Books

It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree

This book is about A.J. Jacobs’s family. And also your family. Because it’s the same family. So as a (distant) cousin of his, you might want to check this book out. Jacobs tells the tale of his quest to unite the entire human race in one all-encompassing family tree. Well, it’s not just his own […]
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The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

The Year of Living Biblically answers the question: What if a modern-day American followed every single rule in the Bible as literally as possible. Not just the famous rules – the Ten Commandments and Love Thy Neighbor (though certainly those). But the hundreds of oft-ignored ones: don’t wear clothes of mixed fibers. Grow your beard. Stone adulterers. A.J. Jacobs’ experiment is surprising, informative, timely and funny. It is both irreverent and reverent. It seeks to discover what’s good in the Bible and what is potentially problematic. And it will make you see the Good Book with new eyes. Thou shalt not put it down.
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The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to become the Smartest Person in the World

Worried his mind was slowly turning to oatmeal, Jacobs decided to educate himself. A lot. He spent 18 months reading the Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z. All 44 million words of it. From a-ak (ancient East Asian music) to Zywiec (a town in Poland known for its beer). The book weaves together several strands. 1) The most fascinating and funniest facts from the encyclopedia so you’ll never be at a loss at your next cocktail party. 2) A series of adventures that test the limits of knowledge (Jacobs sneaks into a Mensa convention and competes on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire). 3) The story of how information overload wreaks havoc on Jacobs’ life (his wife started fining him $1 for every irrelevant fact he inserted into conversation). 4) A search for profound wisdom among the ocean of facts
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My Life as an Experiment: One Man’s Humble Quest to Improve Himself

On a mission to improve every aspect of his life — from work to love to family — Jacobs becomes a human guinea pig and immerses himself in a series of radical lifestyle experiments. To figure out how to reclaim his dignity, he follows George Washington’s 110 Rules of Life. To explore fame, he goes undercover as a movie star. To investigate dating, he becomes a single woman. To understand decision-making, he tries to eliminate irrationality from his brain. And many more. The results are equal parts funny and enlightening. Go ahead, immerse yourself in these new worlds. (Published in hardcover as ‘The Guinea Pig Diaries.’)
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Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection

Having achieved enlightenment in The Year of Living Biblically and sharpened his mind in The Know-It-All, bestselling author A.J. Jacobs had one feat left in the self-improvement trinity: to make over his body and become the healthiest person in the world. In Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection, the intrepid Esquire editor-at-large explores every aspect of the body—from biceps to the brain, from testosterone to toenails—to get into shape. A self-described “mushy, easily-winded, moderately sickly blob” Jacobs tested hundreds of pieces of medical advice to see what works and what doesn’t.
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