A Year in the Life

Posted on July 29, 2010. Filed under: Nonfiction | Tags: |

My Freshman YearI have an ongoing fascination with the publication – if not always the actual cover-to-cover reading – of books that chronicle  an author’s year-long experiment, observation, or stunt. My growing list of these “year books” includes a woman’s self-imposed moratorium on shopping, a family’s “carbon neutral” lifestyle experiment, a man’s obsessive quest to read an excruciatingly long reference book from A to Z, and a family’s determination to consume only locally produced food.

Book titles purporting to pinpoint either the “greatest year” or the year when “everything changed” are a related category. Depending on who you read, the pivotal year may have been 1948, 1421, 1434, 1848, 1969, 1215, 1759, 1791, 1920, 1941, 1942, 1968, 1877, or, perhaps, 1967.  Apparently, there is a big appetite for this kind of chronological package.

You can find the following “year books” at Oakton Community College

Inspired to brainstorm ideas for your own bestselling 365-day chronicle?  Remember that many of these authors already had significant contacts in the publishing industry before they stopped riding the elevator or began cooking their way though Mastering the Art of French Cooking .  If you just can’t get enough, check your local public library to find one of the following titles or borrow them through Interlibrary Loan:

  • Eat My Globe: One Year to Go Everywhere and Eat Everything by Simon Majumdar
  • Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine
  • Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages by Ammon Shea
  • Sleeping Naked is Green: How an Eco-Cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days by Vanessa Farquharson
  • A Year Without “Made in China”: One Family’s True Life Adventure in the Global Economy by Sara Bongiorni
  • The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs

– posted by Rebecca Sedam


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One Response to “A Year in the Life”

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Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is another “year book.” It follows her on a year as she travels through Italy, India and Indonesia.


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