What I’m Reading

possibilities-of-sainthood.jpgWhat’s on my nightstand? The Possibilities of Sainthood, by Donna Freitas.

I’m on chapter six, so I don’t have much to say about the book itself. The title is linked to a review, if you’d like to read one.

Truth is, I’m not reading as much here as I do at home. I thought it would be the opposite, but…surprise! Once again, reality defies my expectations. I don’t know why I bother with expectations; they always seem to be wrong.

I chose this book just now because I’m following a sort of thread at the moment. One book leads to another, leads to another, leads to another. This appeals to my love of Connections.

It all started with Dairy Queen, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock.

I searched Catherine’s name on the Web, found her Web site, and read her engaging bio. In it, I discovered she has a sister, Liz Gilbert, who also writes, though not for kids. Sister authors–that was enough for me. That Connection inspired me to read something Liz had written. Her most recent book, a NYT Best Seller, Eat, Pray, Love wasn’t available for download from ListenAlaska (where I go for instant gratification since books take some time to get), so I put myself on the waiting list and downloaded The Last American Man to tide me over. While I didn’t like the man in the book, I did like Liz’s writing.
What’s on my mp3 player?
Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert. I had forgotten about it, but it recently became available.

Because I can be ridiculously stubborn, I went into this book more than skeptically. Why was I reading it, then? Because of the Connection. That’s a testament to how much I appreciate a Connection. I don’t know what I wanted or expected to gain from it; I just wanted to read the book by Catherine’s (Dairy Queen author’s) sister. I was curious, too, I suppose, but I was giving Liz very little room to win me over.

My skepticism stems from an issue I have with books about overcoming depression, divorce, and lots of other hard-luck or negative circumstances. Those issues are compounded when the subject of those negative circumstances is privy to resources most people don’t have. It’s related to my issues with teen Problem Novels. And don’t get me started on the spirituality issue or the NYT best seller issue. Those are all strikes against a book for me. To top it off, all this was coming from a woman who had achieved the ripe old age of thirty-four. I guess I’ve got some age prejudices, too.

Fairly quickly, I decided this wasn’t my kind of book, but I kept listening. I liked the reader (who just so happens to be the author herself–dang, she’s a good reader!), and I liked the travel aspects of the book. I was more than halfway through, I think, when I started to change my mind. It was slow in coming, but in the end, Liz Gilbert won me over. Not just a little, but all the way over, right into the seats behind the Liz Gilbert team, and here I am cheering her and her best-selling book on in my blog. I liked them both. She’s funny, she’s gutsy, she’s adventurous, she’s a dreamer, she’s living deliberately. I especially like how open to and accepting of different cultural beliefs she is. And I like Liz’s writing style. She’s pretty down-to-earth, even with the spiritual stuff, and she gets the whole Connection thing; she makes a lot of them.

I actually went back and listened to the book from start to finish a second time, with a more open and friendly mind. I felt like I owed it to the author.

Eat, Pray, Love, with its themes of Italian food and religion, leads naturally into The Possibilities of Sainthood where the main character is Antonia, an Italian catholic girl whose family owns an Italian food market. It just happens to be one of the books I brought with me. Lots of coincidences and connections pulling me through the random sea of reading material, and that alone is great fun.

Categories: Reading