The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs

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The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs

A book review of The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. JacobsStars: ****

Simon & Schuster (2007)
Religious Memoir
400 pages

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Summary: Raised in a secular family but increasingly interested in the relevance of faith in our modern world, A.J. Jacobs decides to dive in headfirst and attempt to obey the Bible as literally as possible for one full year. He vows to follow the Ten Commandments. To be fruitful and multiply. To love his neighbor. But also to obey the hundreds of less publicized rules: to avoid wearing clothes made of mixed fibers; to play a ten-string harp; to stone adulterers. The resulting spiritual journey is at once funny and profound, reverent and irreverent, personal and universal and will make you see history’s most influential book with new eyes.

The Year of Living Biblically

I loved A.J. Jacob’s book The Know-it-all so I knew I wanted to read this one when I found it. A.J. upends his life and does the unusual all to make a good book and learn new things.

A.J. does a great job of really immersing himself in the Bible. He doesn’t just follow his list of rules he read in the Bible, he also tries doing Bible related things such as eating foods they would have eaten back then or visiting Israel where the Bible takes place (mostly). He actually spends a lot of time with a religious person or another such as touring a creationist museum, visiting the Amish, dancing with Hasidic Jews and purposefully seeking out a Jehovah’s Witness to have a discussion.

The premise is great and it was an interesting read but it’s not quite 5 stars because it was slow in some parts and he spends some time talking about things that are going on his life which I found interesting too but it made the book choppy. It just didn’t flow as well as The Know-It-All did.

There is also one problem I had with the book although minor but it made me mad. In the book, just once, A.J. makes a comment about a manic depressive person and I can’t find it now but it basically made it sound like a manic depressive person is crazy. I have Bipolar which is the name currently used for manic depressive disorder and I didn’t appreciate that.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.