One of my magazines had a story on "a year in the life" books. I love books that let me see how people think, so I ordered the five that seemed appealing. Here are my thoughts on each of them, in no particular order.
The Year Of Yes
by Maria Dahvana Headley
Basically Maria was only dating losers, and she decided to say yes whenever anyone asked her out. I didn't really like her, so I didn't really enjoy the book very much. Parts were funny, like when she went out for coffee with the homeless man that thought he was a famous musician, but overall I was blahhed by the whole thing.
Eat This Book
A Year of Gorging and Glory on the Competitive Eating Circuit
by Ryan Nerz
This book was interesting, but had a bit to much emphasis on "reversal of fortunes" (or puking as you might call it). I liked learning about the people who compete in this sport and all the backstage details.
The last part was on the authors attempts to train and do contests himself, that was a bit too much detail for my (admittedly easily upset) stomach.
My Jesus Year
A Rabbi's Son Wanders the Bible Belt in Search of His Own Faith
by Benyamin Cohen
This is the only book I couldn't make myself finish. The beginning is great- all the details about how Orthodox Jews have to live and the crazy rules is fascinating. Some of the churches he visits are interesting. My advice- if you are halfway in and start getting bored, quit like me. :) Worth reading for the beginning tho. Did you know Jewish law says they have to live in a tent for 8 days every year? So they build a tent room on the driveway. Plus they have to say prayers before using the bathroom. :)
A Year Without "Made in China"
by Sara Bongiorni
This was okay. For some reason I didn't really click with the book. It was missing something to suck me in. Interesting, but not fascinating.
I did learn that it is pretty impossible to buy shoes or toys not made in China tho.
My Year Inside Radical Islam
by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
Best of the bunch in my opinion. Teaches you what Islam really is, and what the radicals want you to believe. Lots of quotes from the holy books to back up points too.
Basically Daveed was born non-compliant Jewish. In college (surprise!) he fell into Islam. He started out liberal/moderate and believed Islam=Peace as they teach, and was all anti-discrimination and all that. After college he went to work for an Islam charity and was slowly sucked into the darker side of Islam. Very interesting to learn how people do get sucked into things...
The ending was bit... too quick for me. It wasn't as believable as the rest of the book. Maybe he didn't put as much time to explain his journey thru that part.
Have a great week,