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A.J. Jacobs is a father of three, so there's lots of groaning at his humor in "The Year of Living Constitutionally."

In the book, he prances around dressed as Alexander Hamilton, makes jokes about polling places and eats too much mutton while forcing his family to behave as if they're living in the time of the Constitutional Convention in the 1780s.

"Constitutionally" is another experiment for Jacobs, whose previous books have included "The Year of Living Biblically," in which he did not bear false witness against his neighbors (among other things), and "The Puzzler," in which he dragged his family around the world doing jigsaw puzzles.

The Year of Living Constitutionally
The Year of Living Constitutionally

As in those books, the premise seems jokey, but there's something deeper at play. Jacob's account of how our Constitution came to be is entertaining and his commitment to heeding it broadens his thinking, as in his attempt to get folks from all 50 states on board with his idea to supply cake to voters:

"I'm now up to twenty-seven states — and some territories, too, if possible. It's a good feeling. I feel like I'm doing something. It may be small, but at least it's better than just despairing about the waning of democracy while curled up in the fetal position."

The Year of Living Constitutionally

By: A.J. Jacobs.

Publisher: Crown, 264 pages, $30.