EXTREME COMMITMENTS

Diving in head first
Extreme and daring journeys have long served as fodder for great stories. At the turn of the 19th century, criminals leaving prison without the prospect of work would send off to publishing companies and offer themselves up as willing travelers who would explore the far—and often dangerous—corners of the earth and write about their adventures. Two-hundred years later Elizabeth Gilbert (though a more seasoned writer than these early adventurers, and certainly less criminal) successfully made a similar pitch to her publisher. But she is an exception these days. With most of the earth documented, and travel considered a luxury good, writers are finding new ways to invent journeys on which to send themselves. From reading the encyclopedia cover to cover and documenting the grueling experience, to becoming the fittest human on earth, to cooking every recipe in Julia Child's formidable cookbook, some of these may appear light-hearted or even gimmicky at first glance. But these self-imposed challenges changed and illuminated the lives of the authors and, in their examination of what true disruption looks like, these works have the potential to impact the patterns we establish in our own lives as well.
    • The Know-It-All

    • One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
    • By: A. J. Jacobs
    • Narrated by: Geoffrey Cantor
    • Length: 15 hrs and 25 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 587
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 311
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 312

    Early in his career, A.J. Jacobs put his Ivy League education to work at Entertainment Weekly....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Very enjoyable

    • By Linda on 04-10-10
    • One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
    • By: A. J. Jacobs
    • Narrated by: Geoffrey Cantor
    • Length: 15 hrs and 25 mins
    • Release date: 10-20-04
    • 3.5 out of 5 stars 587 ratings

    Regular price: $29.99

    • The Year of Reading Dangerously

    • How Fifty Great Books Saved My Life
    • By: Andy Miller
    • Narrated by: Andy Miller
    • Length: 9 hrs and 1 min
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 354
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 327
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 323

    An editor and writer's vivaciously entertaining, and often moving, memoir — a true story that reminds us why we should all make time in our lives for books....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Not a great book, but a good one

    • By Mark on 12-30-14

    Regular price: $15.48

    • Year of Yes

    • How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person
    • By: Shonda Rhimes
    • Narrated by: Shonda Rhimes
    • Length: 7 hrs and 4 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 16,443
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 14,702
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 14,643

    With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the ubertalented Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say no when an unexpected invitation arrived....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Best 7 Hours Listening to an Audio Book Ever!

    • By ccreads on 02-20-16
    • How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person
    • By: Shonda Rhimes
    • Narrated by: Shonda Rhimes
    • Length: 7 hrs and 4 mins
    • Release date: 11-10-15
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 16,443 ratings

    Regular price: $20.99

    • 10% Happier

    • How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found a Self-Help That Actually Works
    • By: Dan Harris
    • Narrated by: Dan Harris
    • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 17,273
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 15,476
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 15,407

    Dan Harris embarks on an unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange worlds of spirituality and self-help....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Inspired me to restart my meditation practice

    • By Julie W. Capell on 12-07-16
    • How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found a Self-Help That Actually Works
    • By: Dan Harris
    • Narrated by: Dan Harris
    • Series: 10% Happier
    • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
    • Release date: 03-11-14
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 17,273 ratings

    Regular price: $27.37

    • Black Like Me

    • By: John Howard Griffin
    • Narrated by: Ray Childs
    • Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,522
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,247
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,251

    Writer John Howard Griffin decided to perform an experiment in order to learn from the inside out how one race could withstand the second class citizenship imposed on it by another race....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • This book brings back memories...

    • By Wayne on 11-26-15

    Regular price: $13.96

    • Julie and Julia

    • 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen
    • By: Julie Powell
    • Narrated by: Julie Powell
    • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
    • Abridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 515
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 214
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 214

    With the humor of Bridget Jones and the vitality of Augusten Burroughs, Julie Powell recounts how she conquered every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • A good laugh

    • By Elizabeth on 01-09-06

    Regular price: $17.09

    • The Year of Living Danishly

    • Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country
    • By: Helen Russell
    • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
    • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,688
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,501
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,494

    When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Interesting content. Unfortunate delivery.

