Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I am the smartest man alive!!

This post is all about last night's book (that I started reading). I know that last sentence may not be the best English, however, in an effort to remain consistent and for all postings to be about last night (but not about the movie About Last Night) then the sentence will just have to do.

The book is called The Know It All. A journalist (used loosely as he used to write for Entertainment Weekly) attempted to become the smartest person in the world by reading the encyclopedia cover to cover. In my attempt to write of all things having to do with Jeopardy, trivia contests and the like and in general, knowing it all, I thought it fitting that I start reading the book immediately. The urgency came to me earlier this week when I realized I had nothing to read for pleasure(aside from a Managerial Accounting book, that is). The book's been on my shelf for about 6 months since I took it off another shelf at Borders on Broadway and purchased it. The full surge of my first semester back in school made reading for fun rather prohibitive though I got some good ones in, this one never interested me due to its learning value.
Now that it's summer and I am only taking one class at a time (two sessions - five weeks each) I reached for it. And boy, am I glad. I love it! And readers of this blog will love it, too.

Not sure why I belittled the author of the book. Truth is,
I read Entertainment Weekly, weekly. (Due to points on a credit card I was given free subscriptions to loads of magazines about 6 months ago. We get a magazine practically daily. Magazines like Blender, Stuff, Outside, Harvard Business Review and EW. EW is the only one I read cover to cover.) I think I am just a bit jealous of his occupation.
The other reason I am not sure why I had to say "used loosely" is that as I mentioned, I am enjoying the book very much! Why can't I just be nice?!

So, the writer, AJ Jacobs is about my age and lives in NYC with his wife. It's fun to hear his tales of reading the EB (Encyclopedia Britannica) from end to end and to learn how he brings it up in conversation as much as possible.

I'm about 1/2 finished and so far, by far, the best section is the entry on frigate birds. In this entry Mr. Jacobs reveals the tale of his interview with blog fave, Alex Trebek. It's on page 99 of the book and if reading from end to end the tale of a man who reads the encyclopedia from end to end is just slightly too meta for you, just pick up the book in a bookstore and read this tidbit. I definitely love his initial encounter with Alex and the randomness of the man himself. The tale will make you smile. And if that is not the purpose of a tale, then what is?

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