Book Reviews: The Know-It All, Two Dollar Bill, Freakonomics

Three very different books that lasted me a 10 hour flight and some subsequent lazy mornings when I’m up at 3 AM due to jet lag.

The Know-It All: One Man’s Quest to Become the Smartest Man in the World I purchased awhile ago but only now got around to it even after reading a negative review. It seemed to be right up my alley – random entries from the Encyclopedia with fun facts, clarifications of myths, and so forth. The author A.J. Jacobs decided to read Britannica and this book is a compilation of some of the more interesting entries he read. I made it 150 pages through and then had enough. It was entertaining at times and of course made me smarter, but I started getting restless halfway through and his ceaseless and weird self-bashing got to me.

Next was Freakonomics, if you haven’t heard of it already, you are officially sleeping. I don’t like reading bestsellers because everyone reads them, so you’re not gaining anything new/different. But reading the Freakonomics blog for a month or two pushed me over the edge, and all I will say is this: there’s a reason books are on the bestseller list.

Finally, on the plane and in the car I listened to the audiobook version of Stuart Woods’ Two Dollar Bill, your classic trashy mystery novel that was loaded with good stuff like lawyers, CIA agents, and internet sex scandals. A nice break from the some of the thicker, academic stuff I’ve been reading. Thanks Brad for the rec.

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