Nov 26, 2011

About Books Blog 52 - My Year With Eleanor


Author: Noelle Hancock 
Genre: Memoir 

 Favorite Line 

 I had so many favorites I can’t put them all down. Here are just few that I loved. The last one is my favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quote mentioned in the book. 

“Fear can paralyze our lives. Fear of making that wrong decision keeps us from making any decision.” 

“Perfectionism is the fear of making mistakes.” 

“Fear is just excitement without breath.” 

“You have to do things now... even if you don’t feel ready.” 

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do” - Eleanor Roosevelt 

Summary (from Goodreads) 

 After losing her high-octane job as an entertainment blogger, Noelle Hancock was lost. About to turn twenty-nine, she'd spent her career writing about celebrities' lives and had forgotten how to live her own. Unemployed and full of self-doubt, she had no idea what she wanted out of life. She feared change—in fact, she feared almost everything. Once confident and ambitious, she had become crippled by anxiety, lacking the courage required even to attend a dinner party—until inspiration struck one day in the form of a quote on a chalkboard in a coffee shop: "Do one thing every day that scares you." —Eleanor Roosevelt 

Painfully timid as a child, Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated herself to facing her fears, a commitment that shaped the rest of her life. With Eleanor as her guide, Noelle spends the months leading up to her thirtieth birthday pursuing a "Year of Fear." From shark diving to fighter pilot lessons, from tap dancing and stand-up comedy to confronting old boyfriends, her hilarious and harrowing adventures teach her about who she is, and what she can become—lessons she makes vital for all of us. 

 My Thoughts 

I’ve never reviewed a memoir for this blog, so I was very excited read one to give it a try. My Year With Eleanor was highly recommended by my mother. She was completely right. This book was awesome! 

My Year With Eleanor is not only memoir. It also offered elements history and self-help. You get to gain a great deal of knowledge about the life of Eleanor Roosevelt without having to read a bunch of boring textbooks. Noelle Hancock tells you all the important highlights of Eleanor’s life, and adds a few juicy details in to boot. Which I found very cool. 

 The reason I stated that it is a bit of a self-help novel is because Noelle’s journey through her “year of fear” teaches her many ways to cope with fear. Thus, I inadvertently learned ways to cope with fear as well. It was also intriguing to me that I shared fears with her. I’m not just talking about the big things like a fear of heights, but smaller things as well. I thought I was the only one that had a slight fear of talking to people on the phone but apparently I’m not. Ha ha! Reading about Noelle facing and conquering her fears was inspiring and empowering. 

 To add to all the meaningful things I learned from My Year With Eleanor, the book just happens to be utterly hilarious. Her descriptions of the situations she gets into are deeply amusing, and the interactions between her and the people in her life just cracked me up. Basically, I just loved this book immensely. My Year With Eleanor will definitely be placed amongst my favorite books. 

Facts I Found Interesting 

 Gosh, I think the book itself is all the fact finding you need. Like I said it gives a short overview of Eleanor Roosevelt life and I found that very interesting. 

 The Movie 

 There’s not a movie, but I think it would make a great one. Movie based on true stories are always interesting. Plus, I can just see all the enjoyable hilarity in the book working on film. 

 Music To Read By

 I don’t remember what music I listened to while reading this. I know that I did though. I’m betting that it was something on Pandora radio. You know it might have been my Glee Cast channel on Pandora. Yes, that was definitely my music of choice now that I think about it. I strived to make a playist comprised completely out of songs mentioned in the book. However, I left off the Divinyls' song “I Touch Myself” even though it is mentioned in the book. Frankly that song grates my nerves. To make up for it I added Madonna’s song “Jump” to the mix instead. It fits the theme of the book. Madonna was kind of mentioned in the novel, so I’m not totally deviating from my all songs from the book playlist goal. 

 My Year With Eleanor Playlist 

Some People - Gypsy Cast 
I Would Do Anything For Love - Meatloaf 
Creep (Radio Edit) - Radiohead 
( I put this on my Catcher in the Rye playlist not long ago. Ironically it is in this book, so I’m using it again.) 
Shoop - Salt-N-Pepa 
Proud Mary - Ike and Tina Turner 
The Way You Look Tonight - Micheal Buble 
Highway To The Danger Zone - Kenny Loggins 
I Just Called To Say I Love You - Stevie Wonder
Jump - Madonna

That's all folks. Hope you enjoyed this review. Happy reading and keep it shiny!

1 comment:

LoriStrongin said...

haha, I already have a bunch of those songs on my ipod!

I'm really not a biography reader--I typically find them dull and self-indulgent. But Eleanor Roosevelt is definitely an exception because she was such a remarkable woman during her life, and her legacy of inspiration lives on.

High school was rough for me, and I often found myself reading her quotes to help me get through, so I definitely think I'd be able to sink right into Noelle's head and love this book, too.

Thanks so much for the rec!