Saturday, December 20, 2008
Eat, Pray, Love
The first book that Page Nibblers will be taking on is Eat, Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Ok, I must admit - I can hear some of my friends groaning with rolled eyes to say "OH, it's going to be one of THOSE kind of book clubs. A bunch of women sitting around getting all new age touchy feely. No thanks."
To which I say - now wait a minute, put your stereotype bat down for a minute. I do understand there are many genres of books. Over time we hope to sample a diverse selection. We just happen to be starting with this one. It is my HOPE that when it comes time to read Larry Niven (who I adore) no one will say "I don't read science fiction" and close the door. The whole point of this group of readers is for us to go out of our usual pattern of reading and sample OTHER kinds of book and then talk about what our experience of them was. Fair enough?
For starters, as I begin to read this book I like to know a little bit about the author. If you are interested, you can read her Bio HERE. I was intrigued to learn that the movie Coyote Ugly is based on Gilbert's memoir written for GQ based on her experiences tending bar.
I was also impressed to see she spent over five years trying to break into getting published, kept going and going like the energizer bunny despite all those rejection slips.
I had to stop and wonder what accomplishments I have not had because I quit when the going got tough. HMMM. Maybe there is something I can learn in the pages of this book.
So what is it supposed to be about anyway? Well, the good folks at Penguin.com have this to say:
"In what could be construed as a coming-of-age story for thirtysomethings, Gilbert leaves behind an excruciating divorce, tumultuous affair, and debilitating depression as she sets off on a yearlong quest to bridge the gulf between body, mind, and spirit. Part self-deprecating tour guide, part wry, witty chronicler, Gilbert relates this chapter of her life with a compelling, richly detailed narrative that eschews the easy answers of New Age rhetoric. In the book’s early pages, a flashback finds the smart, savvy, successful Gilbert on her knees on the bathroom floor of the Westchester house she inhabits with her husband, wailing and wallowing in sorrow, snot, and tears (“a veritable Lake Inferior”), awkwardly embarking on her first conversation with God."
Uh, ok. I admit this does NOT make me think oh goody this book is going to be great. It's not the type of stuff I typically read. (Which may explain why it has been sitting on my shelf for MONTHS now and I haven't started it.) But I'm game. I am going to read this book, and then try to look at it with an open mind to decide if it has value for me or not. If not, WHY not? If so, what parts do I savor?
I am going to THINK as I read, I am going to ANALYZE, I am going to COMPARE, I am going to consider this book in ways that go beyond the brain candy distraction I embark on with most espionage novels or murder mysteries.
I might like it. I might not. But I am going to taste it completely, and then make up my mind AFTER I see what it is all about, not make up my mind going in.
So join me if you care to. Get the book at your local library or bookstore and read along with us here. Give your honest opinions of what you liked or didn't like. Remember, I'm just getting started on this, so no spoilers please. But let's talk about it. No matter what you think of the story, discussing WHY you thought that could be fun. So if you are up for it, come along for the ride.