Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment

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Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment

by A J Jacobs

Simon & Schuster | September 8, 2009 | Hardcover

Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment is rated 3.5 out of 5 by 8.
The uproarious New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All gathers his adventures as a human guinea pig into one of the funniest and most enlightening books of the year.

• An irresistible page-turner filled with surprising wisdom: For his first hit book, Jacobs read the Encyclopedia Britannica. For his second, he followed every single rule in the Bible. Now comes a collection of his most outrageous and thought-provoking experiments yet. In The Guinea Pig Diaries, Jacobs goes undercover as a beautiful woman. He outsources everything in his life to India, from answering his emails to arguing with his wife. He spends two months saying whatever is on his mind. He lives like George Washington. Plus several other life-changing experiments—one of which involves public nudity.

• Amazing sales record: The humor of A.J. Jacobs has produced sales that are anything but laughable. His books have more than half a million copies in print, and they have spent a combined twenty-nine weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists and counting. He has inspired many imitators, but none has matched his ability to combine side-splitting entertainment with profound life lessons.

• A media favorite: To promote his books, Jacobs has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today show, Good Morning America, Anderson Cooper 360, Conan O’Brien, and NPr’s Fresh Air. Jacobs is all over the Internet as well, from Slate to the Huffington Post to Playboy.com. He is a regular contributor to NPR’s Weekend Edition. And he’s the editor-at-large at Esquire magazine, where versions of some of these experiments have appeared.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 256 pages, 8.4 × 5.8 × 1 in

Published: September 8, 2009

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1416599061

ISBN - 13: 9781416599067

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Made me want to eat only minute rice for a year, just to see if I could. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to outsource your entire life to India? I mean EVERYTHING! Well wonder no longer, as this book presents this scenario, and others both more and less useful. It really did leave me wondering: If this guy can make big bucks doing this stuff and writing about it, why can't I? Then I realized my wife would kill me if I did, and decided to leave it to the professionals. In the meantime, I have enjoyed living vicariously through the author, and would suggest you read about his exploits as well.
Date published: 2010-02-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The Let Down Diaries. Having read and loved Jacobs previous two books, The Know It All and The Year of Living Biblically, I was excited to see he had written a new book. However, his two earlier experiments each took a year whereas the experiments in this book took roughly a month each. None of them were very in depth due to being done so quickly. This would probably be a great book for anyone with ADD. What really annoyed me though was that a great deal of this book was made up of stories published in his first two books. I couldn't help but feel like I'd paid for the same thing twice. In fact if I hadn't gotten 40% off of this book when I bought it I would probably be writing a really nasty review right now, as well as an email to Jacobs himself.
Date published: 2009-11-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Year of Living Randomly With his latest title, author A.J. Jacobs, already famous for performing social "experiments" on himself, decided to focus on several smaller projects rather than one larger one (such as reading the encyclopedia). These experiments include suce things as living by George Washington's Rules of Civility and spending an entire month catering to his wife's every whim (probably the highlight of the book.) Jacobs certainly made the right decision to not write an entire book about these topics but some of them aren't really worthy of being done at all. Living by Washington's rules can really be summed up with "being polite to everyone plus bowing". I still enjoy Jacobs sense of humor and enjoy hearing tales about his long suffering wife (who gets to contribute to this title) but this book doesn't quite rise to the level of his previous efforts.
Date published: 2009-11-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Author's Voice Tells It Like It Is I picked up this book as I had previously read "A Year of Living Biblically", and had searched out some of Mr. Jacob's articles he wrote for Esquire. I was somewhat disapointed when it turned out many of those articles were contained within this book, but it was entertaining nonetheless. I really enjoy the author's voice and many parts made myself laugh out loud or to repeat out loud to my husband.
Date published: 2009-10-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Funny but not deep Books rarely make me laugh. I might smile or grin and share a story but i rarely laugh out loud. I did with this book. I did not read either of his previous two books so i have nothing to compare it with. i did not pick this book up with the intention of learning anything like perhaps one might with his previous one. i was only looking to be entertained. In the same genre as perhaps Freakanomics, Blink or Outliers where the reader gets a very high level view of various concepts this book does the same but with a much funnier perspective.
Date published: 2009-10-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious I really like "The Guinea Pig Diaries". I guess I had the advantage of not having particular interest to his previous two books; I can enjoy this one without preconception or over-expectation from A. J. Jacobs. Nevertheless, "The Guinea Pig Diaries" did make me laugh. For each topics Jacobs came by, he took it to the extreme. I found the chapter on outsourcing his life with the help of Indian assistants ironic and funny. Having read those same reference books that he listed under the Rationality Project, I have to give Jacobs credit for his clever experimentation (even though sometimes impractical and edging on misinterpretation). I laughed out loud, literally, when I read of his quest to be the perfect husband for a month. The high point that makes this book entertaining and readable would be the smooth, creative and humorous way of how Jacobs weaved his sentences. If you are one of those who like to comment "That's a good one" for witty remarks you heard, then you may have to be prepared for having to say it a great many times through the reading of "The Guinea Pig Diaries".
Date published: 2009-10-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not as good as expected! After reading (and loving) 'The Year of Living Biblically' I couldn't wait to read A.J. Jacobs new book. Unfortunately 'The Guinea Pig Diaries' was not as good as I had expected. What made 'Living Biblically' so good was that Jacobs lived the fanatically religious lifestyle for a full year, but in this book no experiment lasted longer than a month, with one lasting only a single day (when he impersonated a celebrity at the Oscars) so they never seem as thorough or focused. If i wanted to read an academic book on any of the topics Jacobs studied I would have - I wanted this book to provide insight into each of the topics but because of the short length of each one it never did. In 'Living Biblically' Jacobs seems to be an 'expert' on all things Old and New Testiment because of the length and dedication of the experiment, but here it just seems like he is a regular Joe giving his opinion.
Date published: 2009-09-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from OK Entertaining, but a bit of a let down compared to his excellent first two books.
Date published: 2009-09-21

