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A.J.  Jacobs

A.J. Jacobs

Best-Selling Author & "Human Guinea Pig"


Renowned as "the human guinea pig," A.J. Jacobs has outsourced his life to India, read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in a quest to become the world’s smartest person, lived modern life as the ultimate biblical subject, and followed every bit of modern medical advice in a quest to become the healthiest man alive. Throwing himself into bizarre situations all in the name of a little curiosity and a lot of humor, Jacobs chronicles his experiences in his New York Times bestsellers The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All, and in his latest, Drop Dead Healthy. Read More >

Known far and wide for his clever commentary and prose, Jacobs is the Editor-at-Large at Esquire magazine. He has written for The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly and New York Magazine. But it has been his unique life experiments that have greatly defined him. His other adventures in spending his life as a living, breathing experiment are chronicled in The Guinea Pig Diaries, a compilation of essays exploring such hilarious adventures as "My Outsourced Life" and "My Life as a Hot Woman”

Now audiences get to hear truly amazing stories from a man who has walked in the shoes of Moses, consumed 33,000 pages of knowledge and followed the caveman diet. By answering questions few would even think of asking, Jacobs has earned a fresh understanding of how the most absurd of moments can become incredibly profound. Jacobs understands that there is deeper knowledge to be gained by keeping an open mind and finding inspiration everywhere. Clever, incredibly witty and quirky, Jacobs will help you see the world in ways never imagined. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

TEDTalk: My Year of Living Biblically

A Year of Living Biblically

Speech Topics

The Importance of Self-Delusion in the Creative Process

How can we apply the idea of method-acting to our business lives? This is the question that life-hacker and best-selling author A.J. Jacobs tackles in this insightful (and highly entertaining) talk on the benefits of faking it until you make it. Through a series of examples from his own life, Jacobs shows just how much our behavior shapes our thoughts and our perceptions. Thus, if we want to change our attitude about something, the best way is to “act as if.”

Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection

A.J. Jacobs lives his life as an experiment. In his New York Times bestsellers The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically, Jacobs tackled mental and spiritual challenges; in his most recent book, Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection, he physically challenged himself to live a healthy life from head to toe. Read More >

In this talk, based on his latest book (which he wrote on a treadmill!), Jacobs shares his journey following the latest medical advice to become his healthiest self—which included trying every diet plan, every workout routine, and every self-improvement tip he could find. Armed with a healthier diet and a healthier outlook, Jacobs encourages audiences to be mindful of the steps they can take to find their own “bodily perfection.” Read Less ^

The Know-It-All: Behind One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World

In this engaging and delightful talk based on his New York Times best-selling book, speaker A.J. Jacobs gives a behind-the-scenes look at his journey to “become the smartest person in the world” by reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z, all 44 million words of it.

My Year of Living Biblically

Raised in a secular family, but increasingly interested in the role of religion in our world, A.J. Jacobs decided to learn about the Bible firsthand: by living it. He vowed to spend a year following every single rule in the Bible, from the famous ones (the Ten Commandments) to the often-ignored laws (“don’t shave your beard,” “do not wear clothes from mixed fibers,” and even “stone adulterers”). The result is a fascinating look at religion—one that is both reverent and irreverent, funny and deeply serious.

Change Your Behavior, Change Your Mind

Jacobs’s year of living biblically taught him that the most powerful way to change his mind was to change his behavior. The mind will catch up. As he says, “Fake it till you make it.” It’s how he claims he learned to be a better person and a better businessman.

Walking a Mile in Others’ Shoes

Want to know what your customer is thinking? Live your life as the customer for a week. It’s the same with understanding how your rival thinks. Jacobs stresses the importance of immersing yourself in other points of view to make yourself a better businessperson.

Adapt or Die: Important Business Lessons from Encyclopedia Britannica

After a 33,000-page experiment in extreme learning from the Encyclopedia Britannica, A.J. Jacobs reflects on his experience by formulating six core business lessons from all of history. Adapted from his Linkedin article entitled The Six Most Important Business Lessons From All of History, the author of The Know-It-All explains how taking risks, using your imagination, and stepping up to the plate can greatly benefit companies in any industry. You are sure to learn lots from this clever and engaging speech from “the smartest person in the world.” Read More >

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Books & Media


Drop Dead Healthy

Connect with A.J. Jacobs