The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs

The Year of Living Biblically

From the bestselling author of "The Know-It-All" comes a fascinating and timely exploration of religion and the Bible.Raised in a secular family but increasingly interested in the relevance of faith in our modern world, A.J. Jacobs decides to dive in headfirst and attempt to obey the Bible as literally as possible for one full year. He vows to follow the Ten Commandments. To be fruitful and multiply. To love his neighbor. But also to obey the hun...


Details The Year of Living Biblically

TitleThe Year of Living Biblically
ISBN9780743291477
Author
Release DateOct 9th, 2007
PublisherSimon & Schuster
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages388 pages
GenreNonfiction, Religion, Humor, Autobiography, Memoir
Rating

Reviews The Year of Living Biblically

  • Carl
    2007-11-02
    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 quickly.Here's the problem: There are so many retarded things the bible says you should and shouldn't do. Take, for example, do not lie, thou shalt not lie, or however they fuc...
  • Lisa Nelson
    2008-03-11
    (4 1/2 Stars)First, To: A.J. if you have Googled yourself thank you for such an interesting and wonderful read! I loved your honesty.To: A.J.'s Dad you can click that you liked this review.To everyone else: There were some highlights from this book that I would love to share. I love being able to have a record of what I've read and what I thought about a book, you probably hate getting so many e-mail updates on what I've read so delete if you mus...
  • Sparrow
    2009-04-30
    It seems very authentically Jewish to write smart and funny social commentary about exploring spirituality through following obscure rules. I don’t know if such a thing as being “authentically Jewish” exists (versus everyone 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 A.J. Jacobs out of their club. In fact, I th...
  • Patrick Oden
    2007-09-04
    G.K. Chesterton once wrote, "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried." In this book, A.J. Jacobs not only tries Christianity, he tries out the whole Bible, both the Jewish and the Christian Scriptures.He does indeed find it difficult. But he doesn't find it wanting. In fact his year long quest to follow all of the commands of the Bible results in a most delightful and insightful read.It is deli...
  • Dave
    2007-11-29
    The concept of "The Year of Living Biblically" is this: the author would forgo his secular lifestyle for a year and embrace 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...
  • Jordan
    2008-05-08
    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 enough. Jacobs is a little too smug (though he puts on the requisite veil of "Oh, God! I'm so bad at this religion thing!"), he doesn't portray his wife or son too nicely (she comes off as a humorless snot, though she's probably lovely in real life; son Jasper sounds like a brat), ...
  • Petra Eggs
    2008-07-18
    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 nose. AJ Jacobs is a secular Jew (me too) and spends two thirds of this book researching biblical law and trying to 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 each commandment even if ter...
  • Kristopher Jansma
    2008-03-30
    My fiancee has been bugging me for months to read this book and I am oh-so-glad that I finally did. Her enthusiasm 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 more copies for friends during the holidays - bought them, even though she works for the publisher and could have probably finagled a pair of free ones. But I kept hesitating, despite her...
  • John
    2008-08-26
    It's mean of me to say so, because it's clear that writing it was a rather significant spiritual experience for Jacobs, but this book is just silly. It's meant to be entertaining-yet-thought-provoking, but I only found it mildly 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 sa...
  • Abby
    2008-06-12
    I really, really liked this book! A.J. Jacobs is now one of my favorite guys. He writes for Esquire magazine. I don't even know for sure what that magazine is about (I think it's a men's magazine), but it makes me want to read it anyways.So, when he's not writing for Esquire, he writes books. This is one of them. It's about his quest to live all the laws of the bible the best he can, for a full year. Not just things like "Love thy neighbor", but ...
  • Danna
    2008-01-06
    I found the book to be less about an exploration of the Bible and biblical religions, more about: "I'm OCD and here's my latest obsession!" I did appreciate that the author mentioned this directly on page 148, and the book was quirky and interesting enough that I stuck with it until the end.The bit that stuck with me the most wasn't one of the oddities, like binding money to your hand or not sitting on a chair that was recently sat upon by a mens...
  • La Petite Américaine
    2008-09-30
    This book would have been a lot better had it been written by someone more capable and less smug. The premise itself is fascinating -- living the bible literally -- as are the religious groups that the author decided to interview, including snake handlers, the Amish, right-wing Christians, and Samaritans, to name a few. However, his "whoooa, I'm so secular, wow, look at all these religious people, whooooa" attitude made it nothing more than a hal...
  • Bobby
    2009-04-19
    What would happen to the man who really tried to put others before himself? Love his enemies? Turn the other cheek? Give to all who asked- no strings attached?I'd like to read that man's memoirs.But unfortunately, at the end of his hilariously pedantic year-long tour of the Bible, Jacobs manages to have covered none of these. (Loving your neighbor as yourself is mentioned only in the last chapter- when he says it is in fact impossible.)One must w...
  • M
    2007-11-03
    Ok, I did NOT think I would like this book, and I certainly didn't think it would get five stars - and I grappled with that, as usual, but felt like I can't not give five stars to a book I loved this much just because I'm a snob (I try to apply the same to my students' papers, sadly I am not as effective there). First, I gotta say, what a painless way to read nonfiction! This is basically Dave Barry does Bible - Jacobs is sharp witted, funny and ...
  • Books Ring Mah Bell
    2010-11-11
    A secular writer (for Esquire, he'll tell you at least 100+ times!) decides to live by the bible literally for a year, and write about the challenges of doing so.Hits: - In his effort to try to get a fair representation of the bible, he tries several different interpretations/variations of the bible. This in itself is challenging, as there are thousands of variations available - KJV, NIV, NAB, GNB, GWT, and so on. He is sent a copy of a "hip hop"...
  • Michael
    2011-07-14
