Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Snapshot of me reading:

Spending the last bit of Christmas break ’11 at home in Montana, dreading the start of school.

The book:

I was fully prepared to hate this book.  The movie was dumb.  Lots of people I respect said it was dumb.  However, lots of people I respect also said it was wonderful and that it was one of their favorite books of all time.  (And didn’t everybody else and their mother read it? so I thought I should, too.  Who doesn’t love a bandwagon?)

Turns out, I didn’t hate it.  I didn’t love it, either—I read this book with quite a bit of schadenfreude, as I realized that the Liz Gilbert types out there—the gorgeous, chatty social butterflies—are not always perfectly happy in their flawless skin.

  • POINT 1 AGAINST LIZ: You are way too “ermehgerd I’m sooooo gorgeous—let me tell you how hot young men want to have sexy times avec moi.”
  • POINT 1 FOR LIZ: You are not happy.  My sympathy gauge just went up a tiny bit.

Even as Liz’s descriptions of herself made me want to never, ever meet her in person (one Amazon reviewer described her as “tragically vacuous,” and she truly sounds like she’s one of the most annoying people on the planet), I couldn’t help but enjoy her writing.

  • POINT 2 FOR LIZ: You are an excellent writer.
  • POINT 2 AGAINST LIZ: Please, please just shut up about yourself.

She chronicles her journey of self with clarity, wit, and (we readers assume) honesty.  As an excellent writer, Liz describes her search for happiness and inner peace through her months in Rome, Italy, an Ashram in India, and Bali, Indonesia exceptionally well, and I happily went with her for every step of her journey, thanking God I’m not in her shoes.

  • POINT 3 FOR LIZ: Actually, I’m glad that you realized your perfect life was meaningless and that you went on a quest to find yourself. Go people!  Go enlightenment!  I’m rooting for you, Liz.
  • POINT 3 AGAINST LIZ: Too bad you found yourself right back where you started: as an annoyingly self-obsessed, anxious person who seems to only find self-worth in relation to the men you’re with.
  • POINT 4 FOR LIZ: You made me feel great about my life!  Thanks!
  • POINT 5 FOR LIZ: To end on a good note, you really are an excellent writer, and I promise I’ll go look up some of your fiction, because if the main character weren’t you, then I’m sure I’d love the story.

This ended up being a good book to start off the new year, and to say goodbye to a lovely, restorative month of holidays.  6 out of 10.

Eat Pray Love

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