But speaking of "making things up": Another book I like, and an effortless read, is Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus: The story behind who changed the Bible and Why. The title says it all: Ehrman explains how book publishing worked in the times before the printing press, how easy it was for the people who copied books to slip in changes, and how those changes follow distinct political patterns. Very useful to know when literalist evangelicals try to impose their opinions onto you as absolute truth "because the Bible says so."
I liked Ehrman's book also. I believe he concluded the book by saying that maybe the Bible needs to be re-interpreted from time to time in the same way that the U.S. Constitution is re-interpreted from time to time.