    A.J. Jacobs is a journalist and editor of Esquire magazine, who has some really interesting ideas for memoirs. I first heard about Jacobs by a friend who read his book; The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, in which he all 32 volumes of the 2002 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. While I’m yet to read this book (but I will) I decided to read The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Ques...
  • Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
    2017-01-05
    I keep going back and forth on keeping this book to donating it, so I'm going to hold onto it until I make up my mind. This book was honest and funny. There were times that I felt the book drag a little, but I was also sick while reading this book at some points. Keep this in mind. lolIt is making me re-examine my own spiritual views, and that is a good thing. What can I learn from others without appropriating?I was raised (Roman) Catholic, so I ...
  • Diane
    2011-11-29
    Don't let the subject of this book scare you into thinking it's preachy or self-righteous or filled with sermonizing. It is actually a very funny and open-minded book about the Bible and how following it to a literal extreme is well, just plain silly.A.J. Jacobs has a wonderful sense of humor throughout his year-long project, but I felt bad for his wife, Julie, who had to put up with all kinds of ridiculous rules and projects. (At one point, he b...
  • ❀Aimee❀ Just one more page...
    2008-08-27
    For a guy who doesn't consider himself religious, he has quite a journey trying to live Biblically. I was worried it would be really sacrilegious, but it wasn't. AJ himself gets more out of the experience than he anticipated. He has a lot of deep musings as well as hilarity.
  • JJVid
    2013-03-12
    "It is through being in Christ and following Him that we become transformed. Unless one takes this step, one cannot be truly transformed. So, after your year is over, you will go back to being a man who find purpose in weird projects and writing assignments. Becoming a follower of Jesus Christ is much more rewarding." This is an e-mail sent to A. J. Jacobs by 'a conservative evangelical Christian' which I think aptly sums up this book. Unless he ...
  • Evan
    2008-01-25
    Given to me by my wife on Christmas (and, incidentally, eaten by my dog exactly one month later), The Year Of Living Biblically was written by A.J. Jacobs, an editor of Esquire magazine. Jacobs’ previous book (The Know-It-All) entailed reading the encyclopedia in its entirety. To find a gimmick for his next project, Jacobs turned to an even more popular volume: The Bible.Jacobs spends a year attempting to follow all the Old Testament’s instru...
  • Linda
    2008-05-26
    A.J. Jacobs sets out to poke fun at Biblical literalists by devoting a year to obeying every rule set forth in the Bible, thereby showing the world how impossible and ludicrous Biblical literalism is.I feel rather ambivalent about this book. On the one hand, it is quite funny, and it is not without its genuine and insightful moments. On the other hand it is, in the words of another goodreads reviewer, a "stunt memoir," and I have a hard time forg...
  • Lara
    2009-03-16
    I REALLY enjoyed this book. For starters, I love people who do ridiculous, over-the-top things, so I figured I was pretty much destined to adore the author. (I now really need to read his first book, involving him reading the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica.) In this book (as the title indicates), Jacobs attempts to follow the Bible as literally as possible for a full year. One of my friends told me he found this book a little contrived - but I di...
  • Megan
    2008-09-30
    This book follows the author, A.J. Jacobs, on a year-long quest to follow every single rule in the Bible, from the Ten Commandments to the New Testament.I read this book in the large-print version from my library. It was a big hit with my friends, who saw it sitting on my dining room table and wanted to know everything about it. For some reason, the concept really seems to fascinate people (or maybe just the weird people I hang out with). Luckily...
  • Kim
    2011-06-23
    I really thought I'd enjoy this book far more than I did. The premise is great but the actual results just didn't live up to my expectations. A.J. Jacobs states, numerous times, that he is an atheist. As an atheist myself his attitude and actions throughout the book don't hold that up. He is actively trying to find God which means that to some extent he does believe God exists and I find it a little jarring.Although there are some humourous parts...
  • Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
    2012-11-12
    I read this book a year or two ago and really enjoyed it. As someone who has many many orthodox Jewish friends, I liked the seeing A.J. Jacobs try to live basically as they do. It was an interesting book, that's for sure. I have a weakness for books like this!
  • Scott Franklin
    2008-07-07
    I am not even sure how I was turned on to this little book but late this past fall, I added it to my reading list and was fortunate enough to receive it from my parents as a Christmas gift. I love that I usually have time over the holidays to make it completely through a book.Summary: The book is basically a journal through A.J. Jacobs’ religious experiment to obey the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, as literally as possible. Those familiar...
  • Skylar Burris
    2009-05-31
    This book was amusing, although it occasionally inspired eye-rolls as the author’s literal interpretations of Scripture sometimes defied the Biblical context and both Jewish and Christian tradition (even orthodox and fundamentalist traditions). The author’s attempts to draw a list of commands and advice from the Bible and to follow it literarily is at times comical, and it ends up highlighting the importance of following Scripture in the cont...
  • Carrie
    2008-04-30
    I loved this book. It was on the NYT bestseller list and I was intrigued. The NYC library system has 115 copies and it took me 4 months on the waiting list to get it. It was so worth the wait.The author decides to live the bible a literally as possible for a whole year. Side note he has an amazing wife to put up with this for a year during which she is pregnant with twins.Here are some of my favorite quotes:"You just have to tell them that you ha...
  • Patricia
    2007-12-09
    Based on the author's own reporting in this book, I would guess that, of all the authors I read A.J. Jacobs would be most likely to Google himself and find this review. If he is reading this, let him rest assured that I enjoyed this book, the story of—as the subtitle informs us—“One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible.” Parts of this books are laugh-out-loud funny, as when Jacobs describes boning up for an in...