It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree

It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree Review

New York Times bestselling author of The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically, A.J. Jacobs undergoes a hilarious, heartfelt quest to understand what constitutes family—where it begins and how far it goes—and attempts to untangle the true meaning of the “Family of Humankind.”

A.J. Jacobs has received some strange emails over the years, but this note was perhaps the strangest: “You don’t know me, but I’m your eighth cousin. And we have over 80,000 relatives of yours in our database.”

That’s enough family members to fill Madison Square Garden four times over. Who are these people, A.J. wondered, and how do I find them? So began Jacobs’s three-year adventure to help build the biggest family tree in history.

Jacobs’s journey would take him to all seven continents. He drank beer with a US president, found himself singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and unearthed genetic links to Hollywood actresses and real-life scoundrels. After all, we can choose our friends, but not our family.

“Whether he’s posing as a celebrity, outsourcing his chores, or adhering strictly to the Bible, we love reading about the wacky lifestyle experiments of author A.J. Jacobs” (Entertainment Weekly). Now Jacobs upends, in ways both meaningful and hilarious, our understanding of genetics and genealogy, tradition and tribalism, identity and connection. It’s All Relative is a fascinating look at the bonds that connect us all.

Title:It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Carol

    Not what I was expecting and didn't find it that funny....

  • Wanda

    I would call this a book about genealogy for people who aren’t really all that interested in the subject. It is genealogy lite. Which is not to say that it isn’t a good book or that I didn’t lik...

  • Angel Hench

    This book was interesting and amusing in some places, but I didn't get the sense that this was an A.J. Jacobs' usual in-depth ultra-obsessed project book. This felt more like A.J. Jacobs-lite. It did ...

  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    I have loved everything A. J. Jacobs has written so far, and I'm happy to say that I loved his new book, It's All Relative, too. Jacobs takes on huge personal projects in his writing. This time, he ta...

  • britt_brooke

    I love AJ Jacobs but this wasn’t quite as strong as his other experimental ventures. I thought the idea of a global family reunion was pretty ridiculous, but the genealogy bits were interesting, and...

  • Benjamin Thomas

    For those readers like me who have experienced an AJ Jacobs book before, we know that he has a seriously curious mind. And he doesn’t think small. This time around, he has been thinking of his own a...

  • Beth Jusino

    Meh. This would have been better if it spent more time exploring genetics, family trees, and human connections, and less time complaining about party planning. ...

  • Caryn

    I became a fan of AJ Jacobs after finishing his first book, The Know-it-All. He expertly is able to combine humor with factual info and make a subject you wouldn’t expect to find entertaining, well,...

  • Daniel Chaikin

    18. It's All Relative : Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree (audio) by A. J. Jacobsread by the authorpublished: 2017format: 8:07 overdrive audiobook (~225 pages, 336 pages in hardcover)acqu...

  • Linda

    Who could get me to read an entire book about genealogy, without holding me hostage and/or threatening bodily harm? The list is very short, and A.J. Jacobs’ name is right at the top. He admits that ...