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The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World Paperback – October 10, 2005
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
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Active Table of Contents for each letter chapter.
You can browse chapter to chapter with one click.
Formatting is nice and simple to read.
Index available but is neither clickable or page numbered which makes an index useless.
What readers want to know:
This is a narrative of one man's adventure in reading the Encyclopedia Britannica. For select entries, the author expounds on the content and history and its application in his world (his wife, his job, etc.).
It is humorous, enlightening, and fun. If you are a trivia or reference book enthusiast than this is your comfort reading! It has hilarity and heart. And even I, a reference book junkie learned a thing or too! The narrative is pleasant and makes the effort more enjoyable than just reading about entries.
Jacobs has brought stunt authoring to the academics... or at least Jeopardy watchers! It makes you want to go back when information searching began with sifting through pages of a heavy set of leather bound books.
I had to get used to the author's style, which initially I found a bit snarky, but after several pages I tuned into his vibe. I'm glad I adjusted because I ultimately enjoyed quite a few belly laughs. My favorite was the bit about his dad's favorite drink being Yellow Lightening.
This is definitely light reading, great to read on a vacation, but with a creative flair that sets it apart from the genre.
The Know-It-All is an interesting and funny peek into the life of a man who wants to make himself smarter. By his account, Jacobs turns into something of an annoying know-it-all by spouting off trivia at any occasion. Reading the encyclopedia is probably not the best way to try to know it all, Still Jacobs found that the more facts he learned, the more he began to see the connections between seemingly disparate subjects. and in the end he managed to obtain a bit of wisdom to go along with all of those facts.
The book is very entertaining, he doesn't miss a beat, he is quirky and makes himself vulnerable at times (when it comes to the Jacobs infertility issues it's just heartbreaking, I'm going through the exact same phase in which it seems EVERYONE is pregnant but me!).
I'm looking forward to reading his next memoir.
The book spans the alphabet from A to Z, full of interesting tidbits about historical figures, etc. but A.J. sprinkles the pages with comings & goings from his own life. Although an interesting read, about half-way thru I wanted it to be OVER. Interestingly the hard cover copy I bought has several typos thruout--curious coming from an editor of Esquire magazine.
His sense of humor comes thru the pages as strongly as in his other works, but I didn't enjoy this one as much as "The Year of Living Biblically".