Bibliotropic's Reviews > The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World

The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs
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's review
May 11, 10

bookshelves: nonfiction
Recommended for: Trivia nuts, those who like Jacobs's other writings
Read in April, 2009 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Words cannot properly express how much I enjoyed reading this book. I read it not too long after reading Jacobs's A Year of Living Biblically, and I loved his writing style in both books. He's got a wonderful sense of humour, nicely balancing self-deprecation and personal anecdotes in a way that really allows you to get inside his head.

This book is written in sections much like encyclopediae, with the topic name and then Jacobs writing what he found so fascinating or weird about it, or an event in his life that related to the entry. It's obvious by his writing that he was a prolific note-taker, as some of the entries contain phrases like, "I just read this," or "as I read this," making the reader feel as though they're taking the epic challenge right alongside him.

Aside from a humourous look at the acquisition of knowledge and one man's slightly demented quest to read all that, you can actually learn a lot, too. Most of the info you'll pick up from this book will be the sort of thing that you can dazzle your friends with of Trivia Night at the pub, but you come away from it feeling a little bit smarter, a little bit more knowledgeable.

In my opinion, this book is well worth reading, and I highly recommend it.

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