Gene Stone

Michael Gregor is a very outspoken figure in the health community. With his website (nutritionalfacts.org and youtube videos), he truly walks the walk. But his talk is not so anti-aging as it is healthy living in general. If he could have things his way, none of us would eat meat. We'd all drink hibiscus tea, and there would be mushrooms in many more meals than the average American or Western European is accustomed to. Returning to the idea that references are key, this book is nearly 50% appendix, no shortage of references. And it is written in a way that from one page to the next its reader could immediately act on the suggestions it makes. 

5. Lifespan by David A. Sinclair, PhD with Matthew LaPlante

Perhaps the newest and most hyped book, at least for visitors of Augment Life's website on account of the Resveratrol and Nicotinamide Mononucleotide tips it holds, Lifespan is perhaps the most academic of this book list. With Dr David Sinclair having devoted most of his life and career to the study of longevity. If you want to understand the DNA maintenance side of anti-aging, this book should be on your night stand. Or if you're like us, it will be in your reading chair–for about a weekend until you peel yourself off having finished it in one long binge.

6. Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, PhD

You will probably not see the term "Anti-Aging" or "Longevity" in Why We Sleep. If you did, it's not because Matthew Walker is speaking publicly about cryogenic chambers or Vitamin B12 injections. The book has nothing todo with longevity at all, but it is probably the best modern work on the science of sleep and sleep is so important to maintaining good health, it would seem ignorant to pass it by. Anyone who owns an Oura Ring or is wearing blue light blockers would do themself a favor by picking this book up. There are so many fascinating discoveries, tips, and thoughts to ponder about sleep in general. 

7. Exercised by Daniel Lieberman, PhD

At Harvard, just across the quad from David Sinclair's building, is a less media hyped professor who has been studying exercise. Like Why We Sleep, Exercised is a well deserved look at a topic we all seem to understand but have perhaps overlooked in the search for the perfect molecule or red light therapy device. Lieberman writes well with anecdotes, a good few puns, and debunks a lot of stereotypes, urban legends, and assumptions that are flat out wrong. What is perhaps most enjoyable is, once you've finished reading his book, you realize you don't need to be a gym rat or a marathon runner to achieve optimal fitness levels. 

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