Wednesday, December 29, 2010

To read

Being Christmas break, apparently I'm supposed to have time to read, both "for fun" and "for school". And do all the normal Christmas related things. Ha.

Anyway, I am trying to squeeze in some "for fun" reading into my break in some sort of half-hearted attempt at living a balanced lifestyle that includes leisurely activities like "pleasure reading". This endeavor has come in the shape of A.J. Jacobs's book, The Year of Living Biblically. The dude is a secular Jew who writes for Esquire magazine and lives in New York City's Upper West Side (yeah, he's quite the cliche).

The book details a year in which he attempts to follow every rule of the Bible (hence, his beard pictures above). While a little gimmicky in nature, I've enjoyed his reflections on the book I say I surround my life around. In general, there's always something pretty interesting about hearing an outsider's comments on one's lifestyle (religiously narcissistic?) when done in a relatively objective manner. An atheist guy did something sort of similar a few years back when he sold his soul on ebay and then visited a number of churches, only to get a book deal out of it. A.J.'s book is better written and is a little more comprehensive ("ebay guy" had some fascination with evangelical church's excellent public speakers). It also reads like someone writing from NYC - what I believe The New Yorker would read like even though I don't actually read The New Yorker. I'm only a third of the way through the book but I enjoy A.J.'s humor and candidness concerning Christianity and I suppose I think it's important that, as a Christian, I remain somewhat aware of perceptions held towards whatever subgroup I may fall into.

All this to say, I'd recommend the book if you're looking. I got a few other books for Xmas that will hopefully be read before 2nd semester (that Bonhoeffer book and some mentoring book I always allude to in my class papers but haven't actually read). Alright, have a splendid New Year's. Keep reading, it's good for you.

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