Even though I hold A.J. Jacobs largely responsible for spawning an entire sub-genre of non-fiction (people who do something odd for a year and then blog and/or write a book about it), I have to admit I love his writing. I thoroughly enjoyed The Year of Living Biblically, and have finally gotten around to reading his earlier book, The Know-it-All, in which Jacobs attempts to make himself smarter by reading through the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.
While this volume lacks the spiritual reflection of Living Biblically, many of the same trademarks are there — Jacobs’ self-deprecating humour and his avid curiousity. He may never become the “smartest person in the world” (as the book’s subtitle suggests) but he will always be one of the most interested and interesting. The story of his year of reading and learning is interspersed with odd and often hilarious facts Jacobs picked up from the Britannica, which add to the enjoyment. Definitely a good read.