44 million words
10 billion years of history
1 obsessed man
Part memoir and part education (or lack thereof), The Know-It-All chronicles NPR contributor A.J. Jacobs's hilarious, enlightening, and seemingly impossible quest to read the Encyclopaedia Britannica from A to Z.
To fill the ever-widening gaps in his Ivy League education, A.J. Jacobs sets for himself the daunting task of reading all thirty-two volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His wife, Julie, tells him it's a waste of time, his friends believe he is losing his mind, and his father, a brilliant attorney who had once attempted the same feat and quit somewhere around Borneo, is encouraging but, shall we say, unconvinced.
With self-deprecating wit and a disarming frankness, The Know-It-All recounts the unexpected and comically disruptive effects Operation Encyclopedia has on every part of Jacobs's life -- from his newly minted marriage to his complicated relationship with his father and the rest of his charmingly eccentric New York family to his day job as an editor at Esquire. Jacobs's project tests the outer limits of his stamina and forces him to explore the real meaning of intelligence as he endeavors to join Mensa, win a spot on Jeopardy!, and absorb 33,000 pages of learning. On his journey he stumbles upon some of the strangest, funniest, and most profound facts about every topic under the sun, all while battling fatigue, ridicule, and the paralyzing fear that attends his first real-life responsibility -- the impending birth of his first child.
The Know-It-All is an ingenious, mightily entertaining memoir of one man's intellect, neuroses, and obsessions and a soul-searching, ultimately touching struggle between the all-consuming quest for factual knowledge and the undeniable gift of hard-won wisdom.
Raised in a secular family but increasingly interested in the relevance of faith in our modern world, A.J. Jacobs decides to dive in headfirst and attempt to obey the Bible as literally as possible for one full year. He vows to follow the Ten Commandments. To be fruitful and multiply. To love his neighbor. But also to obey the hundreds of less publicized rules: to avoid wearing clothes made of mixed fibers; to play a ten-string harp; to stone adulterers.
The resulting spiritual journey is at once funny and profound, reverent and irreverent, personal and universal and will make you see history’s most influential book with new eyes.
Jacobs’s quest transforms his life even more radically than the year spent reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica for The Know-It-All. His beard grows so unruly that he is regularly mistaken for a member of ZZ Top. He immerses himself in prayer, tends sheep in the Israeli desert, battles idolatry, and tells the absolute truth in all situations—much to his wife’s chagrin.
Throughout the book, Jacobs also embeds himself in a cross-section of communities that take the Bible literally. He tours a Kentucky-based creationist museum and sings hymns with Pennsylvania Amish. He dances with Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn and does Scripture study with Jehovah’s Witnesses. He discovers ancient biblical wisdom of startling relevance. And he wrestles with seemingly archaic rules that baffle the twenty-first-century brain.
Jacobs’s extraordinary undertaking yields unexpected epiphanies and challenges. A book that will charm readers both secular and religious, The Year of Living Biblically is part Cliff Notes to the Bible, part memoir, and part look into worlds unimaginable. Thou shalt not be able to put it down.
Hospitalized with a freak case of tropical pneumonia, goaded by his wife telling him, “I don’t want to be a widow at forty-five,” and ashamed of a middle-aged body best described as “a python that swallowed a goat,” A.J. Jacobs felt compelled to change his ways and get healthy. And he didn’t want only to lose weight, or finish a triathlon, or lower his cholesterol. His ambitions were far greater: maximal health from head to toe.
The task was epic. He consulted an army of experts— sleep consultants and sex clinicians, nutritionists and dermatologists. He subjected himself to dozens of different workouts—from Strollercize classes to Finger Fitness sessions, from bouldering with cavemen to a treadmill desk. And he took in a cartload of diets: raw foods, veganism, high protein, calorie restriction, extreme chewing, and dozens more. He bought gadgets and helmets, earphones and juicers. He poked and he pinched. He counted and he measured.
The story of his transformation is not only brilliantly entertaining, but it just may be the healthiest book ever written. It will make you laugh until your sides split and endorphins flood your bloodstream. It will alter the contours of your brain, imprinting you with better habits of hygiene and diet. It will move you emotionally and get you moving physically in surprising ways. And it will give you occasion to reflect on the body’s many mysteries and the ultimate pursuit of health: a well-lived life.
Bestselling author and human guinea pig A. J. Jacobs puts his life to the test and reports on the surprising and entertaining results. He goes undercover as a woman, lives by George Washington’s moral code, and impersonates a movie star. He practices "radical honesty," brushes his teeth with the world’s most rational toothpaste, and outsources every part of his life to India—including reading bedtime stories to his kids.
