Books of the Year

Jason Farago

It's almost June. If you worry you have accomplished little in 2011 so far, do not read any of the following, more or less recently published:

Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

The Year of Living Like Jesus: My Journey of Discovering What Jesus Would Really Do

Living Oprah: My One-Year Experiment to Walk the Walk of the Queen of Talk

365 Nights: A Memoir of Intimacy

A Year of Blind Dates: A Single Girl's Search for 'The One'

Eat Sleep Sit: My Year at Japan's Most Rigorous Zen Temple

The Calculus Diaries: A Year Discovering How Maths Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

An Afternoon in Summer: My Year on a South Sea Island, Doing Nothing, Gaining Everything, and Finally Falling in Love

My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student

How I Lived a Year on Just a Pound a Day

Give It Up! My Year of Learning to Live Better

Not Buying It: My Year without Shopping

A Year without ‘Made in China’: One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy

A Life Stripped Bare: My Year of Trying to Live Ethically

A Year Without Underwear: Exploring the World on a Bicycle

Talking to Zeus: My Year in a Greek Garden

365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading

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

The Beauty Experiment: How I Skipped the Lipstick, Cut My Hair, Forgot Fashion, and Faced the World without Concealer for a Year... and Made Over My Life

The Doper Next Door: My Strange and Scandalous Year on Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin

Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison

Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously


  • 26 May 2011 at 2:28pm
    cappio says:
    However could you have missed Chastened: The Unexpected Story of My Year Without Sex?

  • 26 May 2011 at 4:02pm
    alex says:
    Andy McBean, A Year on the Bog: 1 man, 1 stopwatch, 12 months, 273 toilets (Southbank Publishing)

  • 27 May 2011 at 4:52pm
    Bob Beck says:
    "Meta, or, My Year of Years: My Year Spent Reading All The 'My Year Spent...' Books."

  • 27 May 2011 at 6:29pm
    cappio says:
    Actually, that was a blog:
    Evidently Chastened finished the poor guy off.

    • 27 May 2011 at 7:08pm
      Bob Beck says: @ cappio
      ... well, I'll be jiggered (as someone said in the latest LRB). Another reminder, as if I needed it, that it's as hard to produce satire as to have an original idea.

      In truth I hadn't realized "Chastened" was a real book. I'd taken that title for a joke, and a good one at that.

    • 13 June 2011 at 4:52am
      cappio says: @ Bob Beck
      I only know about these books because I once thought about writing one--about reading all of Shakespeare in a year. When I realized how overdone--and silly--the genre is, as this post demonstrates, I decided just to
      blog about Shakespeare.

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