Book 41: Eat Pray Love

Book Title: Eat Pray Love
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Published: 2006
Pages: 331
Category: nonfiction, nonfiction: biography/autobiography

Eat Pray Love was everywhere when I was working at a bookstore last Christmas Season. It was everywhere to the extent that I didn’t want to read it at all. And then later on in 2010 it was everywhere again, this time because of the movie. So after much cajoling by my mother, I picked up her copy and started reading.

It was enjoyable, not what I usually read, even though I like both travel memoirs, and books about discovering yourself. I felt like I didn’t really understand Elizabeth Gilbert throughout the book, and I definitely didn’t understand her desire to meditate throughout four months in India. Though I do envy her courage to spend a year of her life living in other countries, and discovering so much more about herself. Perhaps its that I’m not a very spiritual person that I didn’t understand a lot of her motivations.

Or maybe it was her seemingly casual dismissal of the importance of anti-depressants to some people early on in the book. Though a year spent discovering herself may have been the right answer for her, its not an option that many people have.

I did feel like there were some interesting observations about life, mostly from the other people that she meets along the way. I particularly found a passage about soul mates interesting.

“A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too Painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave.” (149)

So despite the dissatisfaction with this book, and continued amazement at the hype surrounding it, I did enjoy some of the conclusions drawn after this incredible journey that Gilbert took, and I’ll leave you with a final thought I’d like to take away from the book:

“that all the sorrow and trouble of this world is caused by unhappy people…I can see exactly where my episodes of unhappiness have brought suffering or distress or (at the very least) inconvenience to those around me.” (260)

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