Monday, October 18, 2010

The Guinea Pig diaries: My Life as an Experiment

A couple years ago I read A.J. Jacobs first book, The Know-It-All, which I found entertaining. So, when I saw this book on the library shelf I picked it up. The first page of the Introduction drew me in and I didn't put the book down until I finished. The book is about a series of life experiments Jacobs tries out, one month at a time. He attempts Radical Honesty, outsources much of his life, and pampers his wife, among other experiments. These experiments lead to interesting interactions with other people.

One of the things I like the most about the book is Jacob's wife, Julie. She puts up with a lot of strange behavior from her husband, but she seems to pretty much roll with it. It is a lovely demonstration of a committed marriage. No roommate or girlfriend would put up with some of these experiments.

One of the experiments Jacobs attempted was to stop multitasking. He tried to limit himself to doing one thing at a time. (Ironically, I read that chapter while eating. Multitasking at work!) His willingness to take the experiments to extremes is demonstrated throughout the book.

The insights that Jacobs shares at the end of the book about how these experiments effected him long term are almost enough to convince me to try out some of the experiments. I can see how taking something to the fullest can make the big picture become clearer.

This book is a fun non-fiction read. I recommend it for adults. Be prepared for both entertaining stories and a fresh look at some of your every day behaviors.

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