A.J. Jacobs seriously comes up with the coolest ideas for books. First, he wrote a book that I was previously unfamiliar with, entitled The Know-It-All, in which he spends one year reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, and now he's spent a year attempting to follow the Bible as literally as possible, making for a humorous and educational look into the Bible and into Jacob's life.
The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, is split up into chapters of months and the tasks Jacobs, a self-proclaimed agnostic, takes on during each month, as he attempts to live as those in Biblical times would have (or as the Bible tells us we should). Though it is proved very difficult to live word for word by the Bible, the tasks he is able to complete include ceasing to cut his hair, which results in quite the scary beard, telling the truth all the time (no matter the results), takes a pilgrimage to Israel, and gives 10% of his income to charity.
I loved Jacobs' thoughts on a Creationist museum and his time spent with the Amish, as well as the manner in which he looked at all different forms of Bible-following. From Orthodox Jews to Jehovah's Witnesses, the Amish, and Evangelists, he covers it all in a humorous, educational, and interesting way.
His year with the Bible changed his life, though not necessarily making him a devout Christian or Jewish man, but by opening his mind to the possibilities that lay with prayer and that are a part Biblical living. I was pretty impressed with his undertaking and enjoyed the book quite a bit.
I read this for the Project 100 Challenge.
To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon.
The Year of Living Biblically
Simon & Schuster
September 2008 (paperback)