Esquire editor-at-large A.J. Jacobs turns his curiosity and subsequent humiliations into New York Times bestsellers. After delivering book reports on the two most daunting tomes in Western civilization—Encyclopedia Britannica (The Know-It-All) and the Bible (The Year of Living Biblically)—Jacobs collates some of his smaller experiments in The Guinea Pig Diaries. Jacobs’ vivisection of modern America swaps dignity for “The Truth about Nakedness,” social propriety for “Radical Honesty,” and humility for “240 Minutes of Fame.” For some, 256 pages of stunts involving morality, marriage, and objectification might seem more like a guide to the care and feeding of an outsized ego. But perhaps due to experiences like posing nude for Mary-Louise Parker, Jacobs’ Diaries are delightfully unpretentious.

JACOBS SPEAKS AT 7 P.M. AT SIXTH & I HISTORIC SYNAGOGUE, 600 I ST. NW. $6 IN ADVANCE, $8 AT DOORS. (202) 408-3100.