Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Book Review: The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that I'm Jewish, culturally. I waver between how religious I consider myself, but I generally identify as Jewish. So, you can imagine why a book like The Year of Living Biblically would appeal to me. Jacobs is a secular person who has a Jewish background {(starting to sound familiar?)} and is known for his books on accomplishing strange feats. For example, one of his earlier books documents the time he spent reading Encyclopedia Britannica cover to cover. See what I mean?

This book is Jacobs' attempt to follow to Bible to the letter for one full year. It gets complicated, though, when he delves into all of the sometimes contradictory rules in the Old Testament {(he gets into the New Testament a little bit later in the book)}. So, he consults a multitude of spiritual advisors including several Rabbis of varying religiosity, a few priests, some reverends, a deacon or two {(from varying denominations)} and the occasional snake talker from Appalachia. The result it a hilarious documentation of how one man combines several different interpretations of biblical law into his own dogma. This is especially funny when Jacobs includes commentary from his wife who not only is not participating in the experiment, but also who thinks that her husband is nuts. Now, throw in a pregnancy with twins and a few other surprises along the way and you have yourself colorful story.

If you're looking for a hard-core spiritual journey or experience...well this isn't the book for you. But, if you're looking for something light-hearted and somewhat fast that is also surprisingly informative, then this is your book.

I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.

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