Monday, July 26, 2010

Book: Eat, Pray, Love

Well, first of all, I started reading this book before I found out it was going to be a movie in about a month, starring none other than Julia Roberts. Really! Although, I can't say I'm surprised, because this book was GREAT! I actually became intrigued by this book when I read a review of Elizabeth Gilbert's next book, Committed, which I just requested from the library, and also because it surfaced once or twice as a possible book group read.

One of the most interesting things about this book is that the author is deeply spiritual, and talks about God, but has a completely different understanding of God than I do, making it clear that her God is more religion than relationship. Kind of. While her understanding of God is very different than mine, I found her devotion and pursuit of spirituality enviable. Although I'm getting ahead of myself here.

This book tells the story of the author spending one full year traveling the world after her entire life and marriage essentially fall apart. She begins in Italy, where she strives to learn Italian simply because she's always wanted to, and to learn the art of enjoying the pleasurable things in life, primarily food and "doing nothing." I for one, am like many Americans, and I really don't know how to relax or enjoy anything without either feeling guilty or getting bored and feeling like I should be doing "something" instead of doing "nothing." Four months in Italy learning how to chill out sounds kind of good.

As her time in Italy comes to a close, she returns to the US for a brief stay before departing to India for a time of meditation and spiritual study in India, living at an ashram. This is where I admire her spiritual devotion. Given, very few people can afford more than a week or two to dedicate to any kind of introspection or travel, and she spends nearly 4 months in India, meditating for hours each day. Through her time, though, she finds peace and understanding of herself and God. After India, she departs for Bali, and strives to understand balance. Her descriptions of the history and culture of Bali are very interesting, and again I found I was inspired by what she learned.

I very rarely mark pages in books, and I have to mention that there are multiple folded-over corners in my copy of this book. I found I could relate this author in some way, and even when I couldn't, I found her so interesting. I think that biographies are becoming one of my favorite genres, simply because I find it so interesting to read about other experiences, other perspectives, and other people's lives. I assume I will never spend a year living in this way, but I enjoyed every minute of reading about someone who did.

Eat, Pray, Love
by Elizabeth Gilbert

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