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It's All Relative: Adventures Up and…

It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family… (2017)

by A. J. Jacobs

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
I love A.J. Jacobs' social experiments. My favorite will probably always be A Year of Living Biblically. Though none of his books disappoint.
At a time where our country feels very divided, A.J's latest is about family. If we go back far enough in our family trees, we are all related. If we are all connected to each other, if we could acknowledge that, would we be a kinder society?

A.J. Sets out to learn more about his family tree, the ties the connect humankind and in the process starts planning a massive family reunion.

Have you planned a wedding before? Now imagine trying to plan an event that you're hoping at least 5,000 people will attend so that you can also break a world record in the process.

A.J. Takes on an awful lot over the course if one year, finding out his personal family history, researching the world family tree and essentially trying to get 5,000 strangers to come to his party.

I know the whole book was building to the reunion but it didn't need to. I found his research so interesting. I loved his personal family history and also the scientific data he included.
I feel like this book would be a hit for a lot of different genre fans. Enjoy genealogy? Humor? Science? You've got them all here. Whether you're a long time fan of the author or you're just looking for something totally different to read, I think you'll be please.
This is informative reading but also very funny.

I got to read an early copy through NetGalley. ( )
  Mishale1 | Dec 29, 2018 |
This covers a few of my favorite bases. I love A.J.Jacobs and genealogy is a passion of mine. He doesn’t disappoint, and gets into the new effects of DNA testing in family research. ( )
  LMJenkins | Nov 28, 2018 |
Jacobs has written excellent books about his lifestyle experiments of trying to follow all the explicit rules of the Bible and reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. Both books offer funny observations and lots of tidbits of arcane knowledge. In this book, Jacobs applies a similar approach to genealogy, with much of the book structured around attempting a Guinness World Record for a Global Family Reunion, inviting everyone Jacobs is genetically related to (which could be everyone in the world).

Along the way, Jacobs examines traditional genealogical pursuits of family historians, and the newer methods of genetic testing and collaborative websites, and the tensions among them. Jacobs visits with Mormon genealogists, attends the Hatfields and McCoys reunion, explores the practice of polyamory, goes to a twins convention, and interviews celebrities who are his distant relations.

This book feels weak compared with Jacobs other books, as if he was seeking out other genealogical things to do to fill in blank spaces around his story of the family reunion. Maybe it would've been more focused as shorter work rather than a book? ( )
  Othemts | Sep 7, 2018 |
I listened to the audiobook version, and it was breezy and engaging, and light enough to not miss the thread of an ongoing argument if I got distracted by something. I've worked in a local history department of a public library, much of which ends up being helping people do genealogy research, so there I didn't have much to learn from this overview of genealogy, lineage, interrelationships, and family, but it was engaging enough I don't feel like my time was wasted. ( )
  hikatie | Aug 15, 2018 |
Author A.J. Jacobs returns in another entry in his line of books, this time examining his family tree. You may know of him as the guy who lived in accordance of the Bible's teachings for a year, attempting to memorize the encyclopedia and relating what it was like to try out many fitness fads of the time of the writing. Here he takes on the next "trendy" thing, which in his case was to build the largest family tree and interact with all of his "relations".

That's basically it. Along the way he discusses the why and how, what he learned, the insights of human nature and what is a "family", etc. Some of it is interesting, especially if you're someone who is doing very similar work. It might be very timely, considering how it law enforcement has actually captured people by following and researching on genealogy websites/DNA testing kit programs.

But as others say, this doesn't quite match Jacobs' previous work. I was a fan of his other books, especially 'Drop Dead Health' (the fitness/health gimmick one). I thought his writing has really matured as time has passed and that it showed: that book was really touching because he wrote about the journeys toward death experienced by some in his family and what that taught him. This one seems a little odd, and I wonder if it may have to do with the fact that this was not just about him and his immediate family/friends but rather a bunch of people who are strangers, "relations" or not.

I think it depends. If you're someone who's currently doing similar stuff to Jacobs or have an interest, then it might be a good pick up to read. I'm glad I got this one out of the library. But as I enjoyed his other books, I'll continue to keep an eye out for his next work. ( )
  acciolibros | Jun 3, 2018 |
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To Julie, Jasper, Zane, and Lucas
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Thanks for picking up this book.
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The Eighth Cousin
My story begins three years ago with one of the strangest emails I've ever received.
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Traces the author's three-year investigation into what constitutes family, describing how, after receiving an e-mail from a stranger who claimed to be a distant cousin, he embarked on an effort to build the biggest family tree in history.

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