Hometown: New York City, NY
About: A.J. Jacobs is a New York Times bestselling author, Esquire editor and human guinea pig.
Among Jacobs’ life experiments:
--The Know-It-All. The bestselling memoir of the year he spent reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in a quest to become the smartest person in the world.
--The Year of Living Biblically. The bestseller about his life as the ultimate biblical man. He followed every rule of the Bible, from the Ten Commandments down to stoning adulterers.
--"My Outsourced Life". An Esquire article about hiring a team of people in Bangalore, India to live his life for him – answer his emails, call his coworkers, argue with his wife, and read bedtime stories to his son.
--"My Life as a Hot Woman". A quest to find his beautiful nanny a boyfriend. The method? By impersonating her on an online dating site.
--"I Think You’re Fat". An immersion into the bizarre, entertaining and terrifying world of Radical Honesty – which means removing the filter between your brain and mouth.
Jacobs is the editor at large at Esquire magazine. He has written for The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, New York magazine and Dental Economics magazine, one of the top five magazines about the financial side of toothcare.
In 2004, Simon & Schuster plublished the Know-It-All. It subsequently spent eight weeks on the New York Times paperback bestseller list. It was praised by Time magazine, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, USA Today, Janet Maslin in the New York Times and AJ’s uncle Henry on Amazon.com.
Jacobs has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America and the second-to-last episode of the John McEnroe Show on MSNBC, which also featured Dionne Warwick wearing a fannypack.
He is a periodic commentator on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, where he discusses important facts, such as the fact that oppossums have 13 nipples.
In the fall of 2007, the Year of Living Biblically was released. It appeared on the NYT bestseller list, and was praised by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, The New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and others. It appeared on the cover of the evangelical magazine Relevant, but was also featured in Penthouse. (Jacobs is proud to be a uniter, not a divider). It will be released in paperback on September 9, 2008.
Jacobs has signed on to write two more books for Simon & Schuster. The first is called Life Is an Experiment, and will contain both original essays and previously published pieces, including “My Outsourced Life,” Jacobs’ quest to delegate every task in his life to India. The second is called The Healthiest Human Being in the World and it continues Jacobs’ experiential journalism series as he tries to perfect his physical condition while simultaneously dissecting the meaning of the word “healthiest.”
Jacobs grew up in New York City. His father is a lawyer who holds the world record for the most footnotes in a law review article (4,824). His wife works for a highbrow scavenger hunt called Watson Adventures. He lives in New York. He wonders if he fooled anyone with this third-person thing, or if everyone knows that he wrote this bio himself.
SOME OF A.J. Jacobs WORKS: