Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Elizabeth Gilbert=Guru

Back in November when I started my blog and was uber into writing (thinking my blog would take off, become a sensation 'round the nation, ya know, that kind of uber into writing, where I feel I can gather information on how to be successful from anywhere and everything) I decided to buy tickets to Arts & Letters Live at the Eismann Center in Richardson, TX. Elizabeth Gilbert was the featured author.

In case you are unfamiliar with Elizabeth, (yes, we are on a first name basis. Having read her book, frequently visited her website, and sat in an intimate crowd of 1,200 to hear her speak, I feel legit in doing so) she wrote the bestseller novel Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia.

It's a beach read. Beach Read = book/novel that can be read at the beach (duh) in one or few sittings while making you laugh/giggle/smile/enjoy yourself/relax.

If I were an author I would be a teensy-tinsy bit offended if my book was labeled as a Beach Read. As entertaining as Beach Reads are, they are somewhat mindless. I would want to think my writing had something along the lines of depth... And in Eat, Pray, Love's case I think it qualifies as a Beach Read, but takes it to a whole new level. So, Elizabeth, if you're reading my blog, don't be offended by the Beach Read comment. I'm going somewhere with it, I promise.

Eat, Pray, Love goes above and beyond laughing, giggling, smiling, enjoying yourself, and relaxing. She spent four months in Italy, basically just eating. The woman described every single thing she ate. And if you've ever been to Italy you know that even a cheese pizza tastes like God's special present made perfectly for you, wrapped neatly up in food and tied with a bow of 35763753865 calories. I would turn the pages, practically drooling, THIS close to blowing $3000 on booking a flight to Italy just to freaking EAT.

Then comes India. Don't feel relaxed by all the eating from Italy? How about spend four months at an Ashram doing meditation and yoga all day in 100+ heat. Enough said.

You may think reading a book about food, meditation, and combining the two with love in Indonesia, sounds like a big fat yawn. It would be, if I wrote it. Somehow Elizabeth was born with the incredible talent to add wit and humor to any situation--even the one where she's sobbing on the bathroom floor over wanting to divorce her husband on page #1. And on top of all that, she makes you want to rediscover yourself as she's rediscovering herself. I almost wanted to get into a downward dog pose, eat spaghetti, and reevaluate my values all at one time while reading the book! All in all, it's a must read.

So you can imagine my level of enthusiasm to see her speak last night. I was hoping she would talk about her experiences in Italy, India, and Indonesia--give more insight, more details, you know, things that the little people who are too unfortunate to miss this event, would never find out. She didn't.

Instead, she embarked on several random stories about book signings, not having children, the new book she's working on, her husband, blah blah blah. And yet I still walked out of the Eismann Center an hour and a half later feeling absolutely rejuvenated, relaxed, happy, all laughed out, and content with life. (Not to mention excited about obtaining the insider information of the Eat, Pray, Love movie currently being produced starring Julia Roberts...)

Who IS this woman and how does she DO it?! She's like a freaking guru!

I woke up this morning and jumped out of bed yelling "Today is going to be a GREAT day!!" Ok, no not really. But I said it in my head. I recommend you fly to a city where she's speaking next, or buy her book. Maybe then I'll have someone who wants to fly to Italy with me for the pure reason of stuffing my face. Let me know.

post signature


  1. A lot of people I know found her to be smug but I took a lot from the book and really enjoyed it. In fact, I'm wondering if it's time for a re-read. Any estimation of when the new book will be finished and released?

  2. I also immensely enjoyed this book and I would LOVE the opporunity to see her speak! I do shudder a bit at the Beach Read classification ... doesn't accurately portray this book at all for me.

  3. Just wanted to let you know that I think your blog is FAB, and I have officially given you a blogger award ... which you can find on my blog :)

  4. She sounds like a fabulous author, as well as the book. Adding to my list of books to read.

    Great post. Hope you had a rockin' Wednesday.

  5. Hi Sloane!
    I looked for you last night at the dinner..did you not make it? Or did I just not find you in the sea of women?


  6. I'm with Jay - did I miss you last night at the other table!?!?! Em

  7. Halftime Lessons and Eudea-Mamia: I wasn't able to make it :-( I was planning on it but a conflict came up, boo. Next time for sure though. There needs to be more of these dinners!

  8. I loved the book too. I don't usually like those self-help journey type things because they get preachy and condescending, but Elizabeth (can I call her that too?) did a really good job of making it inspiring.

    Too cool that you made it to see her live.

    Missed you at the DFW blogger dinner. We definitely will be repeating since it was so much fun.

  9. Glad to see I didn't miss you at dinner - but bummed you haven't recently written a post.

    Hope things are going well. You're probably out there actually "living," instead of being housebound and reading about it like me.

    Enjoy!! I'll be back when you are. Em