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50 BOOKS 2008
1))
I Am America and So Can You by Stephen Colbert
2)) The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs

First of the all, The Year of Living Biblically is a book I recommend highly. It's non-fiction, the diary of a Jewish-born, agnostic New Yorker who spent a year trying to live his life while taking the Bible as literally as he could.

SIDE NOTE: He also has another book, The Know-It All, which chronicles his reading the entire Encylopedia Britannica. Haven't read that one yet.

Anyway, reading it caused me to think a lot about my own spiritual health. I've spent the however-many years (5? 6?) since I started building a spiritual life for myself being very inward-focused. Who am I, what's my purpose here, etc. Those are all good questions to ask, and I feel like I've been finding at least part of the answers, but recently it's had me feeling (whadda-ya-know) very self-centered. I need to start reaching outward- recognizing more of the mysticism and spirit of the world and people around me, not just myself.

I think I can start by being more thankful. There's a passage in The Year of Biblical Living where Jacobs describes the thanksgiving prayers he gives before every meal, and it resonated as something I could try. Maybe not necessarily thanking God for the food, but thanking the animals that gave their lives, the plants which grew their fruits, the farmers who raised them.

The first thing I went to eat after thinking about this last night was a Fruit Roll-Up, and I wondered whether I'd be thanking a bunch of chemists for that, so I looked at the side of the box. The first ingredient listed is pear, and sugar cane is on there too. I imagined a pear tree and sugar plants, and thanked them just before I took the first bite. It was delicious.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-09 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] redqueenmeg.livejournal.com
How did you like IAA&SCY? I read it around Thanksgiving and pretty much howled the whole time. Had to give America: The Book a reread due to that.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-09 07:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adampb.livejournal.com
I read "The Know-it-All" over the fall. Enjoyable enough I guess... certainly I can enjoy the story of a man compelled to shoehorn useless facts into every conversation. ;) You have to get through an awful lot of jokes of the "word: definition of word, followed by lame joke about same" variety, but I admired the way he was able to construct a narrative of his life going connecting things to words along the way.

Despite my "eh" response, I do want to read "Biblically" some time simply because I just can't get enough esoteric Bible trivia.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-09 11:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fyrestar1.livejournal.com
Woot. Sounds really interesting. *is now number 17 on the hold list for the library's copy of it*

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-10 03:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rocknlobster.livejournal.com
who spent a year trying to live his life while taking the Bible as literally as he could.
How literally? I'm curious. The bible is a text for study rather than a textbook for following, so I guess this was some kind of interesting experiment? *looks at website* Iiiinteresting. XD

While it's clear that this guy had cool intentions (the part about out-fundamentalising the fundies cracks me up XD), the picky part of me just wants to remind you that Judaism isn't really about following the Bible literally at all. Just in case, y'know, you got that impression. A lot of Jews even have that impression and...well anyway. *blatherblather*

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