Friday, March 28, 2008

A.J. Jacobs & The Year Of Living Biblically

A.J. Jacobs is the Editor at Large of Esquire magazine. I best know him as the author of The Know-It-All. Last night at Barnes and Noble, I acquired his new book The Year of Living Biblically.

The Know-It-All is Jacobs' jocular chronicle of his sojourn in reading the Encyclopedia Britanica from A to Z. His wit and candor are delightful. Jacobs artfully weaves fun facts, entertaining life stories, and clever commentary into a very readable book.

If you're like me (chances are, you are not), the books you read are heavy and non-fiction (you may remember my book review on Vice President Dick Cheney...I still maintain it was a good book...I'm gearing up for a new book on reforming the tax code...I'll let you know how it turns out). I have to force myself from time to time to read lighter books. Mr. Jacobs does a good job of filling the prescription for light but intelligent writing.

Now folks tell me I'm a funny writer. Compared to Jacobs? Absolutely not! A.J. Jacobs is a genuine Italian restaurant - I am Olive Garden. A.J. Jacobs is a divinely-inspired orator - I am Joel Osteen. A.J. Jacobs is intimate interaction with human beings - I am Facebook. A.J. Jacobs is a Greek fraternity - I am Civitan. But I'm certainly ok with that.

In The Year Of Living Biblically, Jacobs works through understanding the Bible. How so? He attempts to follow every rule in the Bible as literally as possible. Such rules include Deuteronomy 23:17, Leviticus 15:16, and my favorite, Deuteronomy 25:11-12. Here's a link to a video promo for the book.

I'm expecting another home run from Jacobs. And probably some food for thought as well. Developing an accurate framework to read the Bible, and correctly applying it, is a difficult, maybe impossible, task for even the most sophisticated mind. This book is a reminder of an idea of which I'm acutely aware: the line between what is secular and what is spiritual is becoming increasingly blurred.

p.s. Snerdley alerted me about the King James Version of Deuteronomy 25:11-12.

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