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

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Description
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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A hilarious, intelligent-trivia-packed story from a man who read the entire Encylopedia Britannica. Early in his career, A. J. Jacobs found himself putting his Ivy League education to work at Entertainment Weekly. After five years he learned which stars have fake boobs, which stars have toupees, which have both, and not much else. This unsettling realization led Jacobs on a life-changing quest: to read the entire contents of the Encylopedia Britannica, all 33,000 pages, all 44 million words. Jacobs accumulates useful and less-so knowledge, and along the way finds a deep connection with his father (who attempted the same feat when Jacob's was a child), examines the nature of knowledge vs. intelligence, and learns how to be rather annoying at cocktail parties. Part memoir/part-education (or lack thereof), the chapters are organized by the letters of the alphabet.
FRIENDSFri Dec 22 2017: Claimed returned on Fri Dec 15 2017 by .p1113455-1- -12-22-2017 11:44
Made available through hoopla.
-1- -05-28-2015 12:27
ISBN:
9780743250627
9781598871715
9780743250603
9780743272605
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Grouping Information

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full_title know it all one mans humble quest to become the smartest person in the world
author jacobs a j
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2018-01-20 05:01:42AM

Solr Details

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author A. J. Jacobs
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display_description

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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subject_facet Downloadable audio, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Jacobs, A. J., -- 1968-, Learning and scholarship, Learning and scholarship -- United States -- History, Streaming audio, 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, 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
topic_facet Biography & Autobiography, Nonfiction