Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment -A.J. Jacobs

 Do you need a laugh? You probably do.

 I can usually use one. However,  I rarely read funny books. I don't generally read morose books but humor isn't high on the list of qualities I look for in reading material. (maybe it should be though.) When searching for non-fiction (at the library)  I usually head to the section for specific books on gardening, knitting, etc. or I just browse the new non-fiction. (That's usually a good way to learn something new about something you never realized you wanted to know about in the first place.)

New non fiction was where I was the other day  stifling audible giggles, reading parts of A. J. Jacobs new book, The Guinea Pig Diaries: My life as an Experiment. You may have heard of Mr. Jacobs as the man who spent a year following the Bible as literally as possible. In real life he's a writer for Esquire magazine who undertakes various experiments in the name of self-discovery and magazine article fodder. My favorites from the book included him outsourcing his personal life to assistants in India (complete with having his Indian assistant argue with his wife,) living by George Washington's Rules of Civility for a month (there are 110), and  dabbling in Radical Honesty (Yes, I DO think that makes your butt look fat.) He's clever, he's witty and I found myself laughing out loud.

I have to admit, I love books where people decide to do something out-of-the-ordinary for a year, like eat only local foods or live with the Amish. The best parts of such memoirs tend to be when the law of unintended consequence takes over and the author learns something profound about themselves and/or the world at large. This book doesn't have too many of these moment but there are a few. It does have a lot of laughs though! It's still a worthwhile read.

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