Aah, I got around to decluttering my bookshelf and here is the final result for now - ta da!
As part of the "prevent burnout" precaution, the first stage was just to remove all the "non-books" from the books. So all the umpteen files and folders and what not got shoved elsewhere and the "real" books have taken their rightful place. The top right corner shelf contains my discards - the books that I intend to give away. The rest are barely classified into fiction and non-fiction - not even in alphabetic order. That's for another day!
This book fell out from the shelf yelling "share me, share me" today.
This book certainly followed my dictum for buying books - viz., first borrow, then buy. I was attracted by the fun cover and the fact that it was not fiction when I was browsing in the local Bookmark library in Pune. The next visit to Crossword, I searched high and low for the title in the memoir and spirituality sections, only to ask for help and finally finding it in the romance section. I (somewhat curtly, I must say) informed the staff-member who helped me that it should not be put among the romances. But with a title like that, he was not to blame!
Eat, Pray, Love is the spiritual journey of Elizabeth Gilbert, who tried to salvage her life after a particularly acrimonious divorce that left her depressed and suicidal. She visits three countries - Italy, India and Indonesia - to regain her balance. In Italy, the saviours are the Italian language and food. India gives her the spiritual ballast. Indonesia is where she balances her earth-bound and spiritual yearnings.
"Spiritual journey?!" I can almost see you people wrinkling your foreheads in anticipation of acute boredom. Well, you would be wrong - the book ranks among my "unputdownables". (Okay, not very convincing, I admit, since I AM a bookworm, but there are books that can put even me to sleep!). The language is fast, the turns and twists, just like Elizabeth's moods, are totally unpredictable and the self-deprecatory humour is the best of its kind.
Recently, this book has been in the news because it's being picturised and Julia Roberts is playing Elizabeth. Some more sensational news is that she has become a practising Hindu after being in India for the shoot - whether it is a publicity gimmick or not, I am not sure.
Is the book worth a read? I definitely think so. I would love to hear from you about whether you found Elizabeth a hopeless romantic/a complete nincompoop/a glutton/a soul on the threshold of moksha. Do put in your comments!