Lie and a two year old son Jasper He dives in with arnestness and naivet certain only that he is going to suffer immensely as he begins to work He compiles a list of commandments and tries to follow as many as he can as literally as possible Soon he discovers as did his religious Jewish brethren long ago that dozens are actually impossible to follow at all because they involve things like sacrificing animals at a Temple that was destroyed two thousand years or so ago But he grows his beard out he wears all white he builds a Sukkot in his living room He stops shaking hands with women for fear they may be impure which incidentally causes trouble with the aforementioned wife Julie He stones an adulterer Säure-Basen-Einkaufsführer eats locusts gets a slave intern writes out the Ten Commandments on his doorframe and so on and so forth Of course he also tries to pray diligently cease lying cease coveting and figure out how to better raise his son By thend he has certainly changed although I won t ruin it by Color Atlas of Human Anatomy, Vol. 3 Nervous System and Sensory Organs explainingxactly how He puts it well in his introduction if Present AJ were to have coffee with Year Ago AJ they would both leave wondering what the hell was wrong with the otherWhen I was about halfway through the book I confessed to my fiancee that I loved it and she d been right all along She smiled and said that the way he thinks just made her feel like she was in my head which I took as a high compliment The Facial Nerve even though I know she means both the parts where he is being soulful and brilliant and the parts where he is struggling with his own flaws She s got me pegged though I d been having thexact same sensation in some places I felt like I was reading a transcript of thoughts I d been having over the past few months as I too debated God s xistence as I delved into our Judaism class In the beginning Jacobs makes a list of things he covets and his first item is Jonathan Safran Foer s reading fee an alleged 15000 Now I knew plenty of other writers in grad school who were insanely jealous of JSF s rise to fame and I was ven one who held out and always claimed he was a truly great writer when others were hating him see Uncommon Leadership: How to Build Competitive Advantage by Thinking Differently earlierntry on JSF s 2nd book I suppose there may not be a writer under the age of 40 in New York that isn t somewhat jealous of him But it was wonderful to see it laid right out in print Jacobs also admits to Googling himself and checking his sales ranking Yoga Therapy for Insomnia and Sleep Recovery: Supporting People to Achieve Better Rest every day also bad habits I m surely forming Later he is making a list of lies he told in just one day Numero Uno I lied to Julie about how much internet access at Starbucks costs I told her 8 instead of 10 so she d be 20 percent less annoyed Yep I d do thatIn thend the book may not make you want to go out and grab a Bible but it might It at least got me to resolve to at least keep reading the weekly portions as I ve been doing the past few months during my class More than anything I liked that the book made me think about what I m going to be like someday with my son and to appreciate the fact that I have a fiancee like Julie in the book who knows I ll love the book and will harass me to read it for months without fail And who reads books this insightful and honest and believes that s how I think The Year of Living Biblically starts out pretty fine I chuckled I was interested to find out what would come of it all Halfway through however I d pretty much had nough Jacobs is a little too s This is what I call a snork book So funny in parts that if
you are drinking coffee its going to come spluttering out of your are drinking coffee its going to come spluttering out of your AJ Jacobs is
a secular Jew me too and spends two thirds of this book researching biblical law and trying secular Jew me too and spends two thirds of this book researching biblical law and trying live it The last third addresses the New Testament in the same way Living biblically for AJ means dressing in white robes growing a ZZ Top beard and trying to literally fulfil ach commandment Extending Symfony 2 Web Application Framework even if terriblymbarrassing Like buying the guy behind him in Starbucks a coffee a guy he doesn t know to be generous To fulfil not lying when his wife meets old school friends who say let s get together for a play date he tells them no he s not interested in making new friends right now and so it goes Along the way practising the laws in ridiculous ways or trying to understand ridiculous laws he points out the side benefits the peace and rest of the sabbath day the inner thanksgiving prayer calls forth and perhaps most important the utter gratitude to anyone or no one just for having life and a familyIts a great fun book to read and this little bit of moralising is like the salt on your food it would be nice without it but that Angels Whiskey extra savour makes itven Ritual Alliances of the Putian Plain: Volume Two: A Survey of Village Temples and Ritual Activities enjoyable The concept of The Year of Living Biblically is this the author would forgo his secular lifestyle for a year andmbrace the Bible and its teachings as literally as possible The Year of Living Biblically didn t have the same success as his other works Jacobs who is known for immersing himself in a project for a year and then writing about it was warned by family that maybe this wasn t the best concept for a follow up to his popular Know It All book and they may have been right Jacobs writes in his introduction that one of the reasons he chose this particular project is