Living biblically and reading the encyclopedia worked out so well for A.J. Jacobs that he’s gone back to the self-experimentation well, reupping with Simon&Schuster for another stunt book. This time he’ll “work with a board of advisers and study great texts” and “visit the world’s healthiest communities, exercise with a passion, analyze his DNA and revolutionize his diet” in a quest to become the ‘Healthiest Human Being In The World,’ per S&S’s press release. He also got them to anthologize his previous self-experimentation essays as part of the deal. More power to A.J.,whose books tend to be fun, but it’s hard not to resent the fact that he is pretty much singlehandedly responsible for the occasionally annoying ‘I did a thing for a year’ genre. Sometimes it seems like wherever you look there’s a new book about a year of saying “yes” to dates or having sex with your wife every day or following the advice in self-help books or eating only food from your organic garden. This isn’t a bad thing, necessarily, it’s just that the pool of good gimmicks is limited, and shrinking. Plus there are so many of these books now that some enterprising self-reflective journalist could theoretically write a book about their year of only reading year-stunt books, and the life lessons learned thereby. Hmm!
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