by Elizabeth Gilbert
started 7/27/07 finished 8/8/07
I am a cultural and religious enthusiast. I believe that cultures that existed before the founding of America are way more interesting than the hodgepodge we have created here. I believe that religions and spiritual belief systems practiced before Christianity and outside of Europe represent a much purer concept of God than anything practiced currently in the West. So, despite its long run on the bestseller lists (which is a kiss of death to me), I picked up Eat, Pray, Love. Elizabeth Gilbert took a year to travel to Italy (to eat and learn Italian), India (to pray while living in the ashram started by her guru), & Indonesia (to study with an Indonesian healer and maybe find love). The decision to make this trip came after surviving a harrowing divorce (after concluding that she & her husband had different goals for the marriage) and the subsequent rebound romance (which found her clinging to a man who could only handle her good times and not the bad). She spends the next year traveling alone and learning more about herself than she had in the first 30 years of her life. There are a lot of self-help books out there to help you cope with situations from inside the box; just do a little extra work and things will be okay. Eat, Pray, Love shows us that sometimes we have to totally remove ourselves completely from what we know in order to truly live.