A while ago I read The Year of Living Biblically One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possibly by A.J. Jacobs. Wise Lawyer Friend’s Husband is a Religious Scholar, and she went to a lot of Catholic schools growing up, so this appealed to her. I am also a bit intrigued by organized religion, so I thought I’d read it to. I enjoyed it, it was funny, enlightening etc. Then I read his earlier book The Know-it-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, where he takes a year and reads the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Considering I’ve always wanted to read a whole set of encyclopedae, but never had the chance, I felt miffed that he stole my idea. There’s another book simply called Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages by Ammon Shea (apparently you have to have an obscenely long title), which I checked out of the library, and Gentleman Scholar promptly claimed for himself and secreted away meaning that I still haven’t read it, though he wouldn’t stop talking about it, so I feel like I got the highlights. I was also miffed by that one, because after I realized that the encyclopedia scheme was taken, the OED was my next idea.
Currently I’m reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, in which she and her family move to Virginia and create a working farm determined to live only off of what they produce for a year. Clearly that experiment will last longer than just one year, because they will have created a working farm, but I’m just pointing out a pattern.
A.J. Jacobs books are humorous and include tidbits about his daily life–mostly how his quest of the time affects his daily life, but not always, In short, they read a lot like this here blog. So, that leads me to the conclusion that I can certainly write a self-indulgent memoir if only I had a scheme, but I can’t think of a single thing.
It has to be something that impacts my life somehow, otherwise what’s the point, but I cannot come up with anything that I would be willing to take on for a year, or that I feel people would want to read about. This has been troubling me for a while now, so I open up the floor to you, gentle reader. Any ideas?