My Year with Eleanor

While on a much-needed vacation, transplanted Texan Noelle Hancock learned she had lost her high-profile, well-paying job as a blogger in New York City. Exhausted by a career largely based on keeping up with breaking celebrity gossip, Hancock sat down to create a new plan for her life and froze--she had developed anxiety and avoidance issues that left her paralyzed. Then Hancock happened upon a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: "Do one thing every day that scares you." The famous First Lady's command inspired a plan both simple and ambitious. Hancock put off job-hunting in favor of spending 365 consecutive days facing her fears, with the help of family, friends and the writings of Eleanor Roosevelt.

From singing karaoke to hiking Mount Kilimanjaro to volunteering in a cancer ward, Hancock takes readers on a hilarious and insightful journey. Her sense of humor shines in her laugh-out-loud one-liners as well as her choices, such as confronting her fear of heights via trapeze lessons. Hancock also faces down personal anxieties, such as leaving the house without makeup and battling a dependence on sleeping pills. She remains reflective on the nature of fear, how it protects and hinders us, and how her project helped her to feel more secure in herself and her relationships. While spending a year on personal growth may sound self-indulgent, Hancock finds that embracing life gives her the desire to help others.

Although similar in concept, this book is no mere Julie and Julia clone. Whether your biggest fear is death or public speaking, chances are you will laugh and relate to at least one of Hancock's adventures. --Jacki Fulwood, graduate assistant, University of Oklahoma Libraries

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