My Year with Eleanor

Published:  2011 by Ecco
Source:  Received from publisher for review as part of the TLC Book Tour
  Yes, this is another “project” memoir.  After losing her job as an entertainment blogger, Noelle Hancock is unsure of her future; however at her local coffee shop she sees a quote on the wall that inspires her:
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

As she is about to turn 29, Hancock takes it upon herself to follow Mrs. Roosevelt’s advice and create a “Year of Fear” before her 30th birthday. 

  Most of the book details the “big” things Hancock did that scared her — trapeze lessons and skydiving, for example — but throughout we see her growth as a person as she deals with less glamorous issues like her dependence on sleep medication and the status of her relationship with her boyfriend.  And as it becomes clear to her — and to me — that scary things aren’t always big things, she also makes important realizations about what it means to conquer a fear-inducing feat:

“If I could take this kind of risk maybe then, if I had a chance to make a difference in someone’s life someday, I’d have the courage to do it.”
“The scariest thing I’d done in my life so far turned out not to be all that scary – fun even.  It made me wonder what else I was missing out on.  Also, what other things in my life was I unnecessarily wasting time and energy worrying about?”
  At first I thought this book was going to be shallow – I blame my preconceived notions of the writing style and interests of an entertainment blogger.  However I was pleasantly surprised by Ms. Hancock’s account of her exploits and by the inspiration she took from Eleanor Roosevelt’s life.  Most books I read usually lead me to add one or two more books to my to-read list, and this one is no exception, as I do want to read more about Mrs. Roosevelt myself.  And in addition to the quote that started Hancock on this journey, I have several other quotes (including the two noted above) that I hope to use as motivation myself to attempt at least some of those things that scare me.
Highly recommended.
Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour of this book:

Monday, July 11: Book Reviews by Molly
Tuesday, July 12: Bibliosue
Wednesday, July 13: 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews
Thursday, July 14: Melody & Words
Tuesday, July 19: Scandalous Women
Wednesday, July 20: Unabridged Chick
Monday, July 25: One Book Shy
Tuesday, August 2: “That’s Swell!”
Wednesday, August 3: The Book Chick
Thursday, August 4: Cozy Little House
Wednesday, August 10: Kahakai Kitchen
Thursday, August 11: Stephanie’s Written Word

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