And in a new adventure, Jacobs undergoes scientific testing to determine how he can put his wife through these and other life-altering experiments—one of which involves public nudity.
Filled with humor and wisdom, My Life as an Experiment will immerse you in eye-opening situations and change the way you think about the big issues of our time—from love and work to national politics and breakfast cereal.
A.J. Jacobs has received some strange emails over the years, but this note was perhaps the strangest: “You don’t know me, but I’m your eighth cousin. And we have over 80,000 relatives of yours in our database.”
That’s enough family members to fill Madison Square Garden four times over. Who are these people, A.J. wondered, and how do I find them? So began Jacobs’s three-year adventure to help build the biggest family tree in history.
Jacobs’s journey would take him to all seven continents. He drank beer with a US president, found himself singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and unearthed genetic links to Hollywood actresses and real-life scoundrels. After all, we can choose our friends, but not our family.
“Whether he’s posing as a celebrity, outsourcing his chores, or adhering strictly to the Bible, we love reading about the wacky lifestyle experiments of author A.J. Jacobs” (Entertainment Weekly). Now Jacobs upends, in ways both meaningful and hilarious, our understanding of genetics and genealogy, tradition and tribalism, identity and connection. It’s All Relative is a fascinating look at the bonds that connect us all.
The Know-It-All: Puzzle along with A.J. as he endeavors to read—and retain—the entire encyclopedia, and discover what exactly it is he learns along the way.
The Year of Living Biblically: Discover what life would be like in the 21st century if you lived precisely by the dictates of the Bible—the insights gained about religion might surprise you.
My Life as an Experiment: Join A.J. on a roller-coaster tour of life as a human guinea pig: he explores both the perks and pitfalls of various undertakings in a series of charming essays, including those titled “My Outsourced Life" and "My Life as a Beautiful Woman."
to be stuck in a tornado?
“[It] is exactly the feel of a freight train approaching—that low, ever-louder howl and the shuddering ground.”
to participate in an orgy?
“And all the while, the thought that keeps going through your mind (and through the cab ride home, and into breakfast the next day): ‘I’m at an orgy! I’m at an orgy!’”
to have a severe stutter?
“The thing is, there’s a disconnect thing between my mind and my tongue. My mind’s processing a thousand words a minute, and the tongue is only squeezing out ten or twelve.”
to be a mob hitman?
“It’s nerve-racking. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. Anybody who’s any good at this is concentrating with every nerve in their body, trying to get it done right and trying not to get caught.”
to be 105 years old?
“I was born in 1897 and I’ve seen a lot in the world. I’ve seen everything there is to see. You look back and tell yourself, ‘What have I been doing all these years?’”
If these tidbits whet your appetite for real, first-person accounts of some of life’s most exhilarating, harrowing, or downright strange experiences, then you’ll be sucked in by Esquire Presents: What It Feels Like. Collected by the ever-curious editors of Esquire magazine, here are more than fifty gripping tales—straight from the mouths of the people who’ve lived them.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The book provides students with helpful essays on each perspective, case studies to illustrate each major viewpoint, and discussion questions following each reading. The World’s Cities concludes with an original essay by the editor that helps students understand how an analysis incorporating a combination of theoretical perspectives and factors can provide a richer appreciation of the world’s city dynamics.
Award-winning author Gretchen Rubin is back with a bang, with The Happiness Project. The author of the bestselling 40 Ways to Look at Winston Churchill has produced a work that is “a cross between the Dalai Lama’s The Art of Happiness and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love.” (Sonya Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want) In the vein of Julie and Julia, The Happiness Project describes one person’s year-long attempt to discover what leads to true contentment. Drawing at once on cutting-edge science, classical philosophy, and real-world applicability, Rubin has written an engaging, eminently relatable chronicle of transformation.
Overall, the goal of this book is to expand the knowledge of policymakers at all tiers of government in the United States and Canada and to help them take a more holistic look at the pros and cons of attracting Automobile Manufacturing FDI. It is hoped that this will enable them to make more informed decisions when pursuing a new foreign motor vehicle assembly plant. Its findings should also prove informative to urban and regional planning, political science, sociology, economics, labor, and international development scholars and students in North America and worldwide.
— Joan Rivers
“Ariel Leve is brilliant and funny and the only other person I know without an oven. Buy this book and keep it close.”
