The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs

Written by an editor at Esquire Magazine (Esquire!) The Year of Living Biblically is a hilarious report on how one man tried to live for a year by following all the rules in the bible. He starts by writing them all down (72 pages) and makes a serious effort to understand all of them and live at least a few. It’s tough since some of them are contradictory and others frankly difficult to achieve in the modern world: you will chuckle at his attempts to stone adulterers…

Along the way we meet wholly unexpected professions. Did you know that you can hire a garment fiber analyzer (to ensure that you’re not wearing “mixed fiber” garments, prohibited by the bible — and interestingly poly-cotton is ok, it’s the dreaded linen/wool combination that needs to be avoided)? Did you know that there are at least two companies that “sanitize” movies, removing bad language, sex scenes, and much more? (Unfortunately they seem to also remove the plots!) Did you know one can find ritual chicken slaughterers in New York City?

Beyond the funny stories Jacobs also tells of his personal transformation brought about by his strange appearance (he’s not trimming his beard, although strangely it’s fine to trim his hair, and he’s also wearing all white clothes in a black-clothes city) as well as his meditations on the more substantive rules (for him , consistenly telling the truth and keeping his anger in check is a challenge.) While you may be sick and tired of all the “Year of” books currently on the shelf, this one is funny and touching all at once.

5 Comments

Filed under Non fiction

5 responses to “The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs

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