Synopses & Reviews
For his first book, The Know-It-All
, A. J. Jacobs read the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica from cover to cover in a quest to learn everything in the world. In The Year of Living Biblically
, he followed every single rule of the Bible — from the Ten Commandments right on down to stoning adulterers.
Now comes a collection of his most hilarious and thought-provoking experiments yet. In his role as human guinea pig, Jacobs fearlessly takes on a series of life-altering challenges that provides readers with equal parts insight and humor. (And which drives A.J.'s patient wife, Julie, to the brink of insanity.)
Among the many adventures:
- He outsources his life. A.J. hires a team of people in Bangalore, India, to take care of everything in his life from answering his e-mails to arguing with his spouse.
- He spends a month practicing Radical Honesty — a movement that encourages us to remove the filters between our brains and mouths. (To give you an idea of what happened, the name of the chapter is "I Think You're Fat".)
- He goes to the Academy Awards disguised as a movie star to understand the strange and warping effects of fame.
- He commits himself to ultimate rationality, using cutting-edge science to make the best decisions possible. It changes the way he makes choices big and small, from what to buy at the grocery store to how to talk to his kids. And his revelations will change how you make decisions, too.
- He attempts to follow George Washington's rules of life, uncovering surprising truths about leadership and politics in the twenty-first century. He also spends a lot of time bowing and doffing his hat.
- And then there's the month when he followed his wife's every whim — foot massages, Kate Hudson movies, and all. Depending on your point of view, it's either the best or worst idea in the history of American marriage.
A mix of Bill Bryson, George Plimpton, and Malcolm Gladwell, A.J. explores the big issues of our time — happiness, dating, morality, marriage — by immersing himself in eye-opening situations. You'll be entertained by these stories — some of which are new, some of which had their start in Esquire
magazine. But you'll also learn to look at life in new ways.
The Guinea Pig Diaries is a book packed with both laughs and enlightenment — and that's a promise we can make with Radical Honesty.
"Having already read the Encyclopedia Britannica from cover-to-cover (The Know-It-All) and spent a year living by every rule in the Bible (The Year of Living Biblically), Jacobs, a kind of latter-day George Plimpton, tests our patience and our funny bones once again with his smart-aleck, off-the-wall and uproarious experiments in living. No cross-dresser he, Jacobs lives a vicarious life as a beautiful woman, the experiment growing out of his role in persuading his son's nanny, Michelle a stunning beauty to participate in an online dating service. He signs her up for the site, creates a profile for her, sifts through her suitors and co-writes her e-mails. Pretending to be Michelle, he learns not only the regret of rejection (having to let some guys down), but he also predictably discovers that there's a lot of deceit, boasting and creepiness in Internet dating. In another experiment, Jacobs outsources everything in his life to a company in India, from his research for articles to a complaint letter to American Airlines. This experiment worked so well that he continues to use this company every few weeks to make car rental reservations or to do research for him. Although a 'coda' of reflection follows the tale of each experiment, they provide no clarity or wisdom about his experiences. Everybody plays the fool sometimes, and with this book, Jacobs seems to have made a career out of it. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Jacobs…could be the funniest nonfiction writer this side of Bill Bryson…The experiments themselves are fascinating and lead to genuinely surprising conclusions…and Jacobs’ storytelling is lighthearted and frequently laugh-out-loud funny…There aren’t a lot of nonfiction books you want to read over and over, but this is certainly one of them." Booklist, starred review
"Jacobs continues his unique brand of immersion journalism…[and] his style is crisp and often laugh-out-loud funny….[An] endearing and nimble look at how pursuing absurd extremes can illuminate the more mundane aspects of contemporary existence." Kirkus Reviews
A book of essays on all of A.J.'s hilarious adventures as a human guinea pig, including My Outsourced Life and The Truth About Nakedness.
The uproarious New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All gathers his adventures as a human guinea pig into one of the funniest and most enlightening books of the year. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;and#8226; An irresistible page-turner filled with surprising wisdom: For his first hit book, Jacobs read the Encyclopedia Britannica. For his second, he followed every single rule in the Bible. Now comes a collection of his most outrageous and thought-provoking experiments yet. In The Guinea Pig Diaries, Jacobs goes undercover as a beautiful woman. He outsources everything in his life to India, from answering his emails to arguing with his wife. He spends two months saying whatever is on his mind. He lives like George Washington. Plus several other life-changing experimentsand#8212;one of which involves public nudity. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;and#8226; Amazing sales record: The humor of A.J. Jacobs has produced sales that are anything but laughable. His books have more than half a million copies in print, and they have spent a combined twenty-nine weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists and counting. He has inspired many imitators, but none has matched his ability to combine side-splitting entertainment with profound life lessons. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;and#8226; A media favorite: To promote his books, Jacobs has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today show, Good Morning America, Anderson Cooper 360, Conan Oand#8217;Brien, and NPrand#8217;s Fresh Air. Jacobs is all over the Internet as well, from Slate to the Huffington Post to Playboy.com. He is a regular contributor to NPRand#8217;s Weekend Edition. And heand#8217;s the editor-at-large at Esquire magazine, where versions of some of these experiments have appeared.
About the Author
A.J. Jacobs is the author of two New York Times bestsellers: The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically. His most recent work is The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment — a collection of his articles, both new and previously published. He is the editor at large at Esquire magazine. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly, and is an occasional correspondent for NPR. He lives in New York City with his wife Julie and their children. You can visit his website at ajjacobs.com.