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My Life as an Experiment: One Man's Humble Quest to Improve Himself by Living as a Woman, Becoming George Washington, Telling No Lies, and Other Radical Tests Paperback – July 13, 2010
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“Jacobs’ experiments are about understanding oneself, making life more interesting and showing the reader a good time. And I love them for it.”—San Francisco Chronicle
"Both laugh-out-loud funny and enlightening.” —People
“Inspired and inspiring.”—Vanity Fair
“Off-the-wall and uproarious.”—Publishers Weekly
"The virtuoso of this self-as-guinea pig genre."—Brad Tuttle, Time
"We love reading about the lifestyle experiments of author A.J. Jacobs."—Entertainment Weekly
"Both laugh-out-loud funny and enlightening."—People
"Over the years, [Jacobs' experiments] have grown more complex and deeper in potential meaning. Not to mention funnier and funnier."—The Kansas City Star
"[T]he most enlightening moments are driven by his honesty, his sense of humor, and his willingness to constantly challenge his ingrained assumptions.... Hilarity, and quite a bit of learning, ensue.... In [My Life as an Experiment], he once again achieves a rare literary balance–an intellectual study of human behavior that will make readers laugh out loud or, in the more daring cases, inspire them to try one of these experiments for themselves."—Providence Journal
"He's not just in it for the yuks–though there are plenty of yuks. (He's very funny.) He has a curious, questioning mind and is always looking for larger meaning.... [My Live as an Experiment] is intelligent, insightful shtick."—Minneapolis Star-Tribune
About the Author
A.J. Jacobs is the author of Thanks a Thousand, It’s All Relative, Drop Dead Healthy, and the New York Times bestsellers The Know-It-All, The Year of Living Biblically, and My Life as an Experiment. He is a contributor to NPR, and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly. He lives in New York City with his wife and kids. Visit him at AJJacobs.com and follow him on Twitter @ajjacobs.
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I find Jacobs to be funny, readable, and clever. I just wish he would let his intelligence shine a bit more. That said, I hope the author is working on many more books (don't let my minor critique slow you down!).
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!
See more of my reviews at: [...]/
In this book, Jacobs conducts a series of mini-experiments--ranging from outsourcing everything in his life to a company in India to posing nude to trying to live like George Washington. There are nine experiments in all (one for every chapter). One of my favorite experiments was Project Rationality, which involved trying to overcome all the biases, false assumptions, and warped memories with which our flawed brains make decisions. Just reading this made me realize that my life is a series of false assumptions and half-truths.
Although I found the books entertaining and highly readable, I was a bit disappointed. I suspect the reason is that these are mini experiments instead of immersive, year-long experiments like the ones he wrote about in his previous books. I ended up wanting more and felt like the book was over way too soon. Although it is a good introduction to Jacobs's writing style and isn't a bad read, I enjoyed The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically much more. However, if the worst I can say about the book is that "I wanted more of it. It was too short," then that isn't so bad, is it? Just read it; you'll like it.
Excerpts from the chapter where Jacobs tries to experience fame by attending the Oscars as the actor Noah Taylor: Even more striking, though, is that Noah Taylor and I shared the same haircut and eyeglasses. For reasons I'm still puzzling out, in my mid-twenties I decided to let my hair grow down to my shoulders. This wasn't cool long hair, mind you. It was shapeless and stringy, like Ben Franklin or a meth addict. And the glasses? They were thick. black, and clunky. I suppose I was going for a retro intellectual vibe, something in the Allen Ginsberg area. What I got was Orville Redenbacher.
Most recent customer reviews
'Guinea Pig' pleased right from the start, with its excellent writing and quirky voice.Read more