Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book of the Week: The 20Project, Compiled by Hilary A. Curry

reading, nonfiction, book, review, readwithme, amreading

The 20Project is a book filled with a collection of stories of individuals who are reflecting back on their lives prior to turning 20 (or so) and sharing with us, the readers, the points of that time period that they deem the most critical, important and possibly life-changing.

When you hear that you're intrigued, right?

I definitely was when I came across an opportunity to review this book (a copy of the book has been provided to me to facilitate this review).

The 20Project sounded like something I'd enjoy reading. Something that would leave me reflecting back on what I might choose as my most important words of wisdom to someone much younger than I am right now.

And to some extent it did. It had me laughing, thinking, wondering, questioning.

I don't know that I found the perfect advice within this book - but I think that's the whole point of it. The point of compiling these stories is that everyone's turning point, everyone's reflection, these pivotal moments in the lives of the contributors and people in general? They're all going to be different. They're going to resonate with some and not others. Because people are unique - even with the similarities between us.

What I did find a reminder from contributor Margaret. The reminder is simple - but so very important. DO WHAT YOU LOVE.

Do what you love.

How very simple, right? And yet - it's something that we fall behind on. Something that, especially in our early years of working and figuring things out, that we forget about.

If you're a college graduate you feel like you MUST work in the field you studied. What would be the point of your education if you didn't do that? If you're in a job that you've been at for a long time it's the stability you don't want to let go of.

But what if you don't love the work you're doing? What if you dread dragging yourself out of bed in the morning, your commute is awful and you're counting the minutes til lunch for the first half of the day just to get out of the building?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume you're not doing something that you love if you're experiencing all of these things. Or even one - for an extended period of time.

Start asking yourself questions. Figure out what you WANT to do. It's never too late to find what truly interests you and turn it into your chosen profession. I'm actually an example of that!

After four years of undergrad for Communication Arts and nine years in publishing - yes, NINE YEARS - I switched paths. I found myself taking courses one at a time towards my Masters of Social Work. Once I took the four I was limited to without officially enrolling in the Masters' program I decided it was what I needed and wanted to do. And so I did it.

I found my way.

The contributors of this book offer so many examples of how they found their way. Whether travel was the answer, a job in a new field, a new country, even - they've got stories you'll sift through until you find the one that resonates with you most. Or you'll do like I did and find bits and pieces of each story that mean the most to you.

My list from this book for those of you looking to find your way towards your next journey is as follows. Take notes. Or just pick up a copy of the book for yourself.

Margaret - Do what you love.
Michelle - The learning moments are important.
Tosh - Sometimes we can't see the answers that are staring us in the face.
S├ębastien - Don't follow advice.
Dave - ... embracing change is positive.
Stephanie - Your journey is also a process of trial and error ... failure is only a lesson on how to be better on the next try.

For more info on this book, check out the trailer below. I kind of love that books have trailers now. There's something about SEEing it all in front of you that helps people who have ore visual tendencies, and surprisingly enough - I fall under that need now and then.

The 20Project is donating proceeds to Makomborero - a charity in the UK that helps to relieve poverty in Zimbabwe, Africa through the education of children. Head to their Giving Back information page to find out more.

* I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review. I was not compensated for posting this review. All expressed opinions are my own. There are affiliate links scattered throughout this post.


  1. Oh, this very much sounds like something I would love to read! I'm kinda all about the anthologies lately. I guess I really like reading other's stories and seeing how we're so very different, but at the core? We're also so very alike.
    Thank you for sharing, love!

  2. ' seems like an interesting read. When I read your review, it makes me want to write my own story too (of before 20 or so)...:)

  3. This sounds very interesting and I love the idea "Do what you love." I also got an undergrad in communications but it was focused on TV production. By senior year, I knew I didn't love it and took a marketing class. That led me to a career in marketing and eventually a master's degree in that field. I love what I do now, and that is so important.

  4. Thank you so much for reading the book and sharing with your readers. All of us who contributed found it to be a true labor of love!


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