— Bill Nighy
“Funny, smart, delightfully cranky”(AJ Jacobs) Ariel Leve’s Sunday Times Magazine (London) column “Cassandra” moves to book form. It Could Be Worse, You Could Be Me offers a humorously bleak perspective on life’s potential to turn out badly… and Ariel’s innate ability to put the black cloud into the silver lining. This is a book for schadenfreude aficionados; for readers who identify with Cassandra’s slogan, “worrying is my yoga”; and for fans of Seinfeld, Ugly Betty, Sex & the City, Curb Your Enthusiasm, David Sedaris, Woody Allen, and New Yorker cartoons.
“Every page is packed with both peril and exquisite writing, and the novel reads like a wholly unique cross between Somewhere in Time and Memento. You won’t be able to put it down!” (David Bell, author of Since She Went Away)
From bestselling author A.J. Banner comes a dazzling new novel of psychological suspense in the vein of S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep and Mary Kubica’s The Good Girl that questions just how much we can trust the people around us.
Thirty-four-year-old marine biologist Kyra Winthrop remembers nothing about the diving accident that left her with a complex form of memory loss. With only brief flashes of the last few years of her life, her world has narrowed to a few close friendships on the island where she lives with her devoted husband, Jacob.
But all is not what it seems. Kyra begins to have visions—or are they memories?—of a rocky marriage, broken promises, and cryptic relationships with the island residents, whom she believes to be her friends.
As Kyra races to uncover her past, the truth becomes a terrifying nightmare. A twisty, immersive thriller, The Twilight Wife will keep readers enthralled through the final, shocking twist.
Although she grew up following some holiday rituals, Pogrebin realized how little she knew about their foundational purpose and contemporary relevance; she wanted to understand what had kept these holidays alive and vibrant, some for thousands of years. Her curiosity led her to embark on an entire year of intensive research, observation, and writing about the milestones on the religious calendar.
Whether in search of a roadmap for Jewish life or a challenging probe into the architecture of Jewish tradition, readers will be captivated, educated and inspired by Abigail Pogrebin’s My Jewish Year.
On an average day, the largest religious broadcast channel is a “divine” presence in more than 50 million households. Holding court on the political issues of the day are such figures as Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn, and Jesse Duplantis. Yet many people have little concept of what kind of faith happens there—apart from performing miracles and selling books. A casual viewer flipping past the channel is likely to think, “I haven’t the faintest clue what’s going on,” or “That church doesn’t seem like my church at all,” or even, “Wow, so that’s what happened to Kirk Cameron.”
To better understand the message of religious television, Lutheran seminarian Nadia Bolz-Weber spent 24 hours immersing herself in the phenomenon with guest viewers including a rabbi, a Unitarian minister, and her eight-year-old daughter. Augmented by a running count of all of the biblical verses used and total cost of various donations solicited and products shilled through the day, the author chronicles this hugely influential part of America’s religious landscape that is unfamiliar to many. And she never changed channels once. The result is “laugh-out-loud, hysterically funny, and also extraordinarily poignant—we need more theology done like this.” (Dr. Douglas Gay, Lecturer in Practical Theology, University of Glasgow, Scotland).
“Turn off your TV and read this book. It's enlightening and entertaining and it doesn't emit any radiation whatsoever.” —AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
Don’t get stuck on a career path you have no passion for. Don’t waste your intelligence on something that doesn’t really mean anything more to you than a paycheck. Let Isaiah Hankel help you define a focus so powerful that everything in your life will be pulled towards it.
Create your purpose and change your life. Be focused. Be fulfilled. Be successful.
Black Hole Focus has been endorsed by top names in business, entrepreneurship, and academia, including 4 times New York Times bestseller AJ Jacobs and Harvard Medical School Postdoc Director Dr. Jim Gould.
The book is broken up into 3 different sections; the first section shows you why you need a purpose in life, the second section shows you how to find your new purpose, and the third section shows you how to achieve your goals when facing adversity.
In this book, you will learn:How to understand what you really want in life and how to get it Why people with a powerful purpose live to 100 How to rapidly improve focus and change your life using the secret techniques of an international memory champion How people like Jim Carrey, Oprah Winfrey, and J.K. Rowling transformed pain into purpose How to start a business by avoiding willpower depletion and the life hack lie
Black Hole Focus includes exclusive case studies from medical practitioners, research scientists, lawyers, corporate executives and small business owners who have used the techniques described in this book to achieve massive success in their own lives.
