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Subtitled: "One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible," Jacobs, or A.J., as his two-year-old son calls him, does just that. It is likely that no one but A.J. Jacobs could have accomplished such a feat. After all, his last book, The Know-It-All, chronicles his reading of the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica, from A to Z. No one but a smart, witty, self-deprecating, nitpicky kinda guy would undertake two such daunting tasks, and complete them with grace, no pun intended.
Jacobs, a New York Jewish agnostic, decides to follow the laws and rules of the Bible, beginning with the Old Testament, for one year. (He actually adds some bonus days and makes it a 381-day year.) He starts by growing a beard and we are with him through every itchy moment. Jacobs is borderline OCD, at least as he describes himself; obsessing over possible dangers to his son, germs, literal interpretation of Bible verses, etc. He enlists the aid of counselors along the way; Jewish rabbis, Christians of every stripe, friends and neighbors.
In an open-minded way he also visits with atheists, Evangelicals Concerned (a gay group), Jerry Falwell, snake handlers, Red Letter Christians--those who adhere to the red letters in the Bible, those words spoken by Jesus Himself, and even takes a trip to Israel and meets Samaritans. Through it all, he keeps a healthy skepticism, but continues to pray and is open to the flowering of real faith. Jacobs is a knowledge junky, to be sure. He enjoys the lore he picks up along the way as much as any other aspect of his experiment. One of the ongoing schticks is his meeting with the shatnez tester, Mr. Berkowitz. He is the one who determines whether or not your clothes are made of mixed fibers, in keeping with the Biblical injunction not to wear wool and linen together. The two become friends and prayer partners, in only one of the unexpected results of this year.
In the end, he says, "I'm now a reverent agnostic. Which isn't an oxymoron, I swear. I now believe that whether or not there's a God, there is such a thing as sacredness. Life is sacred." Not a bad outcome. --Valerie Ryan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
After reading “Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection” by AJ I knew I also had to read this book. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Dan Ionescu
A chose this 5 star rating as this book took me on an amazing journey and examined faith in the modern world.Published 5 days ago by Aniela
This is one of the funniest book I've ever read! Too bad in the end, the author didn't come to any real understanding of a spiritual life.Published 11 days ago by M Berger
A very interesting look at religion. The author spends a year studying different religions and trying to live accordingly. He has a sense of humour to go along with his quest.Published 12 days ago by marygene brancik
Just finished and thoroughly enjoyed the book! I learned more about the bible, Old Testament and Jewish traditions I didn't even know about! Read morePublished 16 days ago by Cinda Williamson
The book showed that the author has total miss the point of the calling of God for the Jewish people. Read morePublished 1 month ago by vicyeo
I enjoyed the book and the style of writing. I think it was a unique travel through time that was grounded in the present as an experience of seeking God.Published 1 month ago by albert j.patterson