This is a great book. It (literally) made me cry. You don't have to be religious to enjoy this book - actually it's probably better if you aren't.
Gets a little bit preachy at the end but you're well prepared for it...
The only negative is that the author narrates the book, but he just isn't that great. A better narrator would have made this a 5 star easy. But after a while you get lost in the story and the narrator dissapears.
My wife and I listened to this audiobook from start to finish and enjoyed every minute of it. Jacobs is a talented writer with a gift for obsessively thorough research and deceptively simple writing. He knows his stuff and he's smart enough to hold his cards close to his chest.
The book follows the author through a year of literal Biblical living. He stones adulterers, avoids direct contact with women, sacrifices animals, keeps the Sabbath holy and so on. When tackling a number of sensitive and downright mind-boggling commandments, Jacobs' sense of humor proves to be the real savior here. His clear thinking, honesty and humor make "The Year of Living Biblically" an important document on both modern Biblical integration as well as the history of religious thinking and practice.
I found this book very weak, and rather than an interesting look at the bible and what it might actually teach via the bible , or an funny look at Christianity, I found a book that was more akin to a bar bet (see Brian Zembic) , the author is continually opting out of items he "is just not comfortable with" including apparently the whole of the new testament, which is covered in about 2 minutes, wherein he states he isn't comfortable dealing with the figure Jesus, so pretty much opts out of the whole of the new testament. I found the book to be full of cop outs, and just generally weak.
Thankfully it is blessedly short.
This book was only OK for me. I was hoping to get a perspective of what it might mean to follow the Bible as literally as possible. This book did that for me...sort of.
For many of the obscure biblical laws, there was simply no explanation for the laws other than they were commanded by God. It seems we simply are not meant to know why.
There were two disappointing aspects of this book for me:
1) With the exception of the author's trip to Jerry Falwell's church and a short discussion with one of his pastors, there really was no treatment of the New Testament. The author did grasp the question of whether living the New Testament was genuine if one did not accept Jesus as one's personal Savior. I don't think there was an adequate attempt to answer the question.
2) It was more an expose of Orthodox Jewish culture and tradition and its relationship to the Old Testament biblical law than anything else.
These points aside I do think it provide credibility to understanding and interpreting the Bible from its cultural and historical context.
See above really dissed the New Testament but great on the Old Testament. A fun listen tho
I loved this book easily as much as I did his Know It All book. His relatable style and clever use of day to day interaction makes this as enjoyable as any novel. I would recommend this title to anyone who is looking to get some perspective on their own questions of faith and religion or anyone who enjoys the heroes journey. AJ does a great job of reading his own work too, so many times an author will read his own book and you'll love the work but, the authors voice is annoying, not so with AJ.
I have been a Christian forever but I have never studied the whole Bible. The Old Testament was always a mystery to me. AJ Jacobs made many of the old laws and traditions understandable with tasteful humor and admirable knowledge.