About the Author:
Dr. Hankel is an internationally recognized expert in the biotechnology industry and prolific public speaker. He's given over 250 seminars in 22 different countries while working with many of the world's most respected companies and institutions, including Harvard University, Oxford University, Roche Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly & Company, Baxter International and Pfizer. Dr. Hankel uses the science of purpose and the principles of entrepreneurship to help people achieve their biggest goals.
“Fine is Bryson Funny.” ——Santa Cruz Sentinel
“Fine is an amiable and self-deprecating storyteller in the mold of Douglas Adams. If you're a fan of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-style humor -- and also looking to find out how to raise your own livestock to feed your ice-cream fetish -- Farewell may prove a vital tool.” —— The Washington Post
“Fine is an eco-hero for our time..” —— Miami Herald
“An afterward offers solid advice and sources for learning more.” —— On Earth Magazine, Natural Resources Defense Fund
“This is Green Acres for the smart set—: a witty and educational look at sustainable living. Buy it, read it, compost it.”
–A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
“The details of Doug Fine’s experiment in green living are great fun——but more important is the spirit, the dawning understanding that living in connection to something more tangible than a computer mouse is what we were built for. It’ll make you want to move!”
–Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
Like many Americans, Doug Fine enjoys his creature comforts, but he also knows full well they keep him addicted to oil. So he wonders: Is it possible to keep his Netflix and his car, his Wi-Fi and his subwoofers, and still reduce his carbon footprint?
In an attempt to find out, Fine up and moves to a remote ranch in New Mexico, where he brazenly vows to grow his own food, use sunlight to power his world, and drive on restaurant grease. Never mind that he’s never raised so much as a chicken or a bean. Or that he has no mechanical or electrical skills.
Whether installing Japanese solar panels, defending the goats he found on Craigslist against coyotes, or co-opting waste oil from the local Chinese restaurant to try and fill the new “veggie oil” tank in his ROAT (short for Ridiculously Oversized American Truck), Fine’s extraordinary undertaking makes one thing clear: It ain’t easy being green. In fact, his journey uncovers a slew of surprising facts about alternative energy, organic and locally grown food, and climate change.
Both a hilarious romp and an inspiring call to action, Farewell, My Subaru makes a profound statement about trading today’s instant gratifications for a deeper, more enduring kind of satisfaction.
From the Hardcover edition.
Matteson Perry is a Nice Guy. He remembers birthdays, politely averts his eyes on the subway, and enjoys backgammon. A serial monogamist, he’s never asked a stranger out. But when the girl he thought might be The One dumps him, he decides to turn his life around. He comes up with The Plan: 1. Be single for a year. 2. Date a lot of women. 3. Hurt no one’s feelings. He’s not out to get revenge, or to become a pickup artist; he just wants to disrupt his pattern, have some fun, and discover who he is. A quick-witted Everyman, Perry throws himself into the modern world of courtship and digital dating, only to discover that even the best-laid plans won’t necessarily get you laid. Over the course of a year he dated almost thirty different women, including a Swedish tourist, a former high school crush, a born-again virgin, a groupie, an actress, a lesbian, and a biter.
In Available, award-winning storyteller Matteson Perry “illuminates dating” (Bustle) bringing us into the inner sanctum of failed pick-up lines, uncomfortable courtships, awkward texts, and self-discovery, charting the highs and lows of single life and the lessons he learned along the way. A charming and personal story about a guy and a girl—and twenty-nine other girls—Available is the ultimate real-life rom-com “a thoughtful, interesting, and most of all, funny memoir about relationships, filled with universal feelings but unique stories” (Justin Halpern, Sh*t My Dad Says).
“Like the Bible itself, Good Book contains multitudes—it is by turns thought-provoking, funny, enlightening and moving.” — A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
“Plotz is a genius writer.” — Franklin Foer, author of How Soccer Explains the World
A whip-smart, laugh-out-loud tour through the most important book in the world, a book most people have never read: the Bible.
Advance praise for Marijuanamerica
“This book is so entertaining, I want to roll it up and smoke it. Ryan Nerz takes us on a delightfully weird and educational journey that includes crazed pharmacists, a guy named Buddha Cheese, and an interstate road trip with a trunk full of pot.”
—A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
“Marijuanamerica has it all: danger, suspense, nuts-and-bolts reportage, laugh-out-loud dialogue, gritty characters, sociological dissection, and hella deep thoughts. Nerz has talent to burn; this is participatory journalism at its finest.”
—Davy Rothbart, author of My Heart Is an Idiot, creator of Found Magazine, frequent contributor to This American Life
“What a long, strange trip it's been for Ryan Nerz, whose wild tales and antics are the stuff stoner lore is made of. But in looking at how far Marijuana has come, he also poses the tough questions every stoner inevitably asks. Ryan's journey is one worth taking.”
