First of all, HOORAY for the 10th Book Reviews post!
On The Weekender last month, I admitted that I did a nerd thing that I was SUPER excited about: I joined the Book of the Month Club. I was thinking about joining, but then Hannah did a whole InstaStory about it, and I took it as a sign. I got my first box on Valentine’s Eve, and it came with the nicest canvas tote! Seriously, this bag is made for carrying some books around because it is THICK canvas. I am so impressed by the quality! After finishing the first book, I’m also happy to report that I’m as impressed with their books as I am with their bags. 😉
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough – Holy CRAP this book. It’s very much like Gone Girl, but with more twists, more perspectives, and a supernatural element. I just love a good psycho chick book, and this one did not disappoint. It was really fun to try to figure out what was going on with Adele & David, and you’ll kind of fall in love with Louise even though she is pretty flawed and tragic. You might even figure out some parts before they’re revealed, but I bet you won’t guess THIS ending!! I was like, “WHAT?” Then I was like, “What wait what WHAAAAAT?” That’s the best way I can describe it. It had its flaws, but it was fun to read, which is sometimes all that I want from a book. Book of the Month win for sure!!
Tribes by Seth Godin – I cannot figure out why so many entrepreneurs that I follow recommend this book. I MUST be missing something! For all the raves I’ve heard, I found Tribes superbly disappointing. Perhaps it’s because I had just finished the new version of How to Win Friends, which is full of my notes, highlights, underlines, real-life examples, and ways to apply the teachings. Tribes, on the other hand, was full of tiny, vague paragraphs that said absolutely nothing. It fell way short of the hype, and I couldn’t even finish it. Maybe I’ll try again some day, but . . . probably not. It’s terrible.
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – One of things I love most about Liz Gilbert is that her writing inspires my own. Are there problems with this book? Sure. But I have to give her credit for really firing up my soul at some points. The “Italy section” inspired me to put the book down while on a train in Scotland to write out my OWN travel memories. And I think Liz would appreciate that.
I am very glad I purchased the 10th anniversary edition of this book because Liz’s own introduction is magnificent. Maybe that’s why I like the book more than some people! Liz admits that she never read the book in its entirety when she finished writing it, so this was the first time she actually READ it in a decade. And she admits that there are flaws. She writes, “People sometimes make fun of this book. Sometimes I make fun of it. Sincere as she was, its author is terribly earnest and occasionally grandiose.”
So I took the self-indulgence and the more than a little bit self-obsession with a grain of salt. For example, some of the dialogue that she writes, especially with Richard from Texas, sounds very, very imaginative, as if she’s writing what she needed him to say for that part of the book. It didn’t feel real to me. And the part where she talks how she sat on a beach for something like 10 hours cataloging all of her mistakes, anger, triumphs, etc. without moving. WHO could actually sit still and think like that for so long? It seemed to be that “grandiose” part she mentions in the introduction.
But I loved it. I love a good adventure, a good “woman gets broken heart and decides to pick herself up and do something about it” story. Some people hate that she never got into the WHY of her divorce, but her reasoning seems fair and sound to me: that would have been a one-sided story. To me, that showed maturity and grace. Plus, because I’ve read Big Magic, I know that Liz believes in writing for YOURSELF, that sometimes you just have words that have to come out, and these words just so happened to turn into a madly known bestseller. This was her way of fighting through a dark time in her life, and it accidentally helped hundreds of women fighting the same darkness.