A Year In Books

My Year with Eleanor

Last week, I read My Year With Eleanor by Noelle Hancock. Have you ever read a book that was absolutely perfect and you read it at exactly the perfect moment in your life? I hope you have- it’s an extraordinary experience. And it was the exact experience I had with My Year With Eleanor, it was the perfect book at the perfect time.

This book is about facing your fears and was alternately hilarious and endearing. Noelle Hancock, decided to start living her life as Eleanor Roosevelt instructed her to, by “Doing something every day that scares you.” Noelle did just that for an entire year. She faced many long-standing fears, fears she didn’t even know she had, and had some outstanding experiences along the way. She went skydiving, ran naked down a hallway, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, sang karaoke, and a million other wonderfully brave things. All the while, she read and learned about Eleanor Roosevelt and her life, both the glorious and the miserable. (As a side note, has any American President ever been completely faithful to his wife??)

I loved every single second of reading this book. This book is full of moments of  brilliant hilarity that were almost always followed by moments of brilliant clarity. It made me think a lot about my fears and ways I could face them- I don’t say “ways I could overcome them” because I don’t think the point is to stop feeling fear, it’s to acknowledge fear and then say “Screw you fear!” and go for it anyway. This book was incredibly inspiring. I understood everyone of Hancock’s fears, and I understood the routine she had let her life get into before she took Eleanor’s challenge. This book made me want to face my fears, maybe not for an entire year, but definitely attempt to take some of them on. I guess that means I will probably rent and watch Jurassic Park, which might not seem as scary as skydiving to you, but I’ve been skydiving and it wasn’t nearly as terrifying to me as those dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Hell, I might even see Cowboys and Aliens…..or you know, I might have to work up to that one.

In a lot of ways, this book was the perfect book at the perfect moment for me, read it people. Read it and maybe take Eleanor’s challenge to heart, I know I will. You guys reading anything good?

23 thoughts on “A Year In Books

  1. Noelle’s quest to face her fears reminds me of one of the blogs I subscribe to. Do you follow Jackie from Twist 365? Every Tuesday she does something bizarre, strange, or just plain foreign to her. She calls it Lollipop Tuesday, and it’s never dull! I’ll have to reserve this book at the library very soon.

  2. seaweed says:

    Ooh, thanks for the rec! This book sounds like something I’d enjoy reading.

    Btw, I recently went to a dinosaur exhibit at a museum and thought of you. Good luck with Jurassic Park! 🙂

      1. seaweed says:

        Hahhah. No, it was actually more like, “hmm… if GotC were here, I bet she would panic and flee or pass out on the spot.”

        Dinosaurs fascinate me. I’m more scared of supernatural entities.

  3. Added to wish list on amazon 🙂
    I faced a few fears, or kind of, this summer. Taking my two year old son on a road trip through three countries, just the two of us, with no map, no gps only studying the route on google maps before leaving. That way the vacation was a little educational to me too 🙂

  4. I read the road, and that was pretty good. Gross. Descriptive. simple. but good.

    Have you read the book The Red Tent? I loved that book, and there was so much in there leson-wise at that time (more about look what could happen to you fool! You could be a woman in BC times yo!). I really enjoyed that book. It is a fabricated story told about Dinah in the Bible. Not religious (the book) at all, the time line and the scenery was just amazing.

  5. cooper says:

    She was one smart cookie. Will have to add this to my list.
    I finished Foundation, am almost finished with All The Devils are Here, halfway through Be Cool by Elmore Leonard, and just started a trashy James Bond novel…

  6. I’ve definitely got to read this! I need a new book as a distraction from the fact that 1) there is no more Harry Potter to look forward to, and 2) the next Twilight movie doesn’t come out until November.

    But I’m not sure I’m ready to face my fear of scorpions. Or sobriety.

  7. I love when books hit you in the right spot or they take you out of a funk that you were in by letting your mind wander. I am reading Dark Echo by F. G. Cottam, so far so good. 🙂

  8. I’m currently between books, but Hunger Games is next up. 🙂
    Now I’m adding this one to my wishlist… There are fears I’m pretty good at facing (heights, for example, is one I’m willing to face in the interest of adventure… while snakes is one I continue to face only reluctantly and amid panic and tears and useless flailing.)

    Watch Jurassic Park on the smallest screen possible. That way the nasties are teeny tiny. Like little salamanders, but – you know – with attitude.

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