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The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, by A.J. Jacobs.

This is a book about... a man who tries to follow the bible as literally as possible for a whole year (ah, how I love descriptive titles). It is a really funny book and I enjoyed it a lot. There are no great theological insights here, although quite a lot of information, most of it accurate (this is a man who read the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica in one year, and then wrote a book about it, The Know-It-All).

Jacobs has to first, read the bible and make a list of its rules; and then decide for himself how to interpret them. While he takes religious tradition into consideration, he is not bound by it. He also visits groups who take the bible literally, or at least claim to, such as the Amish, ultra-orthodox Jews, and snake-handling fundamentalists. I know I'm starting to sound like a sixth-grade book report, but my favorite part of the book was when Jacobs calls the headquarters of the Watchtower Society (Jehovah's Witnesses) and asks them to send someone to his house. At the end, he still claims to be an agnostic, but he has a greater understanding of the importance of faith and his own religious heritage.


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