—Shirley Halperin, author of Pot Culture
An E! News star mixes memoir and investigative journalism in his own rollicking, poignant, and masterful version of A.J. Jacobs’ A Year of Living Biblically, chronicling his own spiritual journey as he investigates the religious lives of the rich and famous in Hollywood.
Ken Baker, the popular L.A.-based senior correspondent for E! News and E! Online, has worked in Hollywood for over twenty years—hobnobbing with multimillionaires and interviewing movie, music and TV stars such as George Clooney, Britney Spears, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Kim Kardashian, day in and day out. In that time, and in the land of fairy tales and double-dealing, Baker had become one of the materialistic, carnal people he never wanted to be, abandoning his Christian heritage and losing his spiritual center in the process. Finding himself alone and confused one day in Vegas, he has an awakening that puts him on a journey to find God, not only in himself, but in the celebrities whose lives intersect with his both professionally and personally.
In The Ken Commandments, Ken sets off on an experiment that will bring him closer to the spiritual lives of such diverse luminaries as Deepak Chopra, Tom Cruise, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Joel Osteen and Gwen Stefani and in the process help to reveal the light and dark of Hollywood in new ways. From New Age spirituality, to Bible-based Christianity, to Scientology, to Buddhist retreats, to meditation classes, to Atheism studies, to the mega-church of the nation's top TV preacher, Baker immerses himself in a range of spiritual practices side by side with the celebrity set, revealing a world that is deeper, more questioning and more God-centered than you'd ever imagine.
Gillian Flynn, Mary Roach, Dave Eggers, Rick Moody, Chuck Palahniuk, Amy Tan, A.J. Jacobs, Daniel Clowes, Jeff Greenwald, Po Bronson…the list goes on. They all sucked once, and they all have the guts to share some of their crappiest early work in Drivel: an uplifting bit of voyeurism, based on the sold-out “Regreturature” stage shows in San Francisco, and brought to you by Litquake and the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.
Within these pages you’ll find abstruse and esoteric poetry (bad); incoherent and illogical short stories (worse); bumfuzzling proto-journalism (shameful); and pretentious, overwrought journal entries (we’ll not speak of this again).
Thanks to these courageous but foolhardy writers, the world now knows the real meaning of a work-in-progress.
For anyone who?s ever wished they could channel 1980s action-adventure icon Angus MacGyver?a secret agent known for relying on his brains, scientific prowess, duct tape, and a Swiss Army knife to save the day?this unique collection commemorates the use of improvised genius in everyday life. The ?MacGyverisms? recounted range from the concrete (using Chex Mix to provide traction in an icy parking lot) to the intangible (saving a relationship with the perfect turn of phrase). Divided by theme, the book features over forty true accounts in all?some by well-known writers, including Chuck Klosterman and A. J. Jacobs, most by ordinary people.
Edgy, entertaining, and smirk-to-yourself funny, these masterfully told stories reveal that, with a little luck and a lot of ingenuity, you can ?MacGyver? yourself out of virtually any predicament.
Americans consistently identify the Bible as the most influential book in history, but seriously: are you really reading it? Probably not. If all you know about the Bible are a few Psalms and the Christmas story, then you're missing out on a book that's wilder, weirder, and more entertaining than you ever imagined.
With a stealthy combo of entertainment and insight, Jason Boyett's Pocket Guide to the Bible fills the gaps in your religious education. It introduces you to the characters you must know, reveals the thrilling development of the biblical canon, and details the less-churchy parts of Scripture (hello, sex and violence!). Don't miss out on discoveringHow God employs talking donkeys, mentally unstable prophets, and helpful prostitutes in his master plan
Which moral failures may result in an old-fashioned smiting
Why Catholic Bibles include books some Protestants refuse to recognize
Whether your New International Version of the Bible may in fact be demonic
With Pocket Guide to the Bible, you'll finally realize what's so good about the Good Book.
—Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman
The Story of Ain’t by David Skinner is the captivating true chronicle of the creation of Merriam Webster’s Third New International Dictionary in 1961, the most controversial dictionary ever published. Skinner’s surprising and engaging, erudite and witty account will enthrall fans of Winchester’s The Professor and the Madman and The Meaning of Everything, and The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs, as it explores a culture in transition and the brilliant, colorful individuals behind it. The Story of Ain’t is a smart, often outrageous, and altogether remarkable tale of how egos, infighting, and controversy shaped one of America’s most authoritative language texts, sparking a furious language debate that the late, great author David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest) once called “the Fort Sumter of the Usage Wars.”
