Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Year of Living Biblically

This book is explained fully by its subtitle: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible. AJ Jacobs, a native New Yorker (as Jewish as the Olive Garden is Italian), decides he is going to live all the laws of the Old Testament and New Testament during the course of a year. He takes trips to Israel, a creationism museum in Wisconsin and a snake-handler's church in Tennessee as part of his spiritual journey. He consults with various rabbis and priests that guide him and provide answers to his many questions. The results are super funny, inspiring, and thought-provoking. If I have any disappointment, it is that he pretty well glossed over the New Testament. But, he admits up front that with his Jewish heritage he had a hard time even going there.

Well worth a read.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Father Knows Less

This book is part-memoir part-trivia. A New York Times reporter seeks to answer questions from children, including his own son, such as:
  • What happens when you eat gum?
  • Do nose hairs turn gray?
  • Is George Bush evil? Mommy says so.
He then takes these questions to an expert in the appropriate field to get the answers--making for interesting and entertaining light reading.

Personally, I skipped about half the memoir/reflective part. I couldn't care less about the author and his kid. But, I loved the questions and their answers.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


It was kind of strange to read this book on the heels of Devil in the White City and Star Garden because all of these books are set in such different locations, but during basically the same time period. It was a refreshing change to move from dusty Arizona to tropical Hawaii and interesting to see how life varied from place to place.

The Bad News: This book took me about 150 pages to get into. Normally I would have given up, but my momseguine recommended it, and my book club chose to read it for October. You know before you even start the book that Rachel is going to get Hansen's disease (leprosy) and she is going to be shipped off to Moloka'i, but it took forever to get her there. I was ready for her to hurry up and grow up.

The Good News: I really, really ended up liking the book. I even cried. I loved the history. I loved seeing the happiness, love and joy one person can have and share with others, regardless of their circumstances and experiences. It's a book that encourages a change of pace and puts the important things in life into perspective.