The know-it-all: one man's humble quest to become the smartest person in the world

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Simon & Schuster Paperbacks,
Pub. Date:
33,000 pages

44 million words

10 billion years of history

1 obsessed man

Part memoir and part education (or lack thereof), The Know-It-All chronicles NPR contributor A.J. Jacobs's hilarious, enlightening, and seemingly impossible quest to read the Encyclopaedia Britannica from A to Z.

To fill the ever-widening gaps in his Ivy League education, A.J. Jacobs sets for himself the daunting task of reading all thirty-two volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His wife, Julie, tells him it's a waste of time, his friends believe he is losing his mind, and his father, a brilliant attorney who had once attempted the same feat and quit somewhere around Borneo, is encouraging but, shall we say, unconvinced.

With self-deprecating wit and a disarming frankness, The Know-It-All recounts the unexpected and comically disruptive effects Operation Encyclopedia has on every part of Jacobs's life -- from his newly minted marriage to his complicated relationship with his father and the rest of his charmingly eccentric New York family to his day job as an editor at Esquire. Jacobs's project tests the outer limits of his stamina and forces him to explore the real meaning of intelligence as he endeavors to join Mensa, win a spot on Jeopardy!, and absorb 33,000 pages of learning. On his journey he stumbles upon some of the strangest, funniest, and most profound facts about every topic under the sun, all while battling fatigue, ridicule, and the paralyzing fear that attends his first real-life responsibility -- the impending birth of his first child.

The Know-It-All is an ingenious, mightily entertaining memoir of one man's intellect, neuroses, and obsessions and a soul-searching, ultimately touching struggle between the all-consuming quest for factual knowledge and the undeniable gift of hard-won wisdom.

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Level 6.8, 24 Points
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID c9b5d646-2a4d-9abe-1845-6bf76ac44077
Grouping Title know it all one mans humble quest to become the smartest person in the world
Grouping Author jacobs a j
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-01-19 04:58:07AM
Last Indexed 2019-01-19 05:01:54AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level UG
accelerated_reader_point_value 24
accelerated_reader_reading_level 6.8
author Jacobs, A. J., 1968-
author_display Jacobs, A. J
available_at_arlington Shirlington
collection_arlington Adult Nonfiction
detailed_location_arlington Shirlington Adult Nonfiction, Westover Adult Nonfiction
format_arlington Book
format_category_arlington Books
id c9b5d646-2a4d-9abe-1845-6bf76ac44077
isbn 9780743250603, 9780743250627
item_details ils:.b13957442|.i18613342|Shirlington Adult Nonfiction|031 JACOB|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf|Sep 04, 2018|san||, ils:.b13957442|.i20318637|Westover Adult Nonfiction|031 JACOB|||1|false|false|||||Due Jan 23, 2019|Mar 10, 2018|wan||
itype_arlington Hardback, Paperback
last_indexed 2019-01-19T10:01:54.414Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington 031 JACOB
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Shirlington, Westover
primary_isbn 9780743250627
publishDate 2005
record_details ils:.b13957442|Book|Books|First Simon & Schuster paperback edition.|English|Simon & Schuster Paperbacks,|2005.|ix, 389 pages ; 22.
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
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ils:.b13957442 .i18613342 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true 9999
subject_facet Encyclopaedia Britannica, Jacobs, A. J., -- 1968-, Learning and scholarship -- United States -- History, United States -- Intellectual life -- 20th century, United States -- Intellectual life -- 21st century
title_display The know-it-all : one man's humble quest to become the smartest person in the world
title_full The know-it-all : one man's humble quest to become the smartest person in the world / A.J. Jacobs
title_short The know-it-all :
title_sub one man's humble quest to become the smartest person in the world