Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Recommendation from My Son


My 15-year-old son has been a voracious reader since he first learned to read at the end of kindergarten. He went through a phase when he wouldn't read anything except fantasy (mainly Harry Potter), but lately he's been branching out in all kinds of directions. Recently he was talking about a book he had checked out from the public library, The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. He made it sound so intriguing that I decided to borrow it from him until it has to go back to the library.

The subtitle of the book is, "One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible." Jacobs starts as an agnostic, secular Jew who decides to experiment with living exactly by the rules of the Bible, 8 months by the Old Testament and 4 by the New Testament. I thought it would probably be a sort of cynical approach that would be finding the weirdest stuff possible in the Bible and exploiting it for laughs. There are plenty of laughs in what I've read so far, but far from being cynical, the book seems to be a genuine and respectful effort to learn more about the Bible.

A couple of nuggets I pulled out just last night:
"...coveting means that you are overly desirous of the Jaguar, you are distracted by material goods, you have veered from the path of being thankful for what God provides. You have, no doubt, fallen victim to advertising, the Tenth Commendment's arch-nemesis."
"...a lot of religion is about surrendering control and being open to radical change."
The book is definitely a radical change from my usual reading fare, but I suppose it's good for a person to read something different once in a while. Plus, it is a "Y" book, which gives me an idea - I'll go through the alphabet backward this year!

1 comment:

Ephemera said...

I saw a story on TV about this man, I believe. It sounded like it was going to be a difficult year for him! Let me know how it turned out.