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MY YEAR WITH ELEANOR by Noelle Hancock


A Memoir

by Noelle Hancock

Pub Date: June 7th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-187503-8
Publisher: Ecco/HarperCollins

A charmingly candid memoir of the year a young journalist spent conquering her deepest fears.

In 2008, Hancock was on a beach in Aruba when she learned that her nearly six-figure blogging job had become a victim of the Great Recession. Shocked and confused, the newly unemployed pop-culture journalist promptly downed two shots of Jack Daniels and “adopted a large family of piña coladas.” Unable to find a job upon her return to New York, she had to face the unpleasant fact that “to tell people that you do nothing is like saying ‘I am nothing.’ ” She attempted to devise a “one-year plan,” only to find herself paralyzed into inaction by increasing anxiety and self-doubt. Then one day, and quite by chance, she came across a quotation from Eleanor Roosevelt scrawled across a café menu board: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” These simple words changed Hancock’s life. Not only did she decide to take the advice literally and apply it to each of the 365 days that followed her upcoming 29th birthday; she also set herself the task of reading all of the former first lady’s major writings. If Roosevelt, who began life as a painfully shy child, could grow into a self-confident woman remembered for her extraordinary courage, then Hancock could easily move beyond her own fears, no matter how primal or idiosyncratic. During the next 12 months, the author swam with sharks, jumped out of airplanes, embalmed dead bodies, confronted ex-boyfriends, kicked a 10-year sleeping-pill habit and climbed to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Pushing her limits, Hancock reconnected with the ballsy, irreverent person she had once been. More importantly, her exercise in overcoming fear allowed her to return to living her life with a renewed sense of purpose and proportion.

Inspired, white-knuckled fun from start to finish.