He's hot and he's single, but Antonio Billups has been out of the dating game for three years. Since his wife died, his focus has been on his business--and their son A.J. Enter new-in-town sultry, sexy Serena Jacobs, a woman who just might inspire Antonio to change his mind about being alone. . .
That His Body Can't Resist. . .
Serena's new restaurant is about to take off, and so is her heart--to Antonio. But events from her past are about to hit the fan--with a little help from Antonio's scheming sister-in-law. Soon, Hollywood catfights and long-ago love affairs threaten the steamy relationship between Antonio and Serena, and when their secret histories collide, they must choose between a future with--or without--love. . .
"Hodges delivers a sizzling romance. . ." --Publishers Weekly on More Than He Can Handle
The Good Book, with an introduction by Adam Gopnik, is “a rich tapestry of reflections” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) by writers from many different faiths, including literary fiction writers (Colm Tóibín, Edwidge Danticat, Tobias Wolff, Rick Moody); bestselling nonfiction writers (A.J. Jacobs, Ian Frazier, Thomas Lynch); notable figures in the media (Charles McGrath, Cokie Roberts, Steven V. Roberts); and social activists (Al Sharpton, Kerry Kennedy). While these contributors are not primarily known as religious thinkers, they write intelligently and movingly about specific passages in the Bible that inform the way they live, think about past experiences, and see society today. Excerpted in The New Yorker and other prestigious publications, some pieces are close readings of specific passages, some are anecdotes from everyday life, and all will inspire, provoke, or illuminate.
Showcasing some of the best-known and best-loved characters and stories from Genesis to Revelation, The Good Book is “often inspiring and always interesting” (Booklist, starred review). This beautiful, enlightening gift “really does justice to the richness and complexity of the texts and how they resonate in our lives” (Krista Tippett, host of NPR’s On Being). “These writers raise questions that are age-old, yet utterly contemporary, pressing, thoughtful, eternal” (Edward Hirsch). “This collection has something for everyone who appreciates good writing” (Library Journal).
Immersion writing can be broken down into the broad categories of travel writing, immersion memoir, and immersion journalism. Using the work of such authors as Barbara Ehrenreich, Hunter S. Thompson, Ted Conover, A. J. Jacobs, Nellie Bly, Julio Cortazar, and James Agee, Hemley examines these three major types of immersion writing and further identifies the subcategories of the quest, the experiment, the investigation, the infiltration, and the reenactment. Included in the book are helpful exercises, models for immersion writing, and a chapter on one of the most fraught subjects for nonfiction writers—the ethics and legalities of writing about other people.
A Field Guide for Immersion Writing recalibrates and redefines the way writers approach their relationship to their subjects. Suitable for beginners and advanced writers, the book provides an enlightening, provocative, and often amusing look at the ways in which nonfiction writers engage with the world around them.
A Friends Fund Publication.
David Sax's delightful travelogue is a journey across the United States and around the world that investigates the history, the diaspora, and the next generation of delicatessen. David Sax was alarmed by the state of Jewish delicatessen. As a journalist and lifelong deli lover, he watched in dismay as one beloved deli after another closed its doors, only to be reopened as some bland chain restaurant laying claim to the cuisine it just paved over. Was it still possible to save the deli? He writes about the food itself—how it's made, who makes it best, and where to go for particular dishes—and, ultimately, what he finds is hope: deli newly and lovingly made in places like Boulder, Colorado, longstanding deli traditions thriving in Montreal, and the resurrection of iconic institutions like New York's 2nd Avenue Deli. No cultural history of food has ever tasted so good.
In The Autobiographers Handbook, you're invited to a roundtable discussion with today's most successful memoirists. Let Nick Hornby show you how the banal can be brilliant. Elizabeth Gilbert will teach you to turn pain into prose. Want to beat procrastination? Steve Almond has the answer. Learn about memory triggers (Ishmael Beah: music) and warm-up exercises (Jonathan Ames: internet backgammon). These writers may not always agree (on research: Tobias Wolff, yes, Frank McCourt, no) but whether you're a blossoming writer or a veteran wordsmith, this book will help anyone who has ever dreamed of putting their story on paper, on writing themselves into existence.
