1.06.2008

Book Review: The Year of Living Biblically



The Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs

I enjoyed Jacobs' first foray into nonfiction (The Know-It-All), and he seems to have hit on a formula for books - throwing himself into seemingly pointless tasks whole heartedly and turning it into a book at the end. Last time, it was reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica - this time, Jacobs is going to follow the Bible for a year...to the letter.

What follows is a revealing look at the Bible (with all its parables, intricacies, idiocies, and stories) and Jacobs struggle to come to terms with his religion, his own reverence, his wife's pregnancy with twins, and with how to stop scaring people with his beard and his robes of non-mixed fibers. ;-) He tries valiantly to obey even the most off the wall, no longer followed, obscure orders from the Bible, and meets a lot of interesting religious folks along the way. Jacobs makes an effort to change his own religious views, which were nebulous at best, and to become more devout. It's not scathing about religion, or followers, just gently mocking at times.

I liked the of starting a year with a book following a yearlong quest - though this obviously isn't one I would take on myself, I thought it was interesting, entertaining, and in some ways, solidified a few more of my views about the Bible...

Recommended - particularly if you enjoyed Jacobs' previous title.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

AJ Jacobs’ book insults believing people everywhere with its dumb-show antics aping faith. If Jacobs had decided to spend a year as a cancer patient, if he’d written a cheery book describing how he’d hop into his hospital bed and act drained and uncomfortable, all done in front of people who are genuinely ill, the affront would not have been greater.
We can only hope Jacobs gains some kind of perspective on all this renown before he dashes into his next book, because The Year of Living Green would be boring where this book is sacrilegious, and The Year of Living Fat would be cruel where this book is trite, and The Year of Living Muslim might get him blown up in his car. This reviewer’s advice to our author: invest some of those bestseller profits, take a few years off from writing these silly, stupid books, and actually study something. It’s an unsettling experience at first, but you’ll get used to it.