because he is an agnostic and wanted to be spiritual This is where I believe this book suffers its biggest failure While Jacobs writes in several places about th It s mean of me to say so because it s clear that writing it was a rather significant spiritual xperience for Jacobs but this book is just silly It s meant to be ntertaining yet thought provoking but I only found it mildly Wish You Were Here: An Essential Guide to Your Favorite Music Scenes—from Punk to Indie and Everything in Between entertaining and not at all thought provoking I actually found his wife funnier than him My favorite part by far was when she was temporarily unclean and it annoyed her to be thought of that way so in revenge she sat on all the furniture so that AJ would have no place to sit when he got home Now that was funny It seems very authentically Jewish to write smart and funny social commentary aboutxploring spirituality through following obscure rules I don t know if such a thing as being authentically Jewish The Day Christ Was Born exists versusveryone who is inauthentically Jewish right and I hope I don t offend by that phrase but what I m saying is that I don t think Moses and Isaiah and all the boys would kick AJ Jacobs out of their club In fact I think Jacobs comes closer to meaningful Bible commentary than any contemporary Christian writers I have read I was worried when I started the book that it would be like my xperience with the Will Farrell movie Blades of Glory without much substance beyond the weirdness of the concept Instead The Year Of Living Year of Living was an adventure and I feel it would be very thought provoking and ntertaining for readers of any religion or spiritual persuasion Jacobs purpose in following the Bible as literally as possible is to prove that ach of us regardless of our specific beliefs makes choices as to what constitutes Scripture or holiness or what have you. S Humble uest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible is an insightful and hilarious journey for readers of all faiths Though no fatted calves were harmed in the making of this book Jacobs chronicles 12 months living a remarkabl.
characters The Year of Living Biblically One Man's Humble uest to Follow the Bible As Literally As PossibleAnd what doesn t Specifically Jacobs looks at interpretations of the Bible 23 Old Testament 13 New Testament and tests how relevant or ven manageable they are today He goes about this with the And the Miss Ran Away with the Rake earnestness of a little kid memorizing statistics on his favorite baseball team or learning how to take apart a car and I think thatnthusiasm is what makes this book charming rather than obnoxious For Trickle Down Tyranny: Crushing Obama's Dream of the Socialist States of America example when he finds two prevailing interpretations of how to live a biblical rule or principal he does both He gives thanks both before and after a meal and when deciding who he should stone he looks for someone working on both Saturday and Sunday failing to observe both the Jewish and Christian Sabbaths I mean if you have to stone someone it s better to cover your bases rightIf it is not already obvious in what I have said thus far AJ Jacobs is unabashedly weird I don t get the impression that the weirdness is a showither but that the show is some kind of natural part of his weirdness I think that makes this a compliment Regardless his weirdness brings out the weirdness in others nough to make the cast of characters in The Year of Living Biblically as hilarious and horrifying as a Dickens novel The book is not a circus though and Jacobs treats all of his characters and their beliefs with respect whether he agrees or disagrees with them He is very honest about his own skepticism and willing to say when something seems hateful or unlikely but he is also very open to the views of others His blog is updated pretty freuently and while scanning through it I came across this selection which gives a pretty good sample of his writing Tuesday April 11 2006 The Other Moses I got a note from a reader saying that I shouldn t ignore the hanging curveball thrown by Gwyneth who just begat a new son named Moses It s a rich topic to be sure Though as a guy whose real name is Arnold I don t think I can really make fun of other people s names ButI will say that if the Paltrow Martins are trying to form some sort of Biblical theme Apple from Genesis Moses from Exodus they should know that most Biblical scholars do not think that the unnamed forbidden fruit was an apple The likely candidates they say include pomegranate fig apricot wheat and grape One source said it was a banana tree but that might just be crazy talkI hope that people will not dismiss this book before they have read it It is possible that people on the right and will xpect it to be hateful mockery and people on the left will The Color of Our Sky expect it to be irrelevant I don t think it isither of those things but rather as I said thoughtful and smart Often he discusses debates over Scripture similar to the passage above in that his ultimate conclusion is that the very nature of the debate is a little loony tunes I found his reflections on the value of faith and family however very insightful Hopefully we can learn his profound lessons without having to forsake mixed fibers and carry a Handyseat for a year but it is a comfort to have AJ Jacobs out there on the front lines of literalness taking the bullet for the rest of us GK Chesterton once wrote Christianity has not been tried and found wanting it has been found difficult and not tried In this book AJ Jacobs not only tries Christianity he tries out the whole Bible both the Jewish and the Christian ScripturesHe does indeed find it difficult But he doesn t find it wanting In fact his year long uest to follow all of the commands of the Bible results in a most delightful and insightful readIt is delightful because Jacobs is such an ngaging writer His style and approach are uite refreshing in this age of vitriolic attack Most books on religion these days are apologetic trying to thrust an opinion onto the reader often through dense prose or angry rhetoric that dismisses those who disagree Such books are one sided and narrow minded Jacobs however breaks free of the contemporary love for irony sarcasm and anger by being an open observer He dives into the world of Biblical rules without a preconceived dogma and because of this provides a most interesting assessment of what the Bible is about Even he
