City Paper is not for tourists
A.J. Jacobs admits the full immersion for his latest book, The Year of Living Biblically, was a bit of performance journalism. After reading Encyclopedia Britannica from cover to cover for his 2004 bestseller The Know-It-All, Jacobs, an editor-at-large for Esquire, needed grist for another project. He settled on the Bible and spent the next year doing his best to live as the Good Book says. The result is a comic quest memoir of a secular New York scribe combing the Bible for rules and testing how they pan out in the modern world. For a year, Jacobs follows biblical tenants as simple as allowing his beard to reach ZZ-Top length and as difficult as stoning adulterers and avoiding chairs and beds used by menstruating women—a rough proposition for one who has taken a pre-menopausal woman for a wife. He visits an Amish community in Pennsylvania, creationists in Kentucky, and Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem. And in the end, Jacobs’ performance leads to a sort of religion. Jacobs discusses and signs copies of his work at 7:30 p.m. at Borders, 5871 Crossroads Center Way, Baileys Crossroads. Free. (202) 364-1919.