The Year of Living Biblically – Book Review

The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs

A.J. Jacobs is a secular Jew living with his secular wife in (largely) secular New York.  A.J. began to wonder, however, if his was missing out on something with this whole religion thing.  So many people seemed so into it, after all.  Particularly after the birth of his first son, A.J. began to wonder what exactly would ground his son in the future, or help him to grow up to make good choices.  So A.J. decided he would follow the Bible – the ENTIRE Bible – for a year.

I had read A.J.’s previous book, “The Know-It-All” about reading the entire Encycopedia Britanica in a year, so I expected a fun read, filled with obscure facts, this time about the Bible.  Well, I did get that, but I got so much more as well.  It was really fascinating to read about A.J.’s spiritual journey throughout the year and see how trying to follow the rules of the Bible – which necessitated really trying to UNDERSTAND the Bible – changed A.J. for the better.  It came across not just in the story he was telling, but the way he wrote as well.  I have to admit, I got a little teary towards the end as well.

“The Year of Living Biblically” is fun and spiritual, with irreverant reverance and reverant irreverance.  I think this could be enjoyed by all, religious or not.

Buy this book on Amazon.

9 comments to The Year of Living Biblically – Book Review

  • Great review! This is one I’ve really been wanting to read.

  • Looks very interesting!

  • What an interesting book! I know a lot of people who would be really interested in reading this book. I’ll pass along your review, and look for this book at my library for myself.

  • You know, I really enjoyed this, but I thought The Know-It-All was better. Random funn A.J. Jacobs story: one of my best friends just graduated from Princeton Seminary and went to his reading & book signing there. When it was her turn, she told him that she wished he’d read the section about the polygamists that he met, so he signed her book “To Heather, my potential second wife.” She’s given up on book signings from that point forward because really, how can you top that?

  • I don’t know that I would consider one of them better than the other, because they’re more different than I thought they would be. I think “The Know-It-All” made me laugh out loud a lot more, and the format is great for just picking it up and opening to a random page to read for a bit. There was, for obvious reasons, more depth to this one though, which I thought he did very well.

    That’s a great book signing story, by the way.

  • This book is in my TBR pile. I heard a review of it on All About Books, a show on NET – Nebraska Public Radio – and really wanted to read it. I’m glad that you read it, reviewed it and enjoyed it! Now, I am even more anxious to read it.

  • Yours is the second positive review of *The Year of Living Biblically*; it sounds fun and thought-provoking.