Sunday, July 20, 2008

Can anyone recommend this book?

I started Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything across Italy, India and Indonesia, by Elizabeth Gilbert, months ago. The author traveled through Italy, India, and Indonesia -- although I don't recall exactly what precipitated this journey -- and the book lost my interest while she was still in Italy. This is the "eat" part of the book -- surely that would be the part of the book that would interest me! But as I recall, she really didn't tell us much about what she was actually eating.

I tried to pick it back up but now I don't remember why she is on her trip and I don't have much interest in re-reading what I've already read.

Has anyone read this and liked it? Should I revisit this book or toss it in the garage sale pile?

8 comments:

Michele said...

Hated it! Pretty vehemently. And the Italy part was the part I liked the best, so . . .

ServesYouRight said...

I say toss it! The woman is so self-absorbed. I would rather get dental work done than read through her endless meandering.

Smita

kathyr said...

I had to laugh when I saw your post because I am currently struggling to get through this book. This woman is a total whiner. I am in the India section and having a hard time finding a reason to finish. The worst part is I was given this book by a good friend who really liked it. I say toss it.

Karin said...

I was against this book from the beginning, because I read an excerpt in Oprah's magazine. I couldn't for the life of me undersstand why I should read about her failures and her journey to find herself, and furthermore why she got PAID to write about them. It represents everything I hate about a certain personality type that seems to be showing up a lot lately -- self indulgent, self absorbed. BUT, it was literally almost shoved down my throat by many people who insisted I read it,including my mother. I just finished, and I must admit, I liked it. It is not a food book, it is more of a religous exploration. I liked her sense of humor and timing so if you put any expectations aside, it's an enjoyable read.

Anonymous said...

I really only liked the part when she was in Bali. Italy was okay, India kind of bored me. So overall the book was so-so. I got through it, but I'm not sure it's as great as it's cracked up to be. -Sara

Veronica said...

Garage sale fodder. I was bored at just about the same point as you. And like you when I saw the "food" in the title I thought "...oh, I will love this.." No. Have you read Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl? I really enjoyed that one. I talked my book group into reading The Making of a Chef a few years back...it was pretty interesting to most members, but then we parlayed it into a field trip to The Culinary Institute in Hyde Park for lunch which made it that much more palatable ;).

Anonymous said...

I think this is a great book. It is not a "food" book but about the emotional journey of one woman. If you have ever tried to meditate you will completely understand the India part. It may not be for everyone but I found it very interesting. Some of her insight and enlightment about how to live a fulfilling and authentic life (without unhealty relationships to me) is quite thought provoking. None of it is whiny!

Tracy said...

Hmmmm ... mixed reviews indeed. Thanks to those who answered.

I never thought the book was a food book, and I do read books that aren't food books. I certainly enjoyed Anne Lammott's books about faith (although didn't love her novels).

Veronica, I think I've read all of Ruth Reich's books -- love her, although sometimes her descriptions get on my nerves. "It tasted of the sea. It tasted like warm grass and sunshine." Etc. About Michael Ruhlman's books, I've read at least two of the "___ of a Chef" series -- Soul and Making, I think. Not sure about Reach. But I liked them, and I'll bet the trip to Hyde Park was very cool. Would love to get there someday. I would like to get Ruhlman's new book on cooking.

Anyway, I'll probably toss "Eat, Pray, Love" back in the pile for a time when I'm even more desperate for reading material. Thanks again, all.

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