Title: The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment
Author: A.J. Jacobs
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from my own library.
First line: Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot of suggestions.
I thoroughly enjoyed Jacobs’ first two books, The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically, and so when my sister sent me a gift card for my birthday, The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment immediately came to mind. I knew it would be a fun read – what I didn’t know was that I’d devour it in a couple days’ time!
Jacobs is a curious man, and one who is willing to try almost anything for the sake of what he will take away from the experience – and for writing material, of course. Each chapter of this book represents another experiment that he tried – most of them lasting for at least a month. There was the month that he posed as his beautiful nanny and signed up for online dating; the month that he lived by the tenets of Radical Honesty – no lying and no filter between brain and mouth; the month that he tried to live by George Washington’s 110 Rules of Civility; the month he spent uni-tasking; and the time he posed naked for Esquire. And, in response to all the letters telling him that his wife is a saint, he spent a month obeying her every wish and command.
Jacobs has a quick wit, a keen eye for human foibles, and a willingness to look like a fool for the sake of the story. I loved each and every chapter – and couldn’t help wishing my husband would try the “whipped” experiment. It’s not very often that I get as engrossed in a non-fiction book as I do in a novel, but this book grabbed me and kept me turning the pages, very often laughing out loud and wishing there was someone around that I could read a section aloud to. I will definitely be looking forward to Jacobs’ next book.