    • By Jennifer Soudagar on 11-13-15

    Regular price: $15.98

    • The Moneyless Man

    • A Year of Freeconomic Living
    • By: Mark Boyle
    • Narrated by: David Thorpe
    • Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 60
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 57
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 57

    Imagine a year without spending or - even touching - money....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A Mature, Healthy Exploration of Money's effect

    • By Terra on 08-06-12

    Regular price: $15.98

    • Gang Leader for a Day

    • A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets
    • By: Sudhir Venkatesh
    • Narrated by: Reg Rogers, Sudhir Venkatesh, Stephen J. Dubner
    • Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,475
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 870
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 879

    The story of the young sociologist who studied a Chicago crack-dealing gang from the inside captured the world's attention when it was first described in Freakonomics....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Listen to this one first

    • By DanO on 01-15-08

    Regular price: $27.37

    • Finding Ultra

    • Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself
    • By: Rich Roll
    • Narrated by: Rich Roll
    • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 3,127
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,819
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,823

    An incredible but true account of achieving one of the most awe-inspiring midlife physical transformations ever

    In October 2006, the night before he was to turn forty, Rich experienced a chilling glimpse of his future.....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Two Different Books

    • By Roger on 02-11-14
    • Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself
    • By: Rich Roll
    • Narrated by: Rich Roll
    • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
    • Release date: 05-22-12
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 3,127 ratings

    Regular price: $20.97

    • Long Distance

    • Testing the Limits of Body and Spirit in a Year of Living Strenuously
    • By: Bill McKibben
    • Narrated by: Rex Anderson
    • Length: 5 hrs and 47 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 13
    • Performance
      3.5 out of 5 stars 12
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 12

    In his late 30s, celebrated essayist, journalist, and author Bill McKibben - never much of an athlete - decided the time had come for him to really test his body....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Started out well but changed direction

    • By Amazon Customer on 01-01-15
    • Testing the Limits of Body and Spirit in a Year of Living Strenuously
    • By: Bill McKibben
    • Narrated by: Rex Anderson
    • Length: 5 hrs and 47 mins
    • Release date: 04-15-14
    • 4 out of 5 stars 13 ratings

    Regular price: $19.60

    • My Korean Deli

    • Risking It All for a Convenience Store
    • By: Ben Ryder Howe
    • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
    • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 321
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 247
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 251

    This sweet and funny tale of a preppy editor buying a Brooklyn deli with his Korean in-laws is about family, culture clash, and the quest for authentic experiences....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Absolutely delightful!

    • By lesley on 03-19-11

    Regular price: $17.61

    • Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It

    • Life Journeys Inspired by the Bestselling Memoir
    • By: Elizabeth Gilbert - introduction
    • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell, Marc Cashman, Robbie Daymond, and others
    • Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 126
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 116
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 116

    True stories inspired by one of the most iconic, beloved, best-selling books of our time....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Basically Fan Mail with Sharing

    • By Gillian on 03-31-16

    Regular price: $24.50

    • The Year of Living Biblically

    • One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible
    • By: A. J. Jacobs
    • Narrated by: A. J. Jacobs
    • Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
    • Abridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 791
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 525
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 518

    A. J. Jacobs explores the most influential book in the world: the Bible. He determined that the best way to explore the Bible was to live it, as literally as possible. For one year....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Excellent... But tongue in cheek

    • By Jonathan on 12-04-07

    Regular price: $21.27

    • Wild

    • From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
    • By: Cheryl Strayed
    • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
    • Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 18,082
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 15,840
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 15,895

    A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe - and built her back up again....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Glad I Took the Trip

    • By FanB14 on 04-08-13
    • From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
    • By: Cheryl Strayed
    • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
    • Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
    • Release date: 03-20-12
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 18,082 ratings

    Regular price: $24.95

    • 365 Thank Yous

    • The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life
    • By: John Kralik
    • Narrated by: John Kralik
    • Length: 5 hrs and 21 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 146
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 102
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 105

    John Kralik found his life at a terrible, frightening low. Then, during a walk on New Year’s Day, John was struck by the belief that his life might become tolerable by writing thank-you notes....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Loved this book!

    • By Denise T. on 04-07-11
    • The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life
    • By: John Kralik
    • Narrated by: John Kralik
    • Length: 5 hrs and 21 mins
    • Release date: 02-11-11
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 146 ratings

    Regular price: $21.73