A hilarious, intelligent-trivia-packed story from a man who read the entire Encylopedia Britannica. Early in his career, A. J. Jacobs found himself putting his Ivy League education to work at Entertainment Weekly. After five years he learned which stars have fake boobs, which stars have toupees, which have both, and not much else. This unsettling realization led Jacobs on a life-changing quest: to read the entire contents of the Encylopedia Britannica, all 33,000 pages, all 44 million words. Jacobs accumulates useful and less-so knowledge, and along the way finds a deep connection with his father (who attempted the same feat when Jacob's was a child), examines the nature of knowledge vs. intelligence, and learns how to be rather annoying at cocktail parties. Part memoir/part-education (or lack thereof), the chapters are organized by the letters of the alphabet.