Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Year of Living Biblically

I try not to blog about books unless I have formally finished them, but I have about 10 books going right now, and I want to get something new up here. Blog readers can get testy when you don't post often enough. I live in the perpetual shadow of sweet Steph who has something to say at least every day or two.

I am reading a very funny book on the subject of fundamentalism: The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs. (Mr. Jacobs wrote another funny favorite called The Know-It-All: One Man's Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World. In this memoir, Jacobs read and commented on the entire Encyclopedia Britannica from A-Z.)

In the year of living biblically, Mr. Jacobs attempts to live his life according to the letter of the Bible for one year. His stories and trips and musings about life as a strict adherent to the Old and New Testament are fascinating and also show quite a side of humility. He is funny but he does his best not to mock the conventions which he studies. He admits he can't agree with them (creationism for example.) but understands why the belief is appealing. AJ Jacobs is a secular Jew and for the first two-thirds of the book explores the Old Testament but gives time in his year to living the New Testament as well.

His attempt at stoning adulterers in Central Park is so funny it is worth the price of the book.


Anonymous said...

I read this last year, (along with members of both my Bible study group and the WWF(a)C book group). Not surprisingly, OT provides much better fodder for hilarity than NT. Interesting read, reportedly better than his other books. I loved how his wife went around sitting on every chair to thwart his efforts to follow hygiene laws.

Steph said...

This sounds fascinating! And funny. Thank you for the plug! :-)