The Year of Living Biblically is one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. A.J. Jacobs tells the amusing but thought provoking story of the year he spent trying to live, literally, by the rules of the Bible.
Jacobs’ first task is to figure out what those biblical rules are. He struggles to understand how they apply to modern life in general, and to his own life in particular. There are so many rules in the Bible, and many of them are seemingly contradictory.
One of the easiest rules to understand, but one of the most difficult to follow, is the rule against lying. Jacobs struggles to keep even seemingly insignificant lies from escaping his mouth. His attempts are very funny. His battles against coveting and lusting are particularly difficult, since he also works at Esquire magazine.
Jacobs researches numerous Judeo-Christian religious traditions. In the name of his research, he visits an Old Order Amish community, Hasidic Jews, the Creation Museum, and the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. It would be very easy for a gifted writer to ridicule these fundamental believers, but he remains interested and respectful.
While reading this book, I had to laugh out many times. This doesn’t happen so often with me. It’s so rare to find a funny, literate, interesting book. I highly recommend this one!
Published in hardcover-Simon & Schuster-2007
Softcover edition-Simon & Schuster-2008