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Publisher's Summary

After his hilarious chronicle about reading the Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z (actually a-ak to zyweic), our fearless author, A. J. Jacobs, tackles a new intellectual adventure, an exploration of the most influential book in the world: the Bible. He determined the best way to explore the Bible was to live it, as literally as possible. For one year.

There are 700 rules in the Old and New Testaments, A. J. discovered - some wise, some general, some contradictory. Some from Jesus, some from prophets, some from God. A. J. assembled a board of spiritual advisors: rabbis, ministers, and priests, some conservative, some of them "one four-letter word away from excommunication", who would provide guidance and advice throughout his journey. But the journey was, by necessity, arbitrary. DIY religion.

In The Year of Living Biblically, A. J. explores the Bible chronologically, from the Old Testament (crucial, given the 10 Commandments) to the New Testament (crucial, given America's powerful evangelical movement and its literal interpretation of the Bible) and lives the Bible on every level. He obeys the 10 Commandments, he is fruitful and multiplies (A. J.'s wife had twins during his year!); he remembers the Sabbath and keeps it holy. But he also obeys the oft-neglected rules, such as avoiding clothes of mixed fibers and refraining from shaving the edges of his beard (Leviticus 19:27). So, throughout the year, A. J. is commonly mistaken for a member of ZZ Top. Or Moses.

This is a look at religion today through one man's totally arbitrary, deeply funny, journey. In A. J.'s hands, The Year of Living Biblically is also fascinating and irresistible.

©2007 A. J. Jacobs; (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc.

Critic Reviews

"[A] hilarious, quixotic, thought-provoking memoir." (Publishers Weekly)
"A.J. Jacobs has written a - how else to put it? - Good Book. Let me take my review from the original, Psalm 2, verse 4: 'He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh.'" (P. J. O'Rourke)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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AJ Has Done It Again!

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.

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Unexpected ending?

He got their sons circumcised! WTF! Really, this will hunt me for very long time...

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Abridged

I wish it wasn't abridged. :( now I feel like I still need to go read the hardback. Otherwise it was good.

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the Old Testament made clear

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.

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Love this book!!

Fun, funny and inspiring! An engaging look at the content of the Bible and its relevance today. Thank you, AJ Jacobs!!

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Great read.

An interesting perspective on actually living the bible. I don't think I could do this.

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A Sitcom About the Bible

This is a fun little book on a heavy duty topic. I really enjoyed the various perspectives on why some people adhere to the Old Testament rules. I listened to this book mostly on headphones in public places and at several points I found myself having to explain my sudden outbursts of uncontrollable laughter to surrounding bus riders/grocery shoppers. That being said, the silly parts are pretty much where you expect them to be and the attempts at poignancy feel a little bit like the wrap up of an episode of Wonder Years or Full House.

If you're on the fence, you should probably go ahead and listen to this book. It gets sort of lame at the end, but the first three quarters are worth twelve bucks.

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A Special Tteat

I'm having a difficult time trying to describe how I feel about this book. It seemed to have enlightened me. I looked forward to getting in my car so that I could listen to it. love!

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Give thanks!

Fun book to read! He literally lives Biblically for a year and I cannot help but laugh at some of the "rules". Left giving thanks for the small things.

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Very Inspiring

Would you listen to The Year of Living Biblically again? Why?

Yeah, its quite uplifting and would be good for a pick me up.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

His Transformation

Any additional comments?

Great listen! I would highly suggest it