All in an year. Books on yearlong projects

The beginning of an year seems like a good reset button on life. People in this list have worked jobs that no one wants, spent in on an African farm and cooked their way to fulfillment. All have written about it too.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

by Barbara Kingsolver,Camille Kingsolver,Steven L. Hopp

About the book:  Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

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The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature
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The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature

by David George Haskell

About the book:  Winner of 2013 Best Book Award from the National Academies.Finalist for 2013 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction.Winner of the 2013 Reed Environmental Writing Award. Winner of the 2012 National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature.Runner-up for 2013 PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. A biologist reveals the secret world hidden in a single square meter of forest Written with remarkable grace and empathy, The Forest Unseen is a grand tour of nature in all its profundity. Biologist David George Haskell uses a one-square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window onto the entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature's path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life. Beginning with simple observations--a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter, the first blossom of spring wildflowers--Haskell spins a brilliant web of biology, ecology, and poetry, explaining the science binding together ecosystems that have cycled for thousands--sometimes millions--of years.

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Year of Yes
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Year of Yes

by Shonda Rhimes

About the book:  In this poignant, hilarious and deeply intimate call to arms, Hollywood's most powerful woman, the mega-talented creator of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder, reveals how saying YES changed her life - and how it can change yours too. With three hit shows on television and three children at home, Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say no when invitations arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No. And to an introvert like Shonda, who describes herself as 'hugging the walls' at social events and experiencing panic attacks before press interviews, there was a particular benefit to saying no: nothing new to fear. Then came Thanksgiving 2013, when Shonda's sister Delorse muttered six little words at her: You never say yes to anything. Profound, impassioned and laugh-out-loud funny, in Year of Yes Shonda Rhimes reveals how saying YES changed - and saved - her life. And inspires readers everywhere to change their own lives with one little word: Yes.

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Salaam Brick Lane
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Salaam Brick Lane

by Tarquin Hall

About the book:  After ten years living abroad, Tarquin Hall wanted to return to his native London. Lured by his nostalgia for a leafy suburban childhood spent in south-west London, he returned with his Indian-born, American fiance in tow. But, priced out of the housing market, they found themselves living not in a townhouse, oozing Victorian charm, but in a squalid attic above a Bangladeshi sweatshop on London's Brick Lane. A grimy skylight provided the only window on their new world: a filthy, noisy street where drug dealers and prostitutes peddled their wares and tramps urinated on the pavements. At night, traffic lights lit up the ceiling and police sirens wailed into the early hours. Yet, as Hall got to know Brick Lane, he discovered beneath its unlovely surface an inner world where immigrants and asylum seekers struggle to better themselves and dream of escape. Salaam Brick Lane is a journey of discovery by an outsider in his own native city. It offers an explicit glimpse of the underbelly of London's most infamous quarter, the real-life world of Monica Ali's bestselling novel.

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Shirt of Flame
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Shirt of Flame

by Heather King

About the book:  If you have not read Heather King before, her honesty may shock you. In this remarkable memoir, you will see how a convert with a checkered past spends a year reflecting upon Saint Therese of Lisieux - and discovers the radical faith, true love, and abundant life of a cloistered 19th-century French nun. The provocative title is inspired by a portion of T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets that says we all choose to live "consumed by either fire or fire."

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The Last Hunger Season
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The Last Hunger Season

by Roger Thurow

About the book:  Documents the story of a group of Kenyan farmers working to transcend lives of dire poverty and hunger to secure better opportunities for their families, illuminating their challenges while explaining the necessity of improving Africa's agriculture sector.

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Working in the Shadows
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Working in the Shadows

by Gabriel Thompson

About the book:  An award-winning young investigative journalist goes undercover, living the life of an undocumented immigrant.

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Until I Say Good-Bye
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Until I Say Good-Bye

by Susan Spencer-Wendel,Bret Witter

About the book:  Susan Spencer-Wendel’s Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy is a moving and inspirational memoir by a woman who makes the most of her final days after discovering she has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). After Spencer-Wendel, a celebrated journalist at the Palm Beach Post, learns of her diagnosis of ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, she embarks on several adventures, traveling toseveral countries and sharing special experiences with loved ones. One trip takes Spencer-Wendel and her fourteen-year-old daughter, Marina, to New York City’s Kleinfeld’s Bridal to shop for Marina’s future wedding dress—an occasion that Susan knows she will never see. Co-written with Bret Witter, Until I Say Good-Bye is Spencer-Wendel’s account of living a full life with humor, courage, and love, but also accepting death with grace and dignity. It’s a celebration of life, a look into the face of death, and the effort we must make to show the people that we love and care about how very much they mean to us.

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No Matter How Loud I Shout
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No Matter How Loud I Shout

by Edward Humes

About the book:  After being granted access by court, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Humes surveys the largely futile attempts of LA to deal with juvenile crime.

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The Outermost House
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The Outermost House

by Henry Beston

About the book:  The author records his observations of nature during the year he spent in a Cape Cod beach house.

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