– More About This Product –

Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment

by A J Jacobs

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 256 pages, 8.4 × 5.8 × 1 in

Published: September 8, 2009

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1416599061

ISBN - 13: 9781416599067

About the Book

A book of essays on all of A.J.'s hilarious adventures as a human guinea pig, including "My Outsourced Life" and "My Life as a Hot Woman."

Read from the Book

Chapter One My Life as a Beautiful Woman I’ve been a beautiful woman for fifty days, and no one has compared me to a summer’s day. No one has said my lips are like rose blossoms or my throat is as smooth as alabaster. Men don’t have time for that anymore. We live in the age of transparency. Say what you mean and mean what you say. As in: “You are a very pretty lady.” “I think you are very attractive.” “You look hot.” I’ve been approached by more than six hundred men, and that’s one of the big themes I’ve discovered in their method: cut to the chase. The directness has its charms, but like everything else about being a beautiful woman, it has its dark side as well. One suitor tried to seduce me with this line: “I would like to stalk you.” Another said, “I am in a committed relationship but am looking for a girl on the side.” Are these guys honest? Sure. To the point? Yes. Creepy? As hell. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up. I stumbled into this experiment as a hot woman. This one wasn’t premeditated. As a general rule, I dislike female impersonation. I have too many bad associations of men in skirts—Benny Hill, Uncle Miltie, Idi Amin. But sometimes there are good—or at least excusable—reasons to pose as a female. The reason in this case is my two-year-old son’s nanny, Michelle. She’s a stunning woman. Before my wife and I hired her,
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From the Publisher

The uproarious New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All gathers his adventures as a human guinea pig into one of the funniest and most enlightening books of the year.

• An irresistible page-turner filled with surprising wisdom: For his first hit book, Jacobs read the Encyclopedia Britannica. For his second, he followed every single rule in the Bible. Now comes a collection of his most outrageous and thought-provoking experiments yet. In The Guinea Pig Diaries, Jacobs goes undercover as a beautiful woman. He outsources everything in his life to India, from answering his emails to arguing with his wife. He spends two months saying whatever is on his mind. He lives like George Washington. Plus several other life-changing experiments—one of which involves public nudity.

• Amazing sales record: The humor of A.J. Jacobs has produced sales that are anything but laughable. His books have more than half a million copies in print, and they have spent a combined twenty-nine weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists and counting. He has inspired many imitators, but none has matched his ability to combine side-splitting entertainment with profound life lessons.

• A media favorite: To promote his books, Jacobs has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today show, Good Morning America, Anderson Cooper 360, Conan O’Brien, and NPr’s Fresh Air. Jacobs is all over the Internet as well, from Slate to the Huffington Post to Playboy.com. He is a regular contributor to NPR’s Weekend Edition. And he’s the editor-at-large at Esquire magazine, where versions of some of these experiments have appeared.

About the Author

A.J. Jacobs is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically. He is the editor-at-large of Esquire magazine, a contributor to NPr, and a columnist for mental_floss magazine. He lives in New York City.

From Our Editors

INDIGO RECOMMENDS REVIEW: Ever wonder what it would be like to outsource your life to a stranger overseas? To live like George Washington? To spend months speaking your mind according to a system of Radical Honesty? Well sit back and let the author of the bestsellers The Know It All and The Year of Living Biblically A J Jacobs do it all for you. In the spirit of openness and sincere curiosity that informed his attempts to read the entire Encyclopedia Britanica and to live faithfully according to the rules of the Good Book, A J Jacobs puts himself to the tests. Watch him squirm as he poses nude to accompany an article on Mary Louise Parker. Look over his shoulder as he dates online in the guise of his single nanny. Stare in amazement as he forgoes multitasking in a fruitless effort to concentrate on completing just one task at a time. In this series of human experiments Jacobs comes up against his own weaknesses, everyone else’s expectations and even George Washington’s 101 Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour. With the same gusto and humour shown in his two previous bestsellers Jacobs gives the reader a ringside seat in his adventures as a human guinea pig. Highly recommended.

Editorial Reviews

“We love reading about the lifestyle experiments of author A.J. Jacobs.”
–Entertainment Weekly
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