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

av A. J. Jacobs

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3242463,444 (3.51)30
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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Visa 1-5 av 24 (nästa | visa alla)
AJ Jacobs includes his usual humor and charm in this experimental tale. I think the book lacks in some areas though. For instance, he goes to great lengths to scientifically defend his beliefs in evolution, which is fine with me. I felt it was a little redundant. And though his comments on unique situations might be made with tongue in cheek, I'd like to see the same scientific evidence for atypical families. Are children more likely to finish school, less likely to have depression if they come from unique homes? Some studies have to exist. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
I had no idea that AJ Jacobs was thinking about a global family tree. Not until I joined Wikitree which is a free online genealogy family tree website (wikitree dot com) where one can add ones family tree to connect to the (one huge) global tree - for free.

The theory is that if we all go back far enough, we are all related. I joined Wikitree back in 2016, and I have added my family tree.

I read this book on the same day it was released - November 2017 if I remember correctly.

I was so chuffed to read the names of some of my wikitree friends who were actually mentioned in Aj's book. There were some parts of this book that were a little dry. The DNA parts were fine, I had no trouble understanding those. But some of the more esoteric chapters and topics were a little over my head.

I gave it 4 stars. If you like genealogy, you will like this book. If you are into genetic genealogy, you may even LOVE this book!! ( )
  Robloz | Sep 23, 2021 |
Jacobs throws in humor throughout the book. While I personally enjoyed his style of humor, I can see how some might find him pretentious at times. He does talk about some of the issues with genealogy - such as: there can often be very little information about the details of females in the past. He has definitely taken the effort to tell readers about about possible blind spots or issues he sees with various groups or approaches throughout the book. He also is very clear that often it is others who point these things out to him. His willingness to be upfront about his own mistakes and issues he struggles with makes him feel like a more reliable narrator to travel down this journey with.

It feels like a mix between a type of memoir and a book about the hope that genealogy can help people see that we are all connected, and thus lead to maybe at least a little less fighting - and all held together with sprinklings of humor. (He is hopeful, but not delusional) Also, with each chapter being rather short, it helps the book feel shorter than it is. ( )
  Sara_Cat | Mar 7, 2021 |
Note: This book was provided free of charge to me by the publisher in a giveaway.

This was my first A.J. Jacobs book and probably won't be my last. Not an amazing book, but was fun to read and lots of interesting little asides about his long-lost relatives and bits about genealogy and family. It was fairly light-hearted and not super serious. When I didn't want to jump back in with one of the long epic books I was reading at the time, it gave me a nice break without having to have much commitment. You could almost jump into any chapter for nice antidotes or stories that make you laugh or ponder. I didn't feel that I could read a lot of chapters in one sitting, so took me a lot longer to read than other books of its length. Though it may just be my penchant for reading mostly long epic fantasy or sci-fi or serious thriller/drama/investigation type books than fun tirades on different subjects. I wouldn't say you learn a huge amount about genealogy, so don't buy it if you want a super serious and well-footnoted book on the subject. Though if you are interested in the subject, I think you could get a lot out of it. There also was a lot of little photos and news clippings from days of yesteryear that were a neat diversion and fed my history loving side. I am curious to check out the previous projects that he took on after giving this a go. ( )
  kritoke | Dec 13, 2020 |
Ever since my oldest (Olivia-Grace) was born (August 15, 2007) I became obsessed with genealogy. Genealogy became fascinating to me, especially because my family never really fully discussed the family tree or history. Especially on my father's side. My father's father (my grandfather) passed away when I was a year old, my grandmother (his wife) didn't really discuss his side, and my father mentioned his namesake (George Ellsworth, which would be his grandfather on the Kline side), but other than that, and knowing some of the Specks because they all lived in the area (some going to my parents church) that was as much as I knew on his side. My great grandmother (my father's mother's mother) never discussed her family so the Yeagley's were (and still pretty much are) a good mystery to me. Mennonite/Amish aren't exactly the most forthcoming on genealogy I quickly found out.

My mother's side was a lot more easier, and interesting to find information on. Italians being proud, boisterous, and bold, are not too leery of discussing their history. Finding out how they dropped the 'de' and went from De Croce to Croce, and the manifests, and their 'alleged' ties to 'ill-repute' groups (draw your own conclusions) is both sources of pride and strength (as well as guilt and embarrassment) for them.

So when I saw this at the Hershey library, and having read AJ Jacobs' other book (The Know-It-All), I quickly picked it up. This is similar to the Know It All. He becomes obsessed with a topic, and devotes a year/X-amount of time to said topic, and covers it extensively and exhaustively. And like the previous book, this is no exception, well done, funny, humorous, and entertaining. I think he enjoyed using this as a way to memorialize his family and also to 'humble-brag' about all the famous connections his family and himself has.

But definitely a fun and entertaining read, and if you have any interest in genealogy, well worth your time to pick up and read over. ( )
  BenKline | Jul 1, 2020 |
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Chapter 1
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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