Tag Archives: Elizabeth Gilbert

great springtime reads

10 Great Springtime Reads

Even if you won’t be going on a tropical getaway this spring, set yourself free with these great springtime reads.

Eat, Pray, Love

Author:  Elizabeth Gilbert

"Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert - Viking AdultThis memoir, now turned movie, is a must-read. Elizabeth Gilbert leaves behind her comfortable, American lifestyle and her recent divorce to find what she truly needs from life. The author studies three different aspects of herself amid three different cultures: In Italy, she explores the art of pleasure; in India, the art of devotion; and on the Indonesian island of Bali, where she not only finds a balance between the pleasure and devotion but love as well. This book will have you exploring new countries without ever having to step on a plane, making it a great read for spring.

Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes

'Lunch in Paris' by Elizabeth Bard - Little, BrownAuthor: Elizabeth Bard

Part memoir, part cookbook, “Lunch in Paris” is a delightful read that will transport you to the City of Lights. When an American student living in London falls in love with a Frenchman she doesn’t anticipate falling in love with his country’s cuisine as well. This love story is filled with French cuisine recipes that will inspire you to get cooking.

Water for Elephants

Author: Sara Gruen

"Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen - Algonquin Books of Chapel HillAfter Jacob Jankowski’s parents die in a car accident, he finds out that they’ve mortgaged everything for his veterinarian schooling. Living during Depression-era America with no money or family to turn to, Jacob decides to run away and join the circus. Once there, he meets an array of interesting characters, like Uncle Al, the circus impresario, who beats up his workers, and August the insane animal trainer. Jacob helps and treats the abused animals of the circus and along the way finds the true meaning of love.

The Book of Awesome

"The Book of Awesome" by Neil Pasricha - Amy Einhorn Books/PutnamAuthor: Neil Pasricha

Based on the award-winning blog on 1000awesomethings.com, “The Book of Awesome” will remind you of the small pleasures in life. The book includes 1,000 of the simple things in life we can be grateful for, from hitting several green lights in a row while driving to waking up believing it’s Monday and realizing it’s Saturday. This quick and easy read will surely bring a smile to your face.

Gone with the Wind

"Gone With the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell - Warner BooksAuthor: Margaret Mitchell

An old classic, “Gone With the Wind” tells the story of spoiled Southern belle Scarlett O’Hara and her struggle to protect her family during the Civil War. Scarlett’s harsh life and her difficulty with love make for an intriguing story set in the Confederate South. Her personal growth will give you an interesting insight into human nature.

The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love

"The Dirty Life" by Kristin Kimball -  ScribnerAuthor: Kristin Kimball

This memoir tells the story of author Kristin Kimball’s drastic change from city life to country life. At 30-something and with an unfulfilled life as a Manhattan journalist, she interviews a young farmer and instantly falls head over heels for him. Without looking back, she abandons her life in New York and starts a farm with her new love. Kristin finds the commitment she craved for with her husband and their land. After reading “The Dirty Life,” you’ll be wishing you lived on a farm, too.

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

"Wicked" by Gregory Maguire - William Morrow PaperbacksAuthor: Gregory Maguire

You’ve seen the play, now read the book. Wicked is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West from the “Wizard of Oz” by Frank L. Baum. If you ever wondered where the witch came from, what her past is like or why she became so evil, this is the book for you. After discovering the Wicked Witch’s side of the story, you won’t be able to see her the same way again.

Divergent

Author: Veronica Roth

"Divergent" by Veronica Roth - Katherine Tegen BooksImagine a society that has you choose your future at the age of 16. In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago this is exactly what life is like. In this alternate society there are five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue: Candor focuses on honesty, Abnegation is all about putting others before yourself and being selfless, Dauntless is for the brave, Amity houses the peaceful, and Erudite’s focus is on intelligence and being studious. On an appointed day of every year, all 16-year-olds choose which faction they will devote their entire lives to. However, Beatrice doesn’t like any of the choices presented to her and makes a choice that surprises everyone, even herself.

The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins

"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins - Scholastic Press

Written in first person, this young adult novel is a thrilling read for spring. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem, formerly known as North America. The Capitol is a highly advanced metropolis that holds absolute power over the nation. This is where The Hunger Games occur, an annual event in which one boy and one girl from each of the 12 districts are selected at random to compete in a televised battle in which only one person will survive. A movie adaptation will be released on March 23, 2012, however, I advise you to read the book before watching the movie.

Everyone Loves you When You’re Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness

"Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness" by Neil Strauss - It BooksAuthor: Neil Strauss

Neil Strauss is the author of the New York Times bestsellers “The Game,” “Rules of the Game” and “Emergency.” “Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead” is a collection of 228 candid interviews with famous celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Johnny Cash, Ozzy Osbourne, Britney Spears and Snoop Dogg. Neil Strauss will take you into the lives of some of the most well-known stars, getting past their facade and uncovering who they truly are.

Girl reading book, Photo: Flickr, o5com

Intriguing Reads: Memoirs, Diaries And Biographies To Read

1.

The Diary of a Young Girl

The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank

Author: Anne Frank

“Riches, prestige, everything can be lost. But happiness in your own heart can only be dimmed; it will always be there, as long as you live, to make you happy again.”

Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father and sole survivor of the family, recovered his daughter’s diary after the war from the small apartment above his old business, where they hid for over two years. The diary begins on June 12, 1942, Anne’s 13th birthday, and tells the story of her family and the Van Daan’s as they lived and hid in that small apartment with little contact with the outside world.

2.

Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson

Author: Greg Mortenson

“The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest.”

Three Cups of Tea is about adventure and philanthropy. Greg Mortenson, a mountaineer, finds himself in a remote village in Pakistani after losing his way and falling ill in 1993. After that, it became Mortenson’s mission to build them a school. It’s a compelling story and an effort to rid the region of poverty and bring education to the children in a fight against a warring world.

3.

Eat, Pray, Love

Eat Pray Love, Photo by 飞鱼Calibre

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

“You are after all what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.”

Many will immediately recognize this as “that movie that Julia Roberts was in.”  Elizabeth Gilbert, the character played by Roberts, is a real person though with a real story to tell. This book is an interesting blend of self-discovery and travel.

Gilbert is 32 years old when she begins her journey. She divorces her husband, enters into a relationship with another man, which doesn’t work out either, and then decides to take the next year to travel the world — four months in Italy to eat and enjoy life, four more in India developing her spirituality, and the remainder of the time in Bali trying to balance the two.

4.

Swallow The Ocean: A Memoir

Swallow The Ocean, Laura Flynn

Author: Laura Flynn

“People talk about how fast life can go from good to bad. How one day you’re happy, everything is going fine, and then something happens. Someone dies or someone leaves. There’s an illness or an accident. Life as you know it slips away. But it can go the other way too. You can go from god-awful to pretty OK in a single day. That’s what happened to us, and it was just as jarring.”


This memoir is about Laura Flynn’s life growing up with a paranoid schizophrenic mother. It takes the reader through the dread of having a parent who slowly becomes unhinged and what that can do to a family.  Flynn’s experience is one that readers are inspired by.

5.

Marley & Me

Marley & Me, John Grogan

Author: John Grogan

“He was a big, loving dope of a dog whose defense strategy against intruders would surely have been to lick them to death.”

Who doesn’t like a story about a dog? This true story of a lovable and unique canine, and how he changed a family, has warmed the hearts of many. John Grogan goes into details about life with a dog that any dog owner would find familiar, and yet Marley’s story stands out from the rest. He is a 97-pound Labrador Retriever that had more to teach Grogan and his family than they managed to teach his wild spirit.