20 books finished in 2011

20 books finished in 2011
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

I decided to stop after the first section – the Eat. This is totally unprecedented for me, as I usually force myself to finish a book or movie once I’ve started it. And, to confuse you even further, I actually enjoyed that first section very much.

But, I started reading this book grudgingly, having pre-judged (or adopted the judgments of others) the author and decided that she was not worth my time. I’m glad to have spent some time in her presence, and I think those judgments were a bit too harsh.

I finally picked up the book for research. “You can’t write anything about traveling and food in Europe without having read this book. Whether or not it’s the best example of travel writing, it’s recent and widely read.” Wise counsel, and I’m sure my own story-telling will benefit from this.

However, I realized that, as much as I’d warmed up to the author, and as much as I enjoyed her musings on food and Italian culture, and as much as I found myself identifying with her, I knew that would change in the first few paragraphs of the next section, as she’s pulling up to an ashram to spend four months with her guru.

Perhaps I’ll finish the book at some point – maybe even this year – but I have done my research, and I’m looking forward to reading another book the moment it shows up in the mail this week, so I’m going to watch the movie, spoil the ending, and move on with my life.

6 thoughts on “20 books finished in 2011

  1. I had an interesting relationship with this book. I read it very soon post-breakup, so it was a very apt time. I personally, as you know, love to eat, I studied yoga very seriously, and I’ve also been to Bali. I definitely enjoyed the book. I would never take it seriously, however, given what we know about how the author was able to take such a journey, and I definitely had no desire to see the movie. But it’s not without its merits, or its own appropriate moments.

  2. Ugh, DON’T watch the movie! I saw it recently and hated it.
    Which was disappointing, because I remember really enjoying the book when I read it years ago (even though I too was wary after everyone loved it so).

  3. I really enjoyed the book, too – I’m kind of a sucker for travelogues, especially written by women. The movie was not so good, though. I’d give the book a second chance – its a quick read anyway.

  4. I took the book out of the library but couldn’t bother to read it. And then I won tickets to see the movie so I saw it but… blah, it really wasn’t worth it. My single, loves-to-travel friend was very moved by it all but maybe I’m just too happy in my domesticated “bliss” (I use that term with a firm tounge in my cheek) to wish to run away?

  5. @Minty – Yes. It’s so difficult for me to judge parts of the book without also wanting to judge her, when, in truth, there is good and bad, there are things I agree with and things I don’t. And, let’s not lie, I’m totally jealous of her experience.

    @Julie and @Francesca – I probably will pick up the book again at some point. But for now, I’m not in the right mindset.

    @Melanie – Yes. Though I see the allure of traveling the world and learning how to live, I also strongly, stubbornly hope and trust that the rest of us schlubs who have desk jobs and stay in one place can ALSO learn about balance. I think it’s equally difficult for everyone, and I think all of our stories are equally beautiful and dramatic.

  6. The only reason to see the movie I think is because it’s visually very beautiful. Like a bunch of gorgeous travel photos on screen. I liked the Italy part of the book but found the second part quite boring. I thought the author was really whiny and I couldn’t relate to her at all.

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