Featuring: STEVE ALMOND • JONATHAN AMES • ISHMAEL BEAH • ELIZABETH GILBERT • NICK HORNBY • A. J. JACOBS • MAXINE HONG KINGSTON • PHILLIP LOPATE • FRANK MCCOURT • DAVID RAKOFF • ESMERALDA SANTIAGO • JULIA SCHEERES • ART SPIEGELMAN • ANTHONY SWOFFORD • SARAH VOWELL • SEAN WILSEY • TOBIAS WOLFF • AND MANY MORE
"Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, and Monica Crowley may think they're pretty bold. But when it comes to baring the secret ardor of a conservative woman, nobody undresses like Lisa Baron." -New York Daily News
"Hysterical." -Hollis Gillespie, author of Trailer Trashed
"Everything you wanted to know about what goes on behind the Christian GOP curtain but were afraid to ask. Funny, frank, hilarious. " -Michael Murphy, guest columnist for Time magazine
"Sex, drugs, interns-rock stars have nothing on Bible-thumping politicos when it comes to sin and raunch." -Suzi Parker, author of Sex in the South
"Primary Colors meets Coyote Ugly." -Gawker
"Sex, scandal. . .this book has everything." -A. J. Jacobs
* Napping is good for the environment. When you're napping, you're not:
a) Burning fossil fuels
b) Procreating, thus increasing the pitter-patter of little carbon footprints
c) Engaging in slash-and-burn agriculture.
* Napping during sex is sometimes perceived as a lack of interest. Be careful with that.
* Advice for parents with newborns: nap when the baby naps. Unless, of course, you have other kids, in which case you'll need to tie them up in the back yard first.
"A wonderful book, both for reading and for placing on the face while napping." --AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
"My motto has always been, 'More napping, less slapping!' This funny and informative book takes us ever closer to that dream." --Jack Handey, author of Deep Thoughts
—A.J. Jacobs, Editor at Large at Esquire magazine and bestselling author of DROP DEAD and THE YEAR OF LIVING BIBLICALLY
"Mike Vardy has been the go to person for productivity tips for me over the past few years both as editor of the famous Lifehack.org and via his new site at Productivityist.com. This book is full of his best insights from years of experience of working at the very top in the online industry. I can't recommending this book enough for anyone looking to take 2013 by storm and doubling down on efficiency on any tasks they are working on. Especially his descriptive elements of connecting learnings from golfing makes it all a lot easier to grasp."
—Leo Widrich, co-founder of Buffer
"While I'm not a golf fan, the use of golf in this book works perfectly. Plus, if you try something from the book and it doesn't work for you, simply call a mulligan and move foward."
—C.C. Chapman, co-author of the bestseller CONTENT RULES
What is THE FRONT NINE?
THE FRONT NINE is a guide by one of the web's leading productivity experts, former Lifehack.org Editor-in-Chief, Mike Vardy, to help you get ready, get set, and go forward with your new year, anytime you want. Taking elements from the game of golf and applying them to productivity and goal-setting, THE FRONT NINE aims to put you in a position to make a fresh start on a project, a goal, or even a deeper desire, whenever you’re ready.
THE FRONT NINE is a resource that is specific in structure, yet fluid in content in that it is accessible to anyone who has an open mind. You don’t need to be a “productivityist” to wrap your head around it -- and you certainly don't need to be a golfer. You don’t need to be using a task manager – or task management system – to make it work for you (although it can help). All you need is the willingness to want to change and see things through to make THE FRONT NINE work for you.
In celebration of Brown University’s 250th anniversary, fifty remarkable, prizewinning writers and artists who went to Brown provide unique stories—many published for the first time—about their adventures on College Hill. Funny, poignant, subversive, and nostalgic, the essays, comics, and poems in this collection paint a vivid picture of college life, from the 1950s to the present, at one of America’s most interesting universities.
Donald Antrim, Robert Arellano, M. Charles Bakst, Amy DuBois Barnett, Lisa Birnbach, Kate Bornstein, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Mary Caponegro, Susan Cheever, Brian Christian, Pamela Constable, Nicole Cooley, Dana Cowin, Spencer R. Crew, Edwidge Danticat, Dilip D’Souza, David Ebershoff, Jeffrey Eugenides, Richard Foreman, Amity Gaige, Robin Green, Andrew Sean Greer, Christina Haag, Joan Hilty, A.J. Jacobs, Sean Kelly, David Klinghoffer, Jincy Willett Kornhauser, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, David Levithan, Mara Liasson, Lois Lowry, Ira C. Magaziner, Madeline Miller, Christine Montross, Rick Moody, Jonathan Mooney, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Dawn Raffel, Bill Reynolds, Marilynne Robinson, Sarah Ruhl, Ariel Sabar, Joanna Scott, Jeff Shesol, David Shields, Krista Tippett, Alfred Uhry, Afaa Michael Weaver, and Meg Wolitzer
“At Brown, we felt safely ensconced in a carefree, counterculture cocoon—free to criticize the university president, join a strike by cafeteria workers, break china laughing, or kiss the sky.” —Pamela Constable
People who take the Bible seriously never know what to do with the book of Leviticus. And yet Leviticus is historically considered by Jews, and thus by Jesus, as the pivotal book of the Hebrew Bible. It's impossible to fully comprehend such key New Testament terms as sacrifice, atonement, or blood without some understanding of Leviticus. The "second greatest commandment," which Jesus said was "Love your neighbor as yourself," comes from Leviticus (19:18).
