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Topic: Books where people do an "experiment" for a year?

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Subject: Books where people do an "experiment" for a year?
Date Posted: 9/9/2008 10:52 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2006
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I love these books. Joe Blow decides to read the whole encyclopedia in a year. And then he writes about it (i.e. The Know-It-All by AJ Jacobs). Any other suggestions on these types of books?
Date Posted: 9/9/2008 11:33 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
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AJ Jacobs other book, The Year Of Living Biblically.  I really liked it on Audio CD.  Also A Year Without "Made in China": One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy :: Sara Bongiorni, Sara Bongiorni  and

  High School Confidential : Secrets of an Undercover Student :: Jeremy Iversen
ISBN-13: 9780743283632 - ISBN-10: 0743283635.
 

Date Posted: 9/9/2008 11:57 AM ET
Member Since: 9/4/2008
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"Nickel and Dimed"

By Barbara something-or-other. 

 

I liked the book and thought it was interesting.

Date Posted: 9/9/2008 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2007
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I liked this book  Not Buying It : My Year Without Shopping
Author: Judith Levine

 

 

Date Posted: 9/9/2008 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2008
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I have Nickel & Dimed on my way to me, I hope it's a good one.

Here's another one A Year Without "Made in China": One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy :: Sara Bongiorni, Sara Bongiorni
ISBN-13: 9780470116135 - ISBN-10: 0470116137

I haven't read it but it's on my wishlist so hopefully one day!

Date Posted: 9/9/2008 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2007
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Plenty, a year of eating locally.  Good fast read.

Also

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, same premise as above, but longer and includes recipes.



Last Edited on: 9/9/08 1:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/9/2008 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2008
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Nine Lives--Lynn Snowden tried nine different jobs (I can't remember if she confined herself to exactly one year, but it was thereabouts).

Date Posted: 9/9/2008 5:20 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
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How about Better Off by Eric Brende.  He decides to give up electricity, cell phones, cars, etc., and other modern conveneinces, and live "off the grid" for 18 months.

Date Posted: 9/9/2008 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2006
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Wow! You guys are really great!! Keep them coming!
Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 9/9/2008 6:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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I've never read any of his books, but George Plimpton does a lot of this kind of stuff in the world of sports.  He would get onto pro teams or train with pros to write about the experience.  My father read Paper Lion where he was a member of the Detroit Lions for one season.

Date Posted: 9/9/2008 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2005
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Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking is supposed to be very good.  I haven't read it yet so I can't comment personally but it's received very good reviews.

 From The New Yorker:

Didion's husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, died of a heart attack, just after they had returned from the hospital where their only child, Quintana, was lying in a coma. This book is a memoir of Dunne's death, Quintana's illness, and Didion's efforts to make sense of a time when nothing made sense. "She's a pretty cool customer," one hospital worker says of her, and, certainly, coolness was always part of the addictive appeal of Didion's writing. The other part was the dark side of cool, the hyper-nervous awareness of the tendency of things to go bad. In 2004, Didion had her own disasters to deal with, and she did not, she feels, deal with them coolly, or even sanely. This book is about getting a grip and getting on; it's also a tribute to an extraordinary marriage.



Last Edited on: 9/9/08 7:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/9/2008 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2005
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Julie & Julia, My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell

From Amazon:

Nearing 30 and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, Julie Powell resolved to reclaim her life by cooking, in the span of a single year, every one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child's legendary Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her unexpected reward: not just a newfound respect for calves' livers and aspic, but a new life--lived with gusto.



Last Edited on: 9/9/08 8:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/9/2008 9:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
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Haven't read it but another AJ Jacobs book is A Year of Living Biblically.

Date Posted: 9/9/2008 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2006
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Janette- is it just a memoir of the year after or does she do something specific? (in the magical thinking book)
Date Posted: 9/9/2008 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2005
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Kaycee - it's on my TBR pile but I haven't  read it yet.  I'm thinking it's a memoir of how she spends the year following a particularly difficult time in her life.  Sorry I can't be more specific, it was just the first book I thought of when I read the post title.

ETA:  I pulled the book and took a look - it's definitely a memoir so you might not be interested after all.  I do think that Julie and Julia sounds like it would be pretty entertaining and might be more along the lines of what you're looking for.



Last Edited on: 9/9/08 10:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/9/2008 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2006
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I added to my tbr though, sounds interesting too! I also ordered Julie and Julia!
Date Posted: 9/9/2008 10:52 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
Posts: 7,350
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I am sure this must have been inspired by The Know-It All.  Someone recently published a book about reading all 20+ volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary.  I believe the title of the book is Reading the OED.

 

Another book of an author's experiences over 1 year is Thirty-two Third Graders and One Class Bunny.  A very funny book about a teacher's experiences teaching 3rd grade ove 1 school year.

 



Last Edited on: 9/9/08 10:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/9/2008 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
Posts: 7,350
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Black Like Me  by John Howard Griffen.  He was a white male who took some kind of medication to artificially darken his skin. The purpose was to see how differently light skinned and dark skinned people were treated in the South in the 1950s. I was surprised at the amount of racism he found. I highly recomend this book.

Date Posted: 9/9/2008 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
Posts: 7,350
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Yet another title:  Newjack:  Guarding Sing Sing    by Ted Conover  He took a job as a prison guard at Sing Sing and wrote about it.  He has written a few other books about his experiences undercover.

ETA:  Riding The Rails  about riding trains with hobos



Last Edited on: 9/9/08 11:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/10/2008 7:36 AM ET
Member Since: 4/19/2006
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How about this one! 365 Nights: A Memoir of Intimacy by Charla Muller and Betsy Thorpe

Date Posted: 9/10/2008 7:55 AM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
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Last Edited on: 2/21/10 4:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/10/2008 11:44 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
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So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson - the author decides to read a book a week for a year.

Date Posted: 9/10/2008 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,930
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The only ones I've read like this are The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs which was terrific, funny and thoughtful and The Film Club by David Gilmour.  The Film Club sounded good (his son is stagnating & hating high school, so dad lets him drop out provided he watches 3 movies a week that his dad picks) but the book failed to live up to the premise and most of it was just him letting his son do whatever he wanted.

Date Posted: 9/11/2008 2:47 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 12,757
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Castaway is one of the best books I've ever read.

Last Edited on: 9/11/08 2:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2008 11:15 AM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2008
Posts: 12
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What a great question! I'm drooling over all the books, LOL, and my wish list just got a lot longer :). I recently picked up and started to read "Black Like Me" randomly at a local bookstore and was amazed at the mere idea. Will have to request that one asap. Thanks for the question and all the great book ideas!

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