Customer Reviews: My Life as an Experiment
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on September 4, 2014
I loved this book his thought process is clever and funny. I especially enjoyed the outsourcing experiment and the uni-tasking hit pretty close to home. The best was his last experiment and the closing statements written by his wife.
Being a wife and mother I love that each experiment/chapter was a story in itself. I am ashamed to say that it took me well over a year to finish this book maybe if I could get my husband to participate in our own "whipped" experiment I could start finishing books a little faster.
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on November 13, 2014
I read this for a book group. Some parts were humorous, such as when he had to do everything his wife said. I like the fact that each chapter was a complete action, so you did not have to read it in any order. Amusing book without a lot of depth.
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on September 6, 2013
I love the author and the way he looks at things and explains them...a very easy humorous read. The seller shipped very quickly and the book was in Great condition for a used book. Would highly recommend
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on July 24, 2012
Life is an experiment in and of itself. Whether it's when we fall in love, attend college, or have kids, each event brings a new and exciting adventure. However, what happens when we decide to go beyond these common and everyday goals, and instead intentionally experiment with the bizarre and out of the ordinary?

Well, just ask A.J. Jacobs. He has been living as his own personal guinea pig for most of his adult life. From posing nude at the request of Mary-Louise Parker, to living like George Washington, to being his wife's servant, Jacobs lives his life as if he is constantly being studied by a team of mad-scientists. Add on more zany life-altering experiments such as being a human unitasker, having no filter between his brain and mouth, and outsourcing his entire everyday life, and you have yourself a book!

Jacobs is hard not to fall in love with. His writing is witty, organized - his notes in the back of the book are as good to read as the actual stories themselves - and he's hilarious as hell. When you are actually able to laugh out loud at a sentence, or read a paragraph to your spouse, then you know you're reading something good! Not to mention that he is the definition of an "average Joe" (in a good way!), which makes all his books even more interesting to read.

The Guinea Pig Diaries is one of those books that is hard to put down. Once one chapter - or experiment - is finished, the next one instantly calls as you want to see how crazier Jacobs' life can get!

Check out more of my book reviews at:[...]
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on July 30, 2013
The premise of the book is funnier than the actual reality of it. Somewhere in the book the author mentions he is a relative of Cass Sunstein and therein lies the rub; there just aren't a lot of funny behavioral socialists out there. I am not sure why the guy decided to mention that relationship as most thinking people find that guy to be at best weird, at worst tyrannically dangerous. So there is that. Other than that, the experiments are mildly funny, the chapter where he practices total honesty is humorous as it forces him to tell his mother in law that giving him a gift card was akin to giving him an errand to run. So, at the end of the day, it was a bit amusing and if there are no other alternatives, give it a read.
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So, I'm totally going to admit this. The only reason I even knew about The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment is because it's scheduled to become a pilot entitled My Life as an Experiment starring Paget Brewster (whom I've decided to support in every endeavor considering she got kicked out of hit show for no discernible reason). After hearing about the pilot, I decided to read The Guinea Pig Diaries to see if I should be going into the show with the thought that it's going to get cancelled early, just to avoid surprise down the road. Well, I read it, and I'm still iffy on the whole "maybe it's going to get cancelled if it does, indeed, get picked up" thing.

I was laughing out loud throughout the first couple of experiments that the author chose to do, especially the one about him posing as a woman online. He then proceeds to do more outlandish experiments like being radically honest (I'm sure many marriages would crumble if married couples did this) and spending a whole month doing everything his wife wants him to do (ditto). At first, this was all very funny. But then it started to wear a bit on the thin side. With the exception of the one where he's basically whipped, I didn't find the last half of the book as entertaining as the first half. I found experiments 7 and 8 particularly boring.

All in all, I think that most of The Guinea Pig Diaries was pretty funny and most of the experiments were all wonderfully wacky. Still, Jacob's wife is definitely a saint for putting up with everything she says or does being fodder for his books. That would severely piss me off. Oh, and I think the chance of My Life as an Experiment being a pretty good show are 50-50. The book is sometimes hilarious, but the show is being produced by Jack Black who is painfully unfunny. So, I guess we'll see.
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on March 4, 2015
I had "googled" the term "clean humor books", and AJ Jacobs' books popped up. Unfortunately, this does not fall under the "clean humor" category. I'm sure many people would enjoy this type of humor, but I was expecting to laugh a lot and NOT be uncomfortable with the content.
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I want A.J. Jacobs' job. Here is a guy who gets paid to do crazy things and then write about the experience. Seriously. The only person with a better job is the woman who got paid to write a book about reading books (see So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson). How does one get this kind of gig? Oh wait, I know - by being a columnist with a following and the ability to turn everyday life into witty, clever, self-abasing yet still self-congratulatory (in the best possible way, I assure you, and without any sense of egotism) prose. Admittedly, The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment was not my favorite of the A.J. books, largely because it was a series of vignettes about his shorter "experiments" and therefore did not contain as much of the minutiae-of-daily-life-while-doing-something-somewhat-crazy element (or as many guest appearances by his wife - who cracks me up and has to be the most patient and accepting woman in America) that features so prominently (and hysterically) in his longer projects. It was, however, still highly entertaining and left me yet again wanting to be A.J. - and to outsource my own life...
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on August 30, 2011
You know who Jacobs is. You've probably heard about him, even if you didn't read his book. He's the guy who read all the Encyclopedia Britannica, A to Z. He followed that up in his second book by attempting to live by the precepts of the Bible. I will never forget the chapter where he decides to take up stoning the sinners.

This new book also falls into the genre of what I call Challenge Books.
I like these. The woman who visited a different church each Sunday for a year. The couple who traveled around the world and tried different foods every where they stopped.

In The Guinea Pig Diaries, Jacobs tries nine small personal challenges. These are challenges we might have contemplated, but would actually be difficult to take on for a lengthy period of time. And the results are funny, so funny that I should caution you not to read this at home on a Saturday while your spouse is there (as I did) as you will drive your loved one insane reading the really funny parts aloud to him.
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on March 20, 2010
I hadn't read anything by AJ Jacobs before, although my stepmom gave me his "Year of Living Biblically" and it's been sitting on my bookshelf for 3 months waiting for me to get to it. Got to this one first for some reason. Guess this is a "summary" book of all his prior life experiments. He's pretty funny, and has some good ideas, and one assumes his wife must be just as crazy as he is to put up with him through it all. I must admit I skipped the Rationality and George Washington chapters; I started reading them and they just didn't seem that interesting; plus my library due date was rapidly approaching and I had to pick and choose. I liked the parts I did read, even laughed out loud at many of them. Have to admit the Outsourcing issue seemed like it was just as much work to explain everything to them and have them do it than if he just did it himself, but it was kitchy enough to hold my attention. I really liked the Radical Honesty chapter, wish I could really do that in my everyday life and just get away from the games, especially with family and coworkers. And guess what - liked it good enough to start reading Year of Living Biblically, it has migrated from my bookshelf to my nightstand for bedtime reading. If they make a movie out of Jacob's books, I think Steve Carrell should play him, it fits.
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