This book came highly recommended, but I was skeptical. Nerdy pointless trivia? Becoming the "smartest person in the world" by reading Brittanica? I was even skeptical about the format--an alphabetical tour through the encyclopedia, with starting entries on a-ak, a capella, Aachen, Aaron, etc. Fortunately, Jacobs is a very talented narrator, and he had me hooked in the first few pages. His method of detailing the journey from A to Z was very effective. This isn't random repeated trivia, it's a very good memoir. We learn about Jacobs's career at Esquire, his relationship with his wife, their on-going fertility troubles, his playfully combative relationship with his brother-in-law, and his relationship with his dad and how dad shaped Jacobs as a person. All of this is intertwined with his journey through Brittanica, and I learned a lot on the way. Jacobs also spices up his quest for knowledge by taking a speed reading class, joining Mensa and attending a gathering, meeting Alex Trebek, and trying out for Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, among other things.