Book Review: The Know-It-All

The Know-It-All: One Man’s HUMBLE QUEST to Become the SMARTEST PERSON in the World. By A.J Jacobs


I just finished this enlightening yet laugh-out-loud hilarious book chronicling Jacob’s quest to read the Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z. By effortlessly combining anecdotes of his personal life (including working at Esquire, his relationship with his wife, and their fertility problems) with the informational entries, Jacobs successfully transforms trivial facts into an entertaining read! Throughout his quest, readers follow Jacobs as he utilizes his newfound knowledge to join Mensa, interview Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, and compete on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. An impressive achievement, indeed!

To understand the style of Jacob’s entries, I’ll include a taste of some of my favourites:

Bobsledding-“comes from the early belief—and probably mistaken—belief that if the sledders bobbed their heads back and forth, it would increase the speed.”

Casanova-“ the famous 18th century lothario ended his life as a librarian. Libraries could use that to sex up their image. “

Dance- “In a tribe on the island of Santa Maria, old men used to stand by with bows and arrows and shoot every dancer who made a mistake. The perfect way to raise the stakes on American Idol.”

Divorce- “the easiest divorce around: Pueblo Indian women leave their husband’s moccasins on the doorstep and—that’s it’—they’re divorced. Simple as that. No lawyers, no fault, no socks, just shoes.”

Elf- “Not the cute creatures we’ve been spoon fed by the media. Elves in traditional folklore sat on people’s chests while they slept to give them bad dreams. They also stole human children and substituted deformed fairy children. Wonder if Santa is really a crack dealer.”

 I enjoyed Jacob’s writing style, and am interested to read his other books, including: The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible and The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment.

Before diving into more adult material, I have a list of YA books I am dying to read. I went to Chapters last night and got way too excited in the Teen section! My favourite YA book ever, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is now available in paperback for $10!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE. I’ve convinced many of my friends (including my boyfriend, who is NOT a reader) to read this amazing book! I cannot wait until August for Mockingjay! Now that I have a new list of YA books to read, keep your eye out for reviews coming soon!

PS-For those of you who don’t know- YA=Young Adult.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Nicole
    Jul 14, 2010 @ 23:24:47

    Loved this book too! He’s so easy to read! I have the year of living biblically book by him, can’t wait to get into that too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog Stats

  • 33,347 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 153 other followers


Check out my books on Goodreads:
%d bloggers like this: