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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, hold the cheese
When I sat down to read this book, I was prepared to laugh. Having been a fan of Noelle's blog, I knew she was a hilarious writer. I was not, however, prepared to be completely and totally inspired. I began reading with the intention of reading a chapter before bed, and before I knew it I was done with the book in three hours. I couldn't put it down. Noelle had me...
Published on July 11, 2011 by MONeil

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73 of 78 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Equivalent of reality TV.
I am in a book club of women between 55 and 90, and none of us cared for this book, other than the parts about Eleanor Roosevelt. From all the postive reviews, I can only guess that it appeals more to younger women. My personal view, which may sound a little harsh, is that the author, whose one over-riding fear seems to be not winning at everything she does, wanted to...
Published 15 months ago by Anne Pann


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73 of 78 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Equivalent of reality TV., March 28, 2013
By 
Anne Pann (Kalamazoo, MI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir (Paperback)
I am in a book club of women between 55 and 90, and none of us cared for this book, other than the parts about Eleanor Roosevelt. From all the postive reviews, I can only guess that it appeals more to younger women. My personal view, which may sound a little harsh, is that the author, whose one over-riding fear seems to be not winning at everything she does, wanted to write a book but needed material, so she created this concept of doing things she was afraid of. This seems to be a trend in publishing, perhaps started by "Eat, Pray, Love" and the book about the girl cooking Julia Child recipes (also see "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver) -- authors pitch an idea to publishers that involves setting up some kind of challenge for themselves for a year and then they write about it. It's the eqivalent of a reality TV show. Most of us found her challenges superficial and somewhat forced. One person commented "She went from writing about celebraties to trying to become one herself by writing a book about herself." Way too much narcisism here. She has good writing skills, but needs a subject that has some substance.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, hold the cheese, July 11, 2011
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When I sat down to read this book, I was prepared to laugh. Having been a fan of Noelle's blog, I knew she was a hilarious writer. I was not, however, prepared to be completely and totally inspired. I began reading with the intention of reading a chapter before bed, and before I knew it I was done with the book in three hours. I couldn't put it down. Noelle had me laughing and tearing up, riding the emotional rollercoaster along with her and loving every minute of it. The novel is so relatable, it's a testament to growing up and dealing with all of the insecurities you acquire along the way. From facing up to ex-boyfriends to realizing how to handle serious relationships to jumping out of a plane to climbing a mountain, Noelle was incredibly inspirational throughout her journey. I'm not a huge fan of cheesy how-to-live-your-life books and this couldn't be more different, yet it really did give me the strength to think about what I'm most afraid of, and think of how I can change that. Plus, it made me really wish for a Dr. Bob in my life. A truly touching read.... with a large dose of a badass lead character.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Honest It Doesn't Hurt, July 2, 2011
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I was so excited for Noelle's book release that I literally stayed up late on a *school* night and waited until it was available to download onto my Kindle. Noelle's writing is so honest and personal that there is universal voice there; you are included and immediately feel like you, too, are along for the ride: The Year Of Fear.

So many parts were so meaningful to me, that they warranted being highlighted along the way, or I had to stop and call my sister to read her certain quotes - from Noelle, not Eleanor. These phone calls and debriefing sessions were the only thing standing in the way of a straight-through read. Upon finishing the book, I felt an odd loneliness... like a friendship was coming to an end. However, I had learned to fret not, so I did two things: 1) started re-reading my favorite chapters and 2) picked up a new hobby inspired from the book that had previously been something I feared. This book was a godsend...
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Memoir About Facing Fears Big and Small, June 7, 2011
Normally I'm somewhat wary of "I tried __ for a year" memoirs, but this one is delightful, inspiring and offers some history lessons. When Noelle Hancock learns that her entertainment blogging job has ended, she's at a loss as to what to do. In therapy, she's trying to overcome her fears, and she decides to look to Eleanor Roosevelt for advice, latching on to the First Lady's prompt to do one thing each that scares you. Hancock doesn't detail 365 feats, but the ones she does are at turns dramatic (shark diving, trapeze work, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro), unnerving (working at a mortuary to conquer her fear of death), amusing (doing standup comedy is the thing she fears most) and more everyday (weaning herself off sleeping pills). Along the way she writes about her fears about whether her boyfriend's reporter job will always outshadow her and the future of their relationship.

