Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Week 60: The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs

This is the second book I have read by Esquire author A.J. Jacobs. His book The Know it All - all about reading the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica - was a riot. It would have been tough for him to top that one.

Jacobs spent one whole year following - as closely as he could - the laws within the Bible. Of course, some of these are simple, like the Ten Commandments. He took it one step further and actually tried to adhere to "the letter of the law" and wound up in some very odd situations. I like A.J. - he's willing to make a fool of himself if he knows it will a) make a great book or b) teach him something new about himself.

What I found most surprising about this book was how much I really enjoyed learning about Orthodox Judaism. Everything from wrapping teffelin to inscribing the words of the Old Testament on the doorframe, these things were unknown to me. It was like discovering an entirely new world.

A.J. and I have something in common: We are driven to make life interesting, even if we fall on our face doing it. At least we tried. I love the way he consumes and regurgitates - sometimes very tediously - the situations he puts himself into. I don't care much for "normal", That's why his projects appeal to me.

Great book. Really funny. Pick it up. And yes, that is a commandment. Ha ha.

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