Saturday, 20 September 2008

Know-it-All

Another great book! Came across this one by chance, and was intrigued by the concept of someone trying to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica (to try and out do his dad who only managed to get to B). Mind you, getting to B would be a big brain blow out anyway, there are 33,000 pages, with 44 million words on 10 billions years of history, as the title goes, he's one obsessed man.



For fans of Bill Bryson, he's as good if not better on the wit and manages to illuminate a number of interesting topics on his way through the small font and ultra thin pages of his gold embossed EB. He's a humble person with a self depreciating wit that has me giggling. He also has some very disturbing Woody Allen characteristics, like being a Jewish Ectomorph with a propensity for long bouts of paranoia inspired handwashing. I fight off the urge to share some of the quips with Trev, he'll be reading it soon enough. For the inveterate fact finding fan it's a lark!

You can try before you buy and read the A's at A.J Jacobs (the authors) website here.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I was very much younger I got through to the "s" book in that encyclopedia set. Not always interesting reading...and it took quite awhile to get that far.

Linda said...

That is a formidable feat, anonymous! I tried to read the entire library when I was 18 - only got to the 131 section and gave up, and it was in a small rural library too. How much do you think you retained, percentage wise? (apparently it's the question most likely to annoy anyone who's working on that particular challenge, but interesting all the same).