does it with a wit and conversational style that draws the readerit with a wit and conversational style that draws the reader his increasingly obscure discoveriesIt is I think because of this openness to learn that Jacobs provides so many insights He s not burdened with the weight of having to support one cause or another Instead he approaches religion as it is so very rarely approached with a sense of newness and curiosity making it seem like Jacobs is as much a tour guide as a year long zealotThe Bible has many weird and difficult parts but in The Year of Living Biblically AJ Jacobs looks beyond the weirdness to see what it means And what he finds is inspirational ncouraging and downright Obsession enjoyable from beginning tond The Year of "Living Biblically is one of the best books I ve read this year 4 12 StarsFirst To AJ " Biblically is one of the best books I ve read this year 4 12 StarsFirst To AJ you have Googled yourself thank you for such an interesting and wonderful read I loved your honestyTo AJ s Dad you can click that you liked this reviewTo Cabaret: A Roman Riddle everyonelse There Ask yourself Would it be fun to literally follow the bible for one year If like most people I know would answer no then run away from this book as fast as you can I got about 200 pages in when I realized I can t fucking stand this guy and his story is getting old uicklyHere s the problem There are so many retarded things the bible says you should and shouldn t do Take for xample do not lie thou shalt not lie or however they fucking say it in there You could write a long ntertaining article about what life would be like telling nothing but the absolute truth to those around you And AJ Jacobs actually did that in an Esuire article that is asily one of the best magazine articles I ve ver read Here s the article But there are so many insignificant and unfunny rules that bible lovers have got to follow and he doesn t spend nearly All Roads Lead Home enough time focusing on the bigpotentially funny ones like all those rules aboutnvy and thy neighbor s wife He just spends time on recounting his xperience attaching fringes to his clothes making sure he s not wearing clothing made of mixed fibers and countless other rules that serve only to remind us adhering to all the instruction that the bible has would be a fruitless xperience You and I already know that the bible has got a good deal of stupidity in there That s neither revealing nor funny Judging by the other reviews on goodreads it seems I m nearly alone in my distaste for this book Maybe I don t give a good goddamn about god I really njoyed his last book about reading the ncyclopedia I could understand that type of uest for knowledge And it was damn funny from the very first page Where did the humor go in this book I cracked the faintest of smiles at most twice I just got so sick of this guy and the minutiae of his day to day life I need to go cool down now before I start persecuting the pious. Y strict Biblical life full of charity chastity and facial hair as impressive as anything found in The Lord of the Rings Through it all he manages to brilliantly keep things light while avoiding the sinful The Mephisto Threat (Paul Tallis eye of judgment Dave Callan. Unless you are a member of the clergy or a fundamentalist Christian you probably don t know much about the Bible You might have heard the nice stories they tell in church and how Jesus did many miracles was killed and then rose from the dead on the 3rd day Any of the not so nice stuff though Probably not Before going any further I need to say If you are a clergywoman without a sense of humor or you re a fundamentalist Christian you might want to stop reading this review right here as there s a chance you ll be offended Everyonelse let s continueFirst have you ver been sitting around and thought I really wish I knew the Bible better Maybe I should read it You probably belong to one of 2 groups Group A Why the hell would anyone want to do that or Group B Well yes actually I have Now if you belong to the second group you might have then gone and picked up a Bible and being a Goodreads member and thus obviously someone who likes to read devoured all 66 books in 125 hours Or after reading some of the interesting parts of Genesis and Exodus found Leviticus a little too weird with all those laws and ven if you managed to wade through them Numbers Well you deserve a medal if you were disciplined nough to get through that book Yay I get a medalSo and so son of So and so begat So and so and then lived 364 years Repeat that sentence many times changing the names and number of years And then onto The Israelites left Ramses and camped at Succoth They left Succoth and camped at Etham They left Etham and camped at You get the picture I know boring right All those names of people and places is nough to drive all but the most religious into their own personal hell Then again this is Goodreads