Saturday, May 31, 2008

"Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert

Yes, this was an Oprah book. Yes, this has become somewhat of an overnight sensation. And yes, there is now a fairly good amount of backlash against the author, for various reasons, by different people. None of these were deciding factors in why I read this book.

We got this title in our branch after the library system I work for purchased additional copies to handle the demand by our patrons. It had crossed the desk several times, and each time, I would read the dust jacket blurb and think, "Hmmm..... might be an interesting read at some point." Well, one day I noticed it on our shelf and thought that's it, I'm checking this thing out. I mean, after looking at it that much, after apparently being drawn to it in that manner, it seemed the thing to do, right?

And I'm glad I did. I personally enjoyed this book a lot. Having said that, I also didn't take it for anything other than a memoir, perhaps a bit of a travel guide at best. I think the backlash comes from those who feel that the author is trying to say "This is how to find your inner peace" - which she never did. She told how she found her inner peace, but I never did see or read anything that would lead me to believe she was advocating her method of enlightenment to the general public. And yes, this book is definitely self-absorbed chatter from the author - because the book is about her life. Isn't that what a memoir is? Sigh.

If you love descriptiveness, pick up and read the section on Italy at the very least. I fell in love all over again with that country, much as I did after reading Frances Mayes' "Under the Tuscan Sun". I enjoyed all three sections of Ms. Gilbert's book, and I found something in each of them that I could relate to. I think there's a little something for everyone in this book, again, if you don't take it too seriously. Read it as the memoir it is, not as a self-help manual.

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