The Year of Living Biblically

The Year of Living Biblically

By: A.J. Jacobs

I first saw this book sitting at my friend’s apartment. She hadn’t read it yet, but it came to her highly recommended. I was interested. My interest grew when I went to Borders and couldn’t find the book in the normal literature section I frequent. I had to seek out some help. I hesitantly said the name of the book to one of the Borders employees and the guy immediately said “Ahh yes, Jacobs. He’s in the Humor section.”

I visited the new section the employee led me to and selected a book from the ones on the display table. Already this book seemed a little different.

And the differences didn’t stop there. This book was laugh-out-loud-funny from start to finish! I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting when I picked it up, but it turned out to be a fun and unique journey told by a self-depreciating and amusing narrator.

A.J. Jacob’s first book “The Know-It-All” was the memoir of his journey of reading the Encyclopedia from A to Z. Likewise, “The Year of Living Biblically” is his journey of reading and trying to live by all the rules outlined in the Bible. Sure, it’s a strange sort of journey and one that doesn’t sound particularly fun or exciting, but Jacobs’ narration makes it enthralling.

In short, this guy is hysterical! I want him to be my friend or family member because, surely, everyone in his life is immensely entertained by him day-in and day-out. His outlook and approach to life is totally refreshing and unique. And his candid self evaluations are priceless. Not mention that I actually learned quite a few things about the Bible.

But don’t get me wrong, you don’t want to read this book for any kind of biblically explanation or earnest insight. If you’re looking for that, you might be a little put-off or offended by some of Jacobs’ commentary. I for one was not, but just a word of warning.

I do recommend this book to anyone looking for a break from the routine novel norm, seeking amusement and character, and who isn’t afraid to laugh out loud on public transit. Or have bystanders constantly glancing quizzically at your book cover – yeah I got that a lot. It’s funny, it’s perceptive, it’s distinctive and certainly unforgettable. So I say – give it a shot!


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