In The Year of Living Biblically, AJ Jacobs followed all the rules in the Bible as literally as he could.
The book that came out of the year has several layers.
- An exploration of some of the Bible's startlingly relevant rules. I tried not to covet, gossip, or lie for a year. I'm a journalist in New York. This was not easy.
- An investigation of the rules that baffle the 21st century brain. How to justify the laws about stoning homosexuals? Or smashing idols? Or sacrificing oxen? And how do you follow those in modern-day Manhattan?
Jacobs was recently interviewed by Jewish culture magazine Jewcy about the book and will be talking about his experience tomorrow at the 92nd St. Y.
Here's a novel interview technique: AJ Jacobs sits George Clooney down in front of a computer and talks about what the internet says about him.
We are logged on to a Facebook group called "George Clooney is NOT the sexiest man alive."
"Ninety-four members," says Clooney as he looks at the photo of himself with a red X through it. "What the fuck?"
He reads the site's manifesto aloud:
I for one am sick and tired of George Clooney thinking hes the sexiest man alive, like jesus hes so old! It's just not right. That man is so full of himself it isn't funny. Join this group if you totally agree with me.
"Should I defend myself in this one?"
Clooney dictates and I type:
That's bullshit. He looks great for a 70-year-old.
Inspired by Thomas Friedman's book, A.J. Jacobs outsources his life to India. He starts with his job but is eventually letting his Indian assistants argue with his wife, read to his son at night, edit his Wikipedia entry on his behalf, and even worry for him. Ben Hammersley also recently wrote about personal outsourcing.