Engaging Methuen Readers

A Year Of…

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I am always intrigued with people who commit themselves for a whole year, to follow through with a specific goal or principle in mind.  I’m a fairly committed person, but I don’t like to officially commit, if you know what I mean.  I like “a year in the life of” books, because it really is quite an adventure the author embarks on. Plus, I can experience their triumphs and pit-falls without interrupting my own comfortable routines.  These accounts of resolutions in action, made bare for all to read, are often funny and revealing in their empathy.

While reading and perusing through these “year in the life of” books, I’ve come to see that certain themes stand out.  Thus, I’ve categorized the following titles into five themes:   learning to do without, learning to live with, living purposely with a code or principle, living in another place, and a year in a profession. That being said, many of these titles could fit into more than one category.

Image of itemLearning to do without: Bucking the trend; brave souls, these pioneers!

Year of No Sugar: a memoir by Eve O. Schaub

Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine

A Year Unplugged:  A Family’s Life Without Technology by Sharael Kolberg

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Learning to live with: Whether it be an introspective journey, an unwelcome condition, or a new addition…

A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman by Joan Anderson

The Madwoman in the Volvo:  my year of raging hormones by Sandra Tsing Loh

The Puppy Diaries:  raising a dog named Scout by Jill Abramson


Living purposely with a code (or principle):  Walking the talk…Implementing a new lifestyle for self-improvement, as social experiment, a principle strongly believed in or “why not? This should be interesting…”

Image of itemThe Tao of Martha:  My year of LIVING or why I’m never getting all that glitter off of the dog by Jen Lancaster

Helping Me Help Myself:  One Sceptic, Ten Self-Help Gurus, and a Year on the Brink of the Comfort Zone by Beth Lisick

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs

Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally
by Alisa Smith, J.B. MacKinnon

Sweater Quest:  My Year of Knitting Dangerously by Adrienne Martini

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Living in another place:  Hmm, if I took a year off from work, where would I go?

The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca by Tahir Shah

Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin
by Norah Vincent

One Year Off:  leaving it all behind for a round-the -world journey with our children by David Elliot Cohen


A Year in a Profession:  If you were ever curious about life in another profession, these may be for you.

Image of itemThe Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician’s First Year by Matt McCarthy

Little Fish: A Memoir from a Different Kind of Year by Ramsay Beyer (A graphic novel about the transformation of an 18-year-old girl from a small-town teenager into an independent city-dwelling college student.)

The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital by Alexandra Robbins

Cutting Hill:  A Chronicle of a Family Farm by Alan Pistorious Challenge/Literary Pursuits:  Just because I am a librarian and just so you know, we don’t get to read all day behind the desk!

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch

Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home by Susan Hill

The Year of Reading Dangerously:  How Fifty Great Books (and two not-so-great ones) Saved My Life by Andy Miller


Of course, this begs the question,

What would you do for a year?

Please comment and let us know!


Author: Tatjana

I am a Reference/Readers' Advisory Librarian who loves to visit new places, read (of course!), tea time, and any animal that reminds me of my dog.

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