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A Year of ______
November 25, 2011 12:02 PM   Subscribe

Help me find books about A Year Doing One Highly Particular and Possibly Silly Thing

In the style of "A Year of Living Biblically," by A. J. Jacobs.

Any other nonfiction books with a similar premise?
posted by lewedswiver to Writing & Language (30 answers total) 54 users marked this as a favorite
 
I can't link right now, but there was one where a woman tried to not buy anything made in China for a year.
posted by imalaowai at 12:08 PM on November 25, 2011


imalaowai's talking about A Year Without "Made in China"
posted by estlin at 12:09 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Peter Mayles' "A Year In Provence" is the canonical example of the genre, I think.
posted by rongorongo at 12:10 PM on November 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


From Ms. Vegetable: "Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping" by Judith Levine. There's another one by a different woman, same area of the library, who gives up something different each month for a year - cabs, elevators, coffee, etc. Can't remember the title of that one, though.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 12:15 PM on November 25, 2011


No Impact Man.
posted by mmf at 12:15 PM on November 25, 2011


Found it:
"Give It Up!: My Year of Learning to Live Better with Less" by Mary Carlomagno.

Also: "Living Oprah: My One-Year Experiment to Walk the Walk of the Queen of Talk" by Robyn Okrant.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 12:17 PM on November 25, 2011


Here's a list of 25 of them.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 12:18 PM on November 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won't Do

Year of Plenty: "a year-long experiment to consume only what was local, used, homegrown, or homemade"

The search term you want is "yearlong experiment book".
posted by estlin at 12:18 PM on November 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think there was a second competing book about living biblically at the same time as Jacobs's, but I don't remember the name.

There's also this woman who is following the Bible's rules for women (book due in 2012, but follow her blog here).

Also makes me think of Nickel and Dimed and Black Like Me. And, of course, that dreadful Julie and Julia business. Buford's Heat?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:19 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Animal Vegetable Mineral" by Barbara Kingsolver. I own this one.
And the Oprah one was not as good as the others.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 12:21 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sean Aiken's The One-Week Job Project is about the year he spent working a different job every week, traveling all over to do so. (I haven't read it, but he wrote the book in the library where I was working at the time so he told us about the project and it sounded pretty interesting.)
posted by kyla at 12:24 PM on November 25, 2011


Long Distance: Testing the Limits of Body and Spirit in a Year of Living Strenuously by Bill McKibben. I read it maybe 15 years ago, and loved it. It's still in print.
posted by daikon at 12:26 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America" is about her doing low-paying, low-status jobs (ie waitstaff, housecleaner, Walmart) for a year to see how on earth the working poor survive. Spoiler: Barely and sometimes not at all. It's sad, though fascinating.
posted by hepta at 12:38 PM on November 25, 2011


Not a year, but satisfies your "One Highly Particular and Possibly Silly Thing" criterion perfectly:-

Round Ireland with a Fridge
posted by genesta at 12:59 PM on November 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


"All My Life For Sale", over the course of a year a guy auctions everything he owns on ebay.
posted by machinecraig at 1:02 PM on November 25, 2011


A Round-Heeled Woman sort of fits. It was by a woman who decided to have lots of casual/FWB sex before she turned 67 and put out an ad saying so.
posted by ifjuly at 1:36 PM on November 25, 2011


I assume you know of AJ Jacobs' other books.

Learning to Breathe: My Year-Long Quest to Bring Calm to My Life
Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year
My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 1:39 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Julie and Julia -- book (before movie) about taking a year to cook all the recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
posted by Cocodrillo at 2:00 PM on November 25, 2011


Yes Man (don't be put off by the Jim Carey movie adaptation) - a year dedicated to answering every question with "yes."

The Know-it-All, also by A. J. Jacobs - a year dedicated to reading The Encyclopedia Britannica.
posted by zanni at 2:05 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mike Gayle wrote The To Do List about a giant list (1200-something) of tasks that he set out to accomplish in exactly a year.
posted by Ms. Next at 2:15 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, it isn't a book, but if you need something to listen to while you're reading?
posted by timsteil at 2:24 PM on November 25, 2011


The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession. N.B. If you are a birder at all, this won't seem quite as silly to you as it would otherwise.
posted by Currer Belfry at 3:04 PM on November 25, 2011


Will you settle for less than a year? I enjoyed Kevin Roose's The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University.

I also liked Christian Jennings' Mouthful of Rocks, although I don't remember how long he stuck it out.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:08 PM on November 25, 2011


The Art of Eating In is a book by Cathy Erway who stopped eating in restaurants for over a year (two maybe?)

I haven't read it yet but it's on my list.
posted by nathaole at 4:10 PM on November 25, 2011


Kook is about the author's determination to master surfing in one year.
posted by hellomina at 4:42 PM on November 25, 2011


A Year at the Movies by Kevin Murphy of MST3K fame.
posted by stevis23 at 6:32 PM on November 25, 2011


One of the first in the genre was Word Freak, in which the writer gave himself a year to become a top-ranked tournament Scrabble payer.
posted by Wordwoman at 8:47 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Walden" by Henry David Thoreau.
posted by mbrubeck at 8:14 AM on November 26, 2011


The Year of Yes. The author says yes to everyone who asks her out on a date for one year.
posted by MsMolly at 9:10 AM on November 26, 2011


Two different books about having sex every day for a year (NYTimes review) (NSFW?)
posted by goateebird at 9:53 AM on November 28, 2011


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