Good Reads - Nonfiction
A Year’s Adventure
Follow the exploits of individuals who devote a year to a particular pursuit, from finding the perfect cheese to mastering the French horn, to reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.
Focus on Food
Eat My Globe: One Year to Go Everywhere and Eat Everything by Simon Majumdar - 2009
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver - 2007
Learn much about the food we eat as the author and her family determine to grow their own vegetables and purchase locally what they cannot grow.
The Year of Eating Dangerously: A Global Adventure in Search of Culinary Extremes by Tom Parker Bowles - 2007
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living by Julie Powell - 2005
The author decides to cook her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally by Alisa Smith - 2007
The Year of the Goat: 40,000 Miles and the Quest for the Perfect Cheese by Margaret Hathaway - 2007
Give It Up!: My Year of Learning to Live Better with Less by Mary Carlomagno - 2006
The author gives up one modern convenience each month and ponders the lessons she learned by doing so.
Sleeping Naked Is Green: How an Eco-Cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days by Vanessa Farquharson - 2009
This is a humorous account relating the author’s attempt to go green by making one small change to her lifestyle each day.
A Year without “Made In China”: One Family’s True Life Adventure in the Global Economy by Sara Bongiorni - 2007
Follow the adventures of the author as she tries to buy all the items her family needs without choosing those “Made in China.”
Not Buying It: My Year without Shopping by Judith Levine - 2006
An interesting experiment that focuses on consumerism and examines how we define what is a necessity and what is not.
See You in a Hundred Years: Four Seasons in Forgotten America by Logan Ward - 2007
In search of a simpler way of life, a young family moves to a small town in Virginia vowing, “if it didn’t exist in 1900, we will do without.”
Helping Me Help Myself: One Skeptic, Ten Self-Help Gurus, and a Year on the Brink of the Comfort Zone by Beth Lisick - 2008
In search of self-improvement, the author devotes 12 months to following the advice of popular self-help gurus, following the precepts of a new author each month.
The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Craft Rubin - 2009
Unfinished Business: One Man's Extraordinary Year of Trying to Do the Right Things by Lee Kravitz - 2010
The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs - 2007
Sundays in America: A Yearlong Road Trip in Search of Christian Faith by Suzanne Strempek Shea - 2008
The author takes part in a wide variety of worship traditions around the country, from an Easter Baptist service in Harlem to the Cowboy Church in Colorado and beyond.
Chastened: The Unexpected Story of My Year without Sex by Hephzibah Anderson - 2010
The One-Week Job Project: One Man, 1 Year, 52 Jobs by Sean Aiken - 2010
Love in a Time of Homeschooling: A Mother and Daughter's Uncommon Year by Laura Fairchild Brodie - 2010
The author recounts a year of tribulations, triumphs and new discoveries when she takes her daughter out of school to teach her at home.
A Devil to Play: One Man’s Year-Long Quest to Master the Orchestra’s Most Difficult Instrument by Jasper Rees - 2008
Read along with the author as he attempts to master playing the French horn.
Living Oprah: My One-Year Experiment to Walk the Walk of the Queen of Talk by Robyn Okrant - 2010
Biography MacDonald, S.A.
The Urban Hermit: A Memoir by Samuel A. Macdonald - 2008
Overweight and in debt, the author develops a plan to live for a year on eight dollars a week and 800 calories a day.
The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs - 2004
Enjoy the author’s humorous account of the year he spent reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.
Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages by Ammon Shea - 2008
The author shares his musings on words as he reads his way through the Oxford English Dictionary, a classic multivolume set that lists the origins and histories of almost all words in the English language.
Behind the Scenes
Punching Out: One Year in a Closing Auto Plant by Paul Clemens - 2011
Compelling stories about what happens to an auto manufacturing plant and its workers after it has been shut down.
Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin by Norah Vincent - 2008
The author commits herself to three varied mental health facilities to examine the current state of care in these institutions. She also chronicles how these stays changed her personally.
The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York by Chandler Burr - 2007
Prepared by Marty Krause, March 2011