and some of us would rather read that than nothing at all However since most of us live near libraries or have other access to a plethura of books both print and Just Cause electronic we need not force ourselves to read such tedious things But wait you say I still really wish I knew the Bible better What can I do Well you can pick up a copy of The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs for one thing AJ Jacobs a secular Jew became curious about religion and decided he would take a year to learn the Bible better and to obey all its commandments as much as possible For some things this isasy and makes other like you being kind and forgiving sharing with others helping them out tc For others well let s just say that following the Bible is going to make you look bat shit crazy Never shaving your beard refusing to wear clothes made of two different fibers tying money to your hand when you go out handling venomous snakes blowing from a horn on the first of the month refusing to touch anything an unclean woman meaning one who has started her period in the last 7 days has touched including sitting in the same seat she has And on and on and on Then what do you do about things that will get you thrown into prison in our modern times How do you stone someone because they committed adultery How do you kill your child because he hit youMr Jacobs reads several versions of the Bible and speaks with leaders of many different types of Judaism and Christianity to get their interpretations If you don t already know the Bible you will probably be uite shocked at some of the things that are in it There s a lot that Mr Jacobs does not mention like how wonderful it is to bash your nemies babies heads against the rocks found in Psalms but still you ll be surprised and pleasantly amused Mr Jacobs writes wittily and often in a self depreciating way as he takes us along on his Biblical year His poor wife I don t know how she stayed with him If you know the Bible you might find some of this tedious as I did but it s still uite fun to read Of "Course He Doesn T " he doesn t through ach and very command in the Bible but picks and chooses what to do and to write about However isn t that what veryone does Pick and choose It s impossible to follow or ven attempt to follow all the commands in the Bible Not only will it get you thrown in prison or a psychiatric hospital it is full of contradictions starting with the simple Thou shalt not kill In other places of the Bible we re told to kill our nemies kill people for various infractions tc There s nothing asy in the Bible and anyone who says they follow it is mistaken They are following what they want to follow and ignoring a whole lot of other stuff 35 stars rounded up to 4 because I d have liked it ven if I wasn t already aware of all those commands he tried to follow My fiancee has been bugging me for months to read this book and I am oh so glad that I finally did Her nthusiasm for it was unflagging she brought home an advanced reader s copy from work as soon as she heard it was in the works She then bought at least two copies for friends during the holidays bought them ven though she works for the publisher and could have
probably finagled a pair of free ones But I kept hesitating despite her praise For one thing it s non fictionfinagled a pair of free ones But I kept hesitating despite her praise For one thing it s non fiction I sometimes take to sneering at mostly because I know that most readers would rather read a non fiction book about the history of Cod than a work of new fiction by some bright young author My fiancee incidentally works for a fairly strictly non fiction imprint so she reads a ton of it now and so I feel it s my silent duty to The Perfect Christmas Gift even out the scales Finally I made the mistake she was waiting for I was set tombark upon a long flight followed by a two day car trip followed by another long plane trip She caught me staring at my shelf disappointedly and I said I don t have anything I feel like reading I d fallen right into her vil trap of course because no sooner did I blink d fallen right into her vil trap of course because no sooner did I blink her advanced reader s copy of The Year of Living Biblically was resting in my hands Just to keep things balanced I still read Vile Bodies firstOf course she was right The Year of Living Biblically was fantastic The author AJ Jacobs Esuire writer and previous author of The Know It All which is about him reading the Encyclopedia Brittanica from A to Z decides that he is going to try and live the Bible as literally as possible for one year This means not just the Ten Commandments which would be difficult nough as it was but as many of the hundreds of minor commandments that are scattered along the way between Genesis and Revelation My reading the book was certainly nhanced because I was coincidentally simultaneously concluding a sixteen week vening Introduction to Judaism course My fiancee you won t be surprised to learn was also the driving force behind the class But I digress the point is that the book is written such that ven if you ve never set foot in a religious center or read a line of the Bible you ll still be able to A Scandalous Regency Christmas enjoy it immensely aside from which you will also learnverything you never knew you wanted to know about the BibleJacobs begins his yearlong uest as an agnostic non practicing Jew living in New York City with his wife Ju. The Significant Seven September 2007 Make no mistake AJ Jacobs is not a religious man He describes himself as Jewish in the same way the Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant Yet his latest work The Year of Living Biblically One Man'. .