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The Year of Living Biblically [Audio]
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About the Author

A.J. Jacobs is the author of Thanks a Thousand, It's All Relative, Drop Dead Healthy, and the New York Times bestsellers The Know-It-All, The Year of Living Biblically, and My Life as an Experiment. He is a contributor to NPR, and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly. He lives in New York City with his wife and kids. Visit him at AJJacobs.com and follow him on Twitter @ajjacobs. A.J. Jacobs is the author of Thanks a Thousand, It's All Relative, Drop Dead Healthy, and the New York Times bestsellers The Know-It-All, The Year of Living Biblically, and My Life as an Experiment. He is a contributor to NPR, and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly. He lives in New York City with his wife and kids. Visit him at AJJacobs.com and follow him on Twitter @ajjacobs.

Reviews

What would it require for a person to live all the commandments of the Bible for an entire year? That is the question that animates this hilarious, quixotic, thought-provoking memoir from Jacobs (The Know-It-All). He didn't just keep the Bible's better-known moral laws (being honest, tithing to charity and trying to curb his lust), but also the obscure and unfathomable ones: not mixing wool with linen in his clothing; calling the days of the week by their ordinal numbers to avoid voicing the names of pagan gods; trying his hand at a 10-string harp; growing a ZZ Top beard; eating crickets; and paying the babysitter in cash at the end of each work day. (He considered some rules, such as killing magicians, too legally questionable to uphold.) In his attempts at living the Bible to the letter, Jacobs hits the road in highly entertaining fashion to meet other literalists, including Samaritans in Israel, snake handlers in Appalachia, Amish in Lancaster County, Pa., and biblical creationists in Kentucky. Throughout his journey, Jacobs comes across as a generous and thoughtful (and, yes, slightly neurotic) participant observer, lacing his story with absurdly funny cultural commentary as well as nuanced insights into the impossible task of biblical literalism. (Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Esquire editor-at-large Jacobs decided to spend one year following all the dictates of the Bible, from loving your neighbor to growing a beard. With a 13-city tour and a -Today show segment. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"A.J. Jacobs is so funny he can make watching his beard grow hilarious. "The Year of Living Biblically" is the most unexpectedly delightful - and consistently charming - book I've read in a long time. It will have you laughing out loud, nodding in disbelief, and rethinking what you believe about the Bible. It will also have you tallying your sins: I coveted his humor and envied his facial hair. And that's no lie."-Bruce Feiler, author of "Walking the Bible" and "Where God Was Born"
"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.' And let me suggest that readers, whether they know their Bible or not, get to know A.J. Jacobs. But not in a biblical sense, please."-P.J. O'Rourke
""The Year of Living Biblically" is an extremely compelling book, appropriately irreverent and highly entertaining. More significantly, it is a tale of an intense and intelligent spiritual search that will speak powerfully and instructively to a generation of seekers."-Rabbi David Ellenson, president of Hebrew Union College
"In the twenty-first century few, if any, Christians truly attempt to follow the Bible in its literal entirety, even us evangelicals. In this yearlong experiment A.J. Jacobs attempts just that, with disarming sincere, refreshingly humorous, and unexpectedly insightful results. I commend this inspired narrative to anyone actively exploring the continued relevance of biblical living, religion's need for critical self-reflection, and the timelessness of authentic faith."-Reverend Jim Wallis, author of "God's Politics" and president of Sojourners/Call to Renewal
"A. J. Jacobs has written about the Bible in a manner that is brilliantly funny but unerringly respectful, learned but goofy, deeply personal yet highly relevant. I am covetous and wish him smited."-Mary Roach, Bestselling author of "Spook and Stiff"
"A book that is at one and the same time delightfully readable and profoundly memorable is a wonder! "The Year of Living Biblically" is exactly that. A. J. Jacobs has perceived the distinction between the wisdom of the Bible and its absurdities. It is a shame that so many of both our clergy and our politicians seem incapable of making that distinction."-John Shelby Spong, author of "Jesus for the Non-Religious" and former Episcopal bishop
"As a man incapable of developing any facial hair aside from a really amazingly cruddy moustache, I would have bought this book for the astonishing big beard chronicle alone. That "The Year of Living Biblically" grows, beardlike, into a long, hilarious, tangled, and ultimately moving story of spiritual growth is all the more astonishing. But why should I continue to be surprised at what springs from A. J.'s head? He is a brilliantly hilarious writer who truly lives up to that oft-misused adverb/adjective combination and then some. Plus: HE IS GOING TO HEAVEN. So how can you not afford to tithe your salary to his cause and buy this book?"-John Hodgman, "Daily Show" correspondent and author of "Areas of My Expertise"
"Seeing that most people violate at least three of the ten commandments on their way to work -- even people who work from home -- says a lot about the scale of A. J.'s feat. The fact that you need to buy six copies of this book to unlock the code to save all humanity...well, that's just pure genius."-Ben Karlin, cocreator of "The Colbert Report" and coauthor of "America: The Book"
"Setting out to explore the consequences of strict adherence to biblical laws, A. J. Jacobs encounters a series of experiences that are as hilarious as they are thought-provoking. Along the way he teaches us both the fallacies of modern day religious fundamentalism and the joys of discovering the transcendent and timeless truths of faith."-Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director, Human Genome Project, author of "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief"
"Throughout his journey, Jacobs comes across as a generous and thoughtful (and yes, slightly neurotic) participant observer, lacing his story with absurdly funny cultural commentary as well as nuanced insights into the impossible task of biblical literalism."-"Publishers Weekly" (Starred)

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