Pro Kumar'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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May 23, 14

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Pro Kumar
The Know-it-All
By A.J. Jacobs
The Know-it-All, by A.J. Jacobs, is a book about Jacob’s quest to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica and become the smartest man in the world. The is set up in a way that an encyclopedia is set up. It starts with the letter A and all the topics that A.J. connects to are under that letter, for example “ABO blood group” or “Absalom”. Then it continues through the alphabet as Jacobs progresses in his reading.
One connection to American culture is the fact that sometimes instead of reading the Encyclopedia’s full in depth articles, called the Macropedia, he’ll sometimes read the short summary version, called the Micropedia. Trying to condense everything down to size is almost everyone’s goal. Business men, doctors, lawyers, etc, just want to get the gist in order to work faster and get things done faster. However, that comes at the price of the quality of work being done. Jacobs will also try reading the computer CD version sometimes in order for him to not having to carry such a heavy book. Trying to make things easier for one, may in turn result in a bad out put in the end.
I would and would not want to be friends with the author. I would want to because he would enlighten me on facts, plus throughout the story he’s a funny guy never serious really about anything and can laugh at himself. On the other hand he could become annoying at points just blurting out random facts. This book has also enlightened me on certain topics as well. For example, “[a dragonfly] can eat its own weight in thirty minutes…” This book sort of depicts a sense of pride in oneself. It gives the idea of trying to become a better person for either your own sake or someone else’s. It also shows us that discipline is needed in order to reach success, for example it takes a lot of patience in order to read 33,000 pages.
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Miss P-C I never finished this book! I can't wait to see how you feel when you're done! :)


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