What I appreciated most is that Hancock is not trying to tell everyone to apply Eleanor's advice, and she grapples constantly with being "ready" to face her fears, taking her last sleeping pill when she is forced to by the mountain climb. She isn't overly self-deprecating, but does bare her fears in a way that makes it almost impossible not to like her as a narrator--or look inward at one's own fears. She also shines a bit of light on some of the major accomplishments of Eleanor Roosevelt, and while the two are from very different times, the effect Eleanor has on the author is clear in her references and devotion to living according to her spirit. This memoir never feels predetermined, and Hancock's insights into her accomplishments are as worthy of attention as her feats themselves, especially relating to Kiliminjaro. She shows an empathy and compassion that extends to her friends and those she meets (including the dead) as well as to herself.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More of a gimmick, June 7, 2013
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If this is the first type of these books you've read than it's a nice intro to the gimmick. The writing is breeze-y. There are some good laughs.

However, most of it is ... either hard to relate to or hard to believe... (the author is a shut-in with only four close friends that she stays in social contact with other than her boyfriend, which... not a shut-in. The author was laid off and her world view was shook up? Except she was supporting an expensive sleeping pill, NYC apartment and therapy habit? Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro was about overcoming a fear and not about 'seems like a good idea and more interesting to write about and how am I going to get this book advance to pay for itself?' This book is written like a woman who got an advance and had a fun year. It doesn't feel like she's overcome much if you skip over the therapy sessions.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, June 24, 2011
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I received a copy of the book (first time using Amazon Prime free trial!) and I honestly read it in 24 hours, helped by a terrible delay coming from Chicago. Many of the challenges and issues that are addressed in this book are relevant to my life even as a man coming in very different circumstances. A few years ago ther3 was a gold rush of questionable "Quarter Life Crisis books," but this book is much more about facing questions about your confidence and in turn your career and your relationships. Perhaps we will see a new wave of becoming a 30 something. . . ADULT (that dreaded word which these days even at 30 we run away from).

I think her humorous, but honest approach to each of the fears is really an inspiration. To me, this book is particularly relevant for anyone looking to make positive and even monumental change in one's life. Perhaps it should be all of us... On a totally different note, her stand up comedy routine made me cry, i laughed so hard. Anyways, the point of this ramble is that I really like the book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Want to read Eleanor, September 13, 2013
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Eleanor encouraged author to do "one scary thing per day." Dragged in parts - too many details. Made we want to read Eleanor's books.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Read, August 22, 2011
Didn't expect to like this book, but Noelle's engaging writing style and honest and unfussy way of revealing herself won me over. She's told a captivating tale of self-discovery, more interested in taking the reader along for the ride instead of preaching or trying to impress. Her skillful weaving of Eleanor Roosevelt's own profiles in courage is icing on the cake.

What I liked most was discovering fairly late in the book that her biggest fear didn't involve anything at the top of her list: sharks, skydiving or performing stand-up.

Don't let the author's GenX membership put you off, this book is a good read. You're sure to come away entertained and uplifted.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book should be required reading for EVERYONE!, December 17, 2013
By 
Nona G. Hill (Minneapolis, MN United States) - See all my reviews
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I enjoyed every moment of this book. It is true. It is real. It is inspiring, helpful and comforting all at once. Ms Hancock has shared her journey to our amazement and for our benefit. I have learned more about life itself and the life of Eleanor Roosevelt-both laudable and rewarding endeavors. This book is a rare and precious gift that I will reread and share with others as often as possible. It would make a perfect gift for so many occasions-graduations and weddings come to mind, but the stuff of life is here so that anyone who takes the time to read it will benefit. I have started out with the serious side of the book but there is MORE! It is FUNNY! You will laugh out loud and read aloud to anyone within earshot. It is life itself-you laugh and you sing and you cry. Brava Ms Hancock. Live long and prosper.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great advice, fun & inspiring!, July 19, 2011
By 
Bianca (Seattle,Wa) - See all my reviews
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I first learned of this book when they interviewed Noelle on the Today show. I found a preview of the book online and was hooked right away! It is a fun and pleasant read, full of witty lines and awesome experiences. Noelle does a great job of telling you about her experiences but never bragging. It was such a great motivator for me that whenever I was feeling down, I would read her book and be instantly motivated again :) I am honestly more willing to take chances and face a few of my fears thanks to her. I absolutely loved her book and would recommend to anyone. Give it a chance! You will be pleasantly surprised.
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My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir
My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir by Noelle Hancock (Paperback - June 5, 2012)
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