Book 7 in my quest for 36 was a great book by Jonathan Goldstein. I was introduced to his humor through his regular contributions to This American Life. I’m not really sure how I found out about this book, but I’m glad I did. Jonathan writes somewhat tongue in cheek riffs on famous bible stories from a very human perspective. The stories are sometimes hilarious, sometimes ridiculous and sometimes really touching.

Here is a pretty good example of what you would be in for if you chose to read this book. The following is Isaac’s consolation blessing to Esau (who had his real blessing stolen from his younger twin, Jacob. It’s a long story):

Bless thee. Bless thee. May thine health be passable and thine income middling. May thou find a bride of so-so looks and mediocre bust. May thine days pass with relative tolerableness.

Another choice bit is David (the wannabe comedian) who saw his fight with Goliath as a potential comedy skit to please God:

The manner in which I kill Goliath will cause the whole world to laugh, thought David. Even God himself will laugh.

David wanted to please the Lord, and he believed a good hearty chuckle would do him good.

Then on to the fight. Immediately following a bunch of “No, I will feed your body to the birds and dogs” trash talking is the following:

“You win,” quipped David, “but you still might want to chew on a mint leaf.”

“I shall chew on your still-beating heart,” parried Goliath.

“Do you kiss your brothers with that mouth?” asked David.

The book is laugh out loud funny. If you are offended by farce, particularly farce which involves beloved bible heroes, this book is not for you. As a believer myself, I felt like it was a good natured and well imagined parody of the big stories in the bible (Adam and Even, Cain and Abel, Tower of Babel, etc).

  1. Outliers (read)
  2. The 7 Triggers to Yes (read)
  3. East of Eden (read)
  4. Duma Key (listened)
  5. Past Caring (listened)
  6. Jesus Wants to Save Christians (listened)
  7. Ladies and Gentlemen: The Bible by Jonathan Goldstein (read)
  8. Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt by Anne Rice (In progress, listening)
  9. The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett (In progress, reading)
  10. The Go Point (In progress, reading)
  11. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal
  12. Back of the Napkin
  13. Over the Edge of the World (Magellan’s terrifying circumnavigation of the globe)
  14. Lisey’s Story
  15. The Time Paradox
  16. The Creative Habit
  17. Revolution by George Barna
  18. The Relational Way
  19. The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance
  20. Spin Selling
  21. Genesis
  22. Exodus
  23. Leviticus
  24. Numbers
  25. Deuteronomy
  26. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  27. Emergency Sex
  28. Founders at Work (
  29. E Myth Revisited
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  36. ?