So when Lo and I were trying to recruit members into our book club of two (but open to new members!) recently, two people that we talked to about it asked, “So what’re you guys reading? Eat, Pray, Love?” I was taken aback both times because I wouldn’t ordinarily associate myself with such a book, for reasons I won’t get into here.
It’s one of those books that I’ve secretly been wanting to read, but also didn’t because it’s embarrassing to be seen reading it. But why should I care if people are judging me based on what I’m reading, right. It’s definitely not anywhere along the lines of what I ordinarily read (except for when I obsessively read three of the Confessions of a Shopaholic series, where immedialy after I finished each one, I literally drove to Borders to buy the next one… but I wasn’t ashamed of that).
I found myself trying to hide the cover of this book, though, often when reading it on the subway and buses during my commute. To my shock, however, the cover of this book is apparently so easily-identifiable that folding over the back to the cover and revealing a mere 1-inch sliver of the cover will still allow people who know the book it identify it. Case in point: while I was waiting for my soy latte at Spaha Cafe in East Harlem, the barista exclaimed, “Isn’t that a great book?! I’m reading it too!”
It does turn out that the book isn’t half as bad as I thought. But it’s only half good too. The beginning is kind of annoying and whiny, but you gradually develop some sympathy for the author as she describes her life, divorce, and struggle with depression. After a particularly terrible divorce, she embarks on an independent journey to Italy (eat), India (pray), and Indonesia (love).
My favorite section was Italy (maybe for obvious reason if you’re reading this blog…), probably followed by India, and I mostly didn’t like Indonesia. Also for reasons I won’t get into here — you can ask me in person. But it’s sort of a fun read too if you’ve been an expat living in another country for a while because no matter what country you go to, that initial wonder is always there and it comes across in the writing. To her credit, it’s not patronizing and I like that she doesn’t do that whole “the States is so much better in this and that respect” in writing about her experience.
The ending is predictable, but that’s sort of to be expected in a book like this. Overall, it’s a fun read for the subway, especially because the chapters are short, it’s easy to get into, and goes by fast.
[And in case you're wondering, the title of this book is not how I came up with the name of my blog. In fact, I didn't know about the book until after I had made my blog!]