Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What I'm Reading

I just finished reading The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs (2004). Jacobs is a writer and editor at Esquire Magazine, and his writing style is funny and easy to read. He chronicles his attempt to fill in the gaps in his education by reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica cover to cover. Along the way, we meet his sweet wife, his eccentric parents, and his obnoxious brother-in-law. Jacobs visits the headquarters of the Encyclopedia Britannica, tries to join Mensa, and attempts to win a million dollars on Jeopardy. The book is fun to read and is full of interesting facts that you're probably not going to see anywhere else.

Last year, Jacobs followed up with The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible. That's next on my list of books-to-find-at-the-library.

I don't usually spend money on books (after all, library books are free!), but I've decided to splurge and buy myself An Invitation To The White House : At Home With History by Hillary Clinton (2000). It's a beautifully illustrated hardcover book that was published in honor of the 200th anniversary of the White House, and focuses on social events, interior design, flower arranging, recipes... the "feminine side" of the White House. It costs $32.00, which is too much, but I found it offered for $12.47 from a book closeout site, so I'm going to treat myself and get it.
So, what are you reading?


Leora said...

I'm reading Defending Identity by Natan Sharansky. I can't say it's the most fascinating book in the world, but it is interesting to read about his life in the Soviet Union and how he became more identifiably Jewish.

I'll have to take a peek at these Jacobs' books.

SuperRaizy said...

Sharansky's an interesting guy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. You've given me ideas for a post!

Frum Librarian said...

I really liked "Living Biblically." I wrote a post about it!

Phyllis Sommer said...

i didn't like the year of living biblically because i felt like he was a little too flip about religion. then, however, i met him and heard him speak and i really liked him! it made me like the book more,too, when i realized that it was just my interpretation - he wasn't really being flip at all. i look forward to hearing what you think.

i'm reading Caspian Rain about medieval Iran but I just started it so I'm on page 3, I think. I just finished The German Bride, which was about German Jews who emigrated to Santa Fe right after the Civil War. Interesting but not great. Recently I've also read Blood of Flowers, which was also about medieval Iran (seems to be a theme...)

i love to read.

Baila said...

It's funny that you ask because I am thinking up a post about some recent books I read....stay tuned.

Lion of Zion said...


i like sharansky a lot.
is this different than his "fear no evil"?

SuperRaizy said...

Frum Librarian-
Can you tell me the link to your post?

Selena said...

I love AJ Jacobs. I have passed the "Know it All" around to all my friends. I thought the year of living biblically was great too. I could not stop laughing during either of these books. I can't wait for him to come out with something new.

I just finished 2 novels by Jodi Piccoult, My Sister's Keeper and Plain Truth.

SuperRaizy said...

Jodi Picault is a favorite around here, too.

debbleberrypie said...

Nice blog! I'd love to know about the image of the reading woman you used for this post - do you know the artists name and/or title of the work or anything else. Thanks