AJ Jacobs, an agnostic sort of Jew (he calls himself “Jewish in the same way the Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant), decides to follow the Bible and all it’s laws for one year. The resulting memoir is a funny and thought-provoking path through religion. Jacobs follows all the laws, not just the common ones, and while he doesn’t actually stone anyone, he gives a great deal of insight into the history of both the Bible and the religious movements that have arisen from it. These include the smaller groups within Judaism and Christianity such as the Amish, snake handlers in Kentucky, Israeli Samaritans, and Biblical creationists. While he doesn’t hide his personal opinion, he definitely enters into each experience with an open mind. I have long been fascinated with people who pull out specific and sometimes obscure pieces of the Bible while ignoring some of the most important principles. This humorous and humble look at what would happen if we all started following every decree makes me grateful we’re all “cafeteria Christians.” I’m glad Jacobs was willing to eat crickets so I don’t have to. Instead I can read his book and take my own journey of faith that way. I definitely have a better understanding of my religion and its history and for that I’m grateful.
By AJ Jacobs