Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Book Club

So, I joined a book club. An online book club called the Yummy Mummy Book Club. It's done on Twitter which I love. Online appealed to me because I don't have to plan it beyond putting it in the calendar, getting into my jammies and firing up the laptop. A book club in general appealed to me as I felt it would get me reading things I wouldn't normally pick for myself.

That came true immediately in my first month in the book club. The November pick was Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Yes it's been out for a couple of years, has been a huge publishing phenomenon, and no I hadn't read it. Why? Absolutely no desire. I saw her on Oprah with her devotees and it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. I watched my sister-in-law on our vacation in Greece pacing about reading it (for a book club) cursing. So, thought I would let this one pass.

So I picked it up in the interest of the book club group experience and tried to keep an open mind which for anyone who knows me is practically impossible.

I didn't hate it. It bugged me from time to time, but I finished it quickly and thought it was okay. If you have been living under a rock and don't know the book here is a snapshot: woman leaves unhappy marriage, has a crisis of self, decides to take a year off to rediscover who she is. The Eat represents her time in Italy (by far the best section of the book), eating pasta and learning Italian. The Pray is her time on a remote ashram in India meditating and really getting into the whole discovery of the self thing (definitely the slowest part of the book and I lost interest pretty quickly). The Love is her time in Bali finding balance and ultimately love (left me feeling like it was leading up to an ending that was a little too tidy).

Gilbert's style is very easy. She has a good sense of humour and interjects it quite frequently which is good because there are lots of times when the commentary gets rather overwrought. I also found her kind of whiny and self indulgent but then again Eat, Pray, Love is a diary. By nature diaries are pretty whiny and self indulgent.

So I don't recommend this book for everyone but it made a great introduction to the book club world for me. I had a wonderful online chat with a bunch of women that I have never met but know that we have a couple of things in common: we love to read, we're busy moms/women, and meditating on an Indian ashram is not our thing.

For more info on the Yummy Mummy Book Club you can go to the Twibes page: You don't have to be a mummy but you will have to be on Twitter if you aren't already.

Eat, Pray, Love
Elizabeth Gilbert