Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Review: "Eat Pray Love"

Yes, okay, I know I'm late to the game on this one (just like Skinny Bitch) but with this one, unlike the last, it was definitely better late than never. I had picked up the book and thumbed through at more bookstores than I'd like to remember, but for one reason or another I never purchased it. Then, the commercials for the film, starring Julia Roberts, started airing on TV and I knew I had to read it. Yes, consumerism at work people! I was a bit let down when I logged onto the NYPL website and became #346 on the wait list for this book. So I broke down and went to the bookstore. And I'm glad I did!

If you don't know much about Eat Pray Love, it is the true story of a tumultuous time in the life of author Elizabeth Gilbert. In her early thirties, she came to the frightening realization that the life she was leading was not the life she really wanted. The story takes the reader through a graphic and deeply personal retelling of Gilbert's separation, post-separation relationship, divorce, and journey to take control of her life.

At times the story was so fantastic that I really wondered how true to life it really was. I often wondered "do people really live like this?" Throughout the book I felt pangs of sympathy and sadness for her, knowing that her struggles really are similar to those of countless others, and then I'd be fascinated and envious of her travels and ability to turn her life on its head, taking such incredible leaps of faith. 

I've never read a book written in this way - sometimes it is as if she is writing the chapter as it is happening, when other times she is looking back. She writes about the event of her publisher providing her with the advance on the very book I am reading so that she can afford to take off for a year to explore and find her way, and come up with the material for the book. I enjoyed learning about Italian culture, Ashrams in India and Balinese culture and history (they obviously have a very effective tourism industry). I didn't particularly enjoy all of the intimate details about her divorce, relationship woes and mental instability. Obviously, they are important to the story, because without that chapter of her life, she would have never set out on this journey of self-realization. But, personally, I still would have understood the extent of her troubles without quite so many details.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was entertaining, enlightening and inspirational. If I take one thing away from this book, it is that it's never too late to take the time and seek out what really makes us happy. That we must take care of ourselves and make ourselves happy and in extension, it will help our relationships with others.

There is so much more I could say about this book, but I'll spare you now and just encourage you to read this book if you haven't done so already. You can be sure I'll be finding my way to a theater to see this movie, perhaps after a yoga class!

Click HERE for more information about the book.

workout stats -
13.5mile bike
27minute StairMaster
3x10 cable pull twists
3x10 lateral bent arm raise
3x10 seated row
3x10 hammer curls
3x10 front arm raise


Running Through Phoenix said...

Thanks for the review. I have to say that I LOVE your photos. I want to go to that fountain right now. :)

Molly said...

My favorite part of the book is when she went to that pizza place and got two pies for herself, I would do the same thing!!

Katie @ Health for the Whole Self said...

Thanks for this review! I read the book awhile ago, but I'm actually about to start re-reading it for my book club. I agree that one the best lessons we readers learn is that self-care and self-exploration are worthwhile endeavors at any point in life!

Robyn @ Wannabe Writer Runner said...

So are you going to see the movie? I have the book, but have yet to read it. I've seen Elizabeth Gilbert on Oprah, too.

Sanura said...

I read the book, and it was truly inspiring!

A Runner's Mind said...

And now the movie....didn't invision Julia Roberts in this part, but think it'll work. Will look forward to your review! said...

good review - I read epl a while ago and really enjoyed it... stopping by from SITS to wish you good luck on your interview!

Jen Feeny said...

Spike highly recommended this book and is picking it up for me and now I want to read it even more!!! Great review and glad you enjoyed it so much.

RunToTheFinish said...

i adored this book. i listened to it while training for a marathon on all my long runs and for some reason it just really uplifted me

Anonymous said...

I am glad you liked it because I hated it. I had such high hopes for it but once I started it and the more I read, I thought she was whinny, selfish and self-important at times. So, I stopped reading it. Really turned me off for some reason. Now, I am looking forward to the movie because I was on the website and looks like the cinematography is going to be amazing, like Under The Tuscan Sun.

Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking said...

Oh, this is one of my most favorite and treasured books. Truly a fantastic read! I can't wait to see the movie - I hope it does the book justice.

Also, if you’re interested, I’m having a silicone muffin pan giveaway on my blog – You should enter!

Raquelita said...

I read the book a couple of years ago. It was after a very emotionally tumultuous couple of years and her journey really spoke to me. Having gone through some really painful and graphic things - the end of an abusive relationship, moving to another country, being depressed, gaining 30 pounds - I appreciated that she didn't hold back about the nastier aspects of what brought her to the beginning of that journey.