‘Pleased to Meet Me’ Pulls Back the Curtain On What Makes Us Unique [REVIEW]

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What is it that truly makes you unique? Find out what gives each of us our individuality in Bill Sullivan’s new book, Pleased to Meet Me from National Geographic. (Photo courtesy Canva)

Why do I always fall for the wrong person? Why can’t I tolerate other people’s idiosyncrasies? Why am I such a cynic? Why can’t I even look at a doughnut without gaining weight? The times we all ask “Why?” are seemingly endless. Most of us might think we know the answers to these introspective questions, but in truth, the real answers might surprise you. Now Professor Bill Sullivan sets the record straight in his new book, Pleased to Meet Me, from National Geographic. 

Bill Sullivan's PLEASED TO MEET ME

National Geographic

Since mankind began, it hasn’t really mattered who you talked to or whose books you read, everyone from Aristotle to Jorge Mario Bergoglio seems to have an opinion when it comes to answering the biggest existential question of them all: why do we do the things we do? Now science weighs in on the matter and reveals exactly what makes us tick.

Combining genetics, microbiology, psychology, neurology, and family history, Indiana University School of Medicine professor Bill Sullivan shines a light on the factors that determine not only who we are born looking like, but also on what actions we will take, which problems we will face, and which choices we will make.

For as much as we would like to say that we all choose our own path, Sullivan reveals that sometimes, no matter how you slice it, we are all products of things beyond our control: genes, environment, and even the microbes that exist inside us. However, don’t throw in the towel just yet and say, “but that’s how I am!” Because here, Sullivan also shows that there is power in knowing why we do certain things or have particular tendencies.

With Pleased to Meet Me, Sullivan has pulled back the curtain and revealed that answers to the questions we’ve had for ages have been within our grasp the entire time. We just needed someone to show us where—and how—to look for that information. This book provides fascinating insights that are tangible, smart and worth a deeper look.

Sullivan writes in such a way that his book is perfect for the layman with minimal or no expertise in this field. In many ways, reading Pleased to Meet Me reminds me of watching the show, Who Do You Think You Are? in which celebrities are shown their genealogy and introduced to ancestors they didn’t know they had. They always have an “Aha! moment” as Oprah likes to say, when they feel a weird connection to someone who has been dead for decades.

Pleased to Meet Me gives us that same kind of experience, and may very possibly give you a case of the goosebumps as you have one epiphany after another as Sullivan teaches us to take a long hard look at all the things that miraculously came together to make us truly unique.  Whether you’re interested in science or simply the human condition, this should be mandatory reading. It will help you make more sense of self, and will ultimately aid you in actually choosing your own adventure in the years to come.

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Bill Sullivan

Bill Sullivan
(Photo by Eric Schoch)


Bill Sullivan is a professor of pharmacology and microbiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, where he studies infectious disease and genetics.

An award-winning researcher, teacher, and science communicator, Sullivan received his Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from the University of Pennsylvania and has been featured in a wide variety of outlets, including CNN, Scientific American, Cosmos magazines, PLOS SciComm, The Naked Scientists, and The Scientist.

He lives with his wife and two children near Indianapolis.

To find out more about Sullivan, visit him at his website, AuthorBillSullivan.com, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

By Bill Sullivan
336 pp. National Geographic. $26.

TLC Book Tours Tour HostPurchase Pleased to Meet Me at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Amazon Canada, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, National Geographic, and Powell’s.

Pleased to Meet Me is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

3 Responses to ‘Pleased to Meet Me’ Pulls Back the Curtain On What Makes Us Unique [REVIEW]

  1. Pingback: Bill Sullivan, author of Pleased to Meet Me, on tour August 2019 | TLC Book Tours

  2. Sara Strand says:

    I need this book in my life. No question. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

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