The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs
Once upon a time before I blogged about the books I read, I picked up a book solely based on the title. “The Know-It-All” by A.J. Jacobs just called to me. Luckily, his book was just as awesome as his title. Ever since then I’ve been on the lookout for more books by A.J. Jacobs because I really enjoy his forays into participatory journalism.
For “The Guinea Pig Diaries,” Jacobs tried something a little bit different. In the past he his books have been about year-long endeavors – reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica or following all the laws in the Bible. This time, he attempted a series of month-long challenges, such as using only rational decision-making, outsourcing basically his whole life, living by George Washington’s rules of conduct, or completely omitting lying.
I thought “The Guinea Pig Diaries” was fantastic. Sure, some of the essays were more interesting to me, or funnier, than others, but they were all quite good. They reminded me far more of Jacobs’ style in “The Know-It-All” than “The Year of Living Biblically,” which was good but not quite AS good.
In my opinion, A.J. Jacobs is always good for a bit of a laugh. Since these essays are not dependent on one another, it would be a lovely book just to pick up now and then when you want something fun yet thoughtful. Of course, I read the whole thing straight through and loved it that way too.
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