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Archive for December, 2008

eat pray love

This book, by Elizabeth Gilbert, is, in my opinion, a book about hope, above all else.  It is about hope and the goodness and generosity of the universe.  Gilbert, trapped in a marriage which does not make her happy, makes the heart-wrenching decision to leave the relationship.  The process is difficult and painful, but, because she is open to the gifts of the universe, Gilbert finally is able to close that chapter of her life and proceeds to explore that which she thinks will make her happy.  Gilbert wants to have a relationship with God, and she wants to be happy.  And, she wants to learn how to balance pleasure and spirituality.  Consequently, she takes a year off of work, and indulges her love of travel.  Spending four months in each of three locations, she decides to immerse herself in the local culture of each locale to learn what she can from each.   Beginning in Italy, a place she is inexplicably drawn to, she explores nothing but food and language.  Her next four months are spent in an Ashram in India, practicing yoga and meditation.  Finally, she lands in Bali, a place which, to Gilbert, embodies balance.  All along her journey, she comes in contact with various people, seemingly, just when she needs them.  She learns to trust her instincts and to keep her spirit open to what the universe has in store for her.  

I found this book to be more enjoyable than I initially thought that I would.  Our heroine is perfectly imperfect, and going along with her on this journey, seeing her at her worst, watching her learn about herself and and learn to forgive herself, offers the reader a true sense of hope.  There can be a light at the end of any tunnel, no matter how dark.   An uplifting, pleasurable and spiritual read for anyone who is or wants to be open to the gifts of the universe.

I give this book four bookmarks.

Reviewed by: Anna

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This hefty tome by Walter Isaacson was a bit intimidating upon first glance, due not only to its size, but also due to its subject matter.  I love a good biography as much as the next reader, but just how much of Einstein’s work would be included in this book was what I was concerned with.  As it turns out, I had not much to fear.  Isaacson’s style of writing is very user-friendly, and while he does go into some detail, albeit in layman’s terms, of Einstein’s theories, this information is nicely interwoven with personal aspects of his life, so the reader gets a nice break in between technical descriptions of mathematical concepts.  The book is laid out chronologically, so we readers get a fairly clear picture of what was going on personally and socially, as well as professionally at the time that Einstein had his major breakthroughs in the world of physics.  The descriptions of Einstein’s thought experiments are at once fascinating, sometimes hard to follow, and also enlightening.  All at once , one has a clear idea of “theoretical” physics.  This book is able to make this very complicated figure accessible.  He is portrayed sympathetically, but his flaws are not sugar-coated.  Einstein was self-involved, but also very connected to the bigger world in which he finds himself, as indicated by his social activism.  He is larger than life and very human.  It is the combination of these qualities that draws us in.  So brilliant and yet so simple.

I believe that this portrait of Albert Einstein is comprehensive and easy to read.  It makes clear the brilliance of this man, and at the same time makes the reader almost believe that anyone could have thought these same thoughts, but just didn’t.  Almost being the operative word.

I highly recommend this book and give it 5 bookmarks.

Reviewed by:  Anna

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