The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library
One year. That’s fifty-two weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, or 31,536,000 seconds.
What could you accomplish in that amount of time? The authors of the books featured below set themselves formidable goals and a single year in which to achieve them. For example, Julie Powell attempted to make all 524 recipes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Gretchen Rubin did a year-long happiness project – and then she did another to find more happiness at home. Maya Van Wegenen applied advice from a book on popularity written for teenagers in the 1960s to see if the suggestions would still work today. Kjersten Gruys vowed to avoid looking at her own reflection in a mirror for a year and Sara Bongiorni challenged herself to go that long without buying anything made in China. Their stories are among the year-long project memoirs we’ve gathered together for your reading pleasure.
Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell
Recounts how the author escaped the doldrums of an unpromising career and lackluster Queens apartment by mastering every recipe in Julia Child's 1961 classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a year-long endeavor of humor and accomplishment that transformed her life.
Chronicles the author's year spent testing the edicts of conventional wisdom to assess their actual potential for improving life, describing how she engaged in various activities from getting more sleep and singing to her children to starting a blog and imitating a spiritual master.
My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir by Noelle Hancock
In the year leading up to her thirtieth birthday, the author, a former media blogger, turns to Eleanor Roosevelt for guidance as she spends the last months of her twenties pursuing a "year of fear" during which she embarks on many adventures.
Also available in eBook.
Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously by Adrienne Martini
A working mom describes her efforts to knit a famous rare and difficult pattern known as the "Mary Tudor," a project challenged by hectic family schedules, career demands, and the unavailability of key materials.
Also available in Large Print.
Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen
Documents a high schooler's year-long attempt to change her social status from misfit to member of the "in" crowd by following advice in a 1950s popularity guide, an experiment that triggered embarrassment, humor, and surprises.
Also available in eBook.
The creator of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal details the one-year experiment with saying "yes" that transformed her life, revealing how accepting unexpected invitations she would have otherwise declined enabled powerful benefits.
The popular television star recounts the year he spent teaching at Philadelphia's largest high school, the challenges he encountered in keeping students engaged, and his memories of posing disciplinary challenges to his own instructors as a teenager.
Year of No Clutter: A Memoir by Eve O. Schaub
A Cornell graduate explores the hoarding phenomenon as reflected by such cultural examples as Hoarders and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up while sharing the personal story of how she organized a single room in her house that had been overtaken by psychological clutter.
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert
Traces the author's decision to quit her job and travel the world for a year after suffering a midlife crisis and divorce, an endeavor that took her to three places in her quest to explore her own nature, experience fulfillment, and learn the art of spiritual balance.
More Year-Long Memoir Projects ...
Want to learn more about writing your story?
Check out this blog post - Memoir Writing Resources.