Saturday, September 22, 2012

Living Vicariously

I like to read about people who make commitments to do...something. Often it is a year long, life changing, journey. Sometimes it is something shorter, but equally significant.

I don't care much what it is they spend their year doing, I'm a sucker for it. Unless it's creating recipes from daily discovered road kill or weaving dolls from the hair that falls out of their head. I don't think you could fill up a whole book with either and both are just creepy...regardless of the fact that I just made them up in my own head.

O.k...I'd probably read about the read kill gourmet and balding doll fetish freak...but you didn't hear that from me, so don't expect those books to show up on my Goodreads feed...m'kay?

It boils down to voyeurism.

I like to follow the lives of people who pick something about themselves they want to improve and then set about improving it. Some take a year doing it, others are more organized and fast track their discovery of themselves, tackling their issues in a few short months. Wham-bam-thankya-ma'am.

I, for one, love when they drag it out for whole year, no mamby-pamby-whimpy stuff. They toil and fuss and fret and sweat and worry and waver over themselves for an entire year! It's reality TV, but in literary form!!

There is a lot of undercover angst that happens when someone makes a commitment of such magnitude. Honestly, it doesn't matter how long. 365 Thank Yous took us through a whole year of finding something to be thankful for in each and every day, which the author then had to express in writing to whomever fit the bill. A very daunting task - if you've ever had to sit down and write a thank you card, you know what I mean. It is on par (in my opinion) with someone trying to eat/live completely locally for an entire year a la Animal Vegetable Miracle. They're both hard, in different ways. Turn Right at Machu Picchu was only a month long, but it was an entire month of trekking to the city in the clouds via a very perilous, rarely traveled route. Daunting? Boy howdy!

Different journeys, yet all were equally interesting in that each author was seeking something within themselves - a lost piece sought, then found and finally fitted into place. Inspiring, really.

I've much to discover about myself, most of which would probably be unwise to document in a book. But I'm not interested in me right now. I'm interested in a new voyeuristic discovery. That also has humor. Maybe some nudity. A unicorn encounter wouldn't hurt. Or it might, especially if the person was nekkid and being gored by the unicorn. Never mind....I'm not supposed to write these thoughts down.

I've already read the following...

* The Year of Living Biblically
* The Happiness Project
* A Walk in the Woods 
* 365 Thank Yous
* Animal Vegetable Miracle
* Turn Right at Machu Picchu

Have you read any of these books?
What do you think of the 'projects'?
Care you share your suggestions for further reading?
Know where I can score a black market unicorn?


  1. Haven't read any of these books but did read: Wild by Cheryl Strayed. She hikes the Pacific Trace trail to reconcile her mother's death and her out of control life. Excellent read!!

    1. I have that on my To Read list! I was waiting for it to come out. I'll check the library! Thanks for the reminder!

  2. I haven't read any of them, but am going to add a few to my TBR list!
    I do know of an amusing little blogger who is blogging her journey through Seven Days Without Coffee. ;0)

    1. I will have to check out your block, Beckey! I haven't been participating in BlogHer much (sitting at the computer has been hard this past week). Must catch up!

  3. Don't have any reading suggestions specific to what you're looking for, but from this post it seems to me that the author should pick her own subject and write one herself. Perhaps "my year of fighting zombies"...

  4. Anonymous10:38 PM

    I've been trying to leave a comment for a few days now. Finally I am in, but what the heck was I going to say? Darn menopausal memory. lol!

    I haven't read any of the books you mention.

    I like posts with projects, and I actually have on stewing in my head.

    Presently, I am reading the 3rd book of The Olive Farm series, by Carol Drinkwater (and I can't seem to put it down.)

    I've never seen a unicorn, but if you ever find a black one, please take a photo and share. :)

  5. Animal Vegetable Miracle is one of my favorite books! I find it practical in a way (because she wants you to take from it what you will), informative, and inspiring!