Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible

I am reposting this 2009 review because The Good Book is on sale for $.99 for the Kindle Edition and audiobook is $3.99 with purchase of the Kindle Edition.

Summary: A non-practicing Jew reads the Old Testament and blogs his way through it.

The Good Book was interesting, maybe the last chapter the most interesting of all. The author is Jewish, although not really practicing. So when he starts reading the Hebrew Bible (or the Christian Old Testament) it is not in the same way that many others would read it.

Plotz is a friend of the text, he doesn’t deconstruct it or tear it apart. Instead he reads it, mostly as a person with very little history with the text. He is amazed, delighted and horrified by it.

If you want to see what the Old Testament is like to someone that doesn’t really know the stories, but is highly educated, thoughtful and interested, then this is a book for you. If you are concerned when someone does not think the same way as you do about scripture, then you should skip it. But this is a book that pastors and others that are serious about scripture should read, because Plotz has reasonable questions. Some of them would be easy to answer, he just needs more info. But many of them are exceedingly hard.

I listened to this as an audiobook. It was David Plotz (the author) that read the book. I usually like listening to authors reading their own books. They have a level of investment and ownership in the book that many other narrators don’t have. I tend to like memoir-y explorations of things as a general category of audiobook, so this is a perfect book for me. I also will say that I had this on my “To Buy” list for a while but it wasn’t until it was offered for free on Audible as part of an advertising promotion with the Slate Political Gabfest that I picked it up. But I would buy it again.

The Good Book Purchase Links: Paperback, Kindle Edition, Audiobook


I love reading D. Plotz’ stuff on Slate and am now looking forward to reading ‘The Good Book’. Have you read “The Year of Living Biblically” by A.J. Jacobs? I just started it.

I haven’t read it yet. It is on my list. But not very high up.

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