365 Days, 365 Ways

A Year of Magical Thinking, illustration via the Observer

Sorry for the Observer-centric coverage of late, but Leon Neyfakh's piece in this week's Observer -- about what he calls the "'how I turned my life around in one year' mini-genre" of memoirs -- is a absolutely great read. Plus, that image above is totally iconic. There's Elizabeth Gilbert! There's Thoreau! Co-mingling in a tiny cabin with new author Cathy Alter, who is writing a book about how her life changed when she decided to spend a year following advice of women's magazines. Alter might not wind up on Oprah's couch, but you can just BET all the women's mags she pays significant attention to will be considering her for book review coverage. Much like with Eat, Pray, Love, which we loathed ourselves for tearing up over (yep, share the shame), you don't have to read Alter's book to know everything turned out exactly like she wanted it to.

And what of our dear Ms. Alter, whose bad habits and workplace antics were, however symptomatic of an unhealthy chaos, so charming? She’s getting there, she says. Now married for a second time, she has regained control of her diet, refocused on her work and stopped partying so much. The experiment, that thing with the women’s magazines, was a success!

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