As a longtime minister and preacher who had successfully skirted Leviticus for most of his life, author Daniel Harrell wanted to come to grips with all that Leviticus teaches--not just loving neighbors, but the parts about animal sacrifice, Sabbath-keeping, skin diseases, homosexuality, and stoning sinners, too. Yet rather than approaching Leviticus with a view toward mitigating its commands, he decided to simply obey them.
The surprising lessons they learned impressed on Harrell both the power of obedience and the necessity of grace. This book traces the adventures of a group of people eager to understand the Bible by living it.
In the worst blizzard of the year, the latest victim unexpectedly shows up at AJ’s office. Bright and attractive, small business owner Katie Blackburn angrily relates her experience during the interview when, unknowingly, Katie gives AJ the break she’s desperately needed.
Immediately, Katie presents another kind of battle for AJ. Just as she took the oath to keep America safe, AJ’s heart begins to feel the same oath for Katie. AJ knows drugs don’t care who handles them, but she does. It’s her job and her war.
Here’s a graphic-novel version of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments, by Rebecca Odes and Sam Lipsyte. Lost creator Damon Lindelof writing about Abraham’s decision to sacrifice his son. Here’s Sloane Crosley bringing Pharaoh into the 21st century, where he’s checking out “boils,” “lice,” and “plague of frogs” on WebMD. Plus there’s Joshua Foer, Aimee Bender, A. J. Jacobs, David Auburn, Jill Soloway, Ben Greenman, Josh Radnor, Adam Mansbach, and more.
Edited by Roger Bennett, a founder of Reboot, a network of young Jewish creatives and intellectuals, Unscrolled is a gathering of brilliant, diverse voices that will speak to anyone interested in Jewish thought and identity—and, with its singular design and use of color throughout, the perfect bar and bat mitzvah gift. First it presents a synopsis of the Torah portion, written by Bennett, and then the story is reinterpreted, in forms that range from the aforementioned graphic novel to transcripts, stories, poems, memoirs, letters, plays, infographics, monologues—each designed to give the reader a fresh new take on some of the oldest, wisest, and occasionally weirdest stories of the Western world, while inspiring new ideas about the Bible and its meaning, value, and place in our lives.
Just days after mathematician and family patriarch Isaac Severy dies of an apparent suicide, his adopted granddaughter Hazel, owner of a struggling Seattle bookstore, receives a letter from him by mail. In it, Isaac alludes to a secretive organization that is after his final bombshell equation, and he charges Hazel with safely delivering it to a trusted colleague. But first, she must find where the equation is hidden.
While in Los Angeles for Isaac’s funeral, Hazel realizes she’s not the only one searching for his life’s work, and that the equation’s implications have potentially disastrous consequences for the extended Severy family, a group of dysfunctional geniuses unmoored by the sudden death of their patriarch.
As agents of an enigmatic company shadow Isaac’s favorite son—a theoretical physicist—and a long-lost cousin mysteriously reappears in Los Angeles, the equation slips further from Hazel’s grasp. She must unravel a series of maddening clues hidden by Isaac inside one of her favorite novels, drawing her ever closer to his mathematical treasure. But when her efforts fall short, she is forced to enlist the help of those with questionable motives.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package "Heartwarming".
Join Dana Schwartz on a journey revisiting all of the terrible decisions she made in her early twenties through the internet's favorite method of self-knowledge: the quiz. Part-memoir, part-VERY long personality test, CHOOSE YOUR OWN DISASTER is a manifesto about the millennial experience and modern feminism and how the easy advice of "you can be anything you want!" is actually pretty fucking difficult when there are so many possible versions of yourself it seems like you could be. Dana has no idea who she is, but at least she knows she's a Carrie, a Ravenclaw, a Raphael, a Belle, a former emo kid, a Twitter addict, and a millennial just trying her best.