Friday, March 19, 2010


Day 38 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project. Mary is reading Committed, the new book by Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote Eat, Pray, Love.
I just met Mary recently, over dinner, and learned she brought 3 books with her on vacation--this one, a book on Stoic philosophy, and something called Wolf Hall. She can't remember why she picked up that last one. (Maybe because it won the Man Booker Prize, Mary! It's historical fiction, by Hilary Mantel, about Henry VIII and the behind-the-scenes religious and class conflicts of the times.)

And she has Too Much Happiness, the new book of short stories by Alice Munro, waiting on the bedstand for her when she gets home.

I'm so glad I met Mary! (Yes, there's something about her!) She reads books simultaneously, as do several of us here. She reads books in hardback! (Though I just realized Too Much Happiness is indeed out in paperback! Making it fair game as book-group material! Yay!)

Like me, she gets a little embarrassed when she reads a bestseller "self help" or trendy book like Committed or Eat, Pray, Love, but, hey, I loved the latter. It was funny, revealed the author's vulnerabilities, and had great pizza. Plus, it reassured me. My current house number happens to be a really cool number of meditation beads.

And Mary keeps an Excel spreadsheet on the books she reads.

I hope my local book group will also read Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage. Some of us are married, some of us are not, and some of us are skeptical about the institution of marriage, even if we are in it. And even if we are committed to the ones we love.


Susan said...

Since we read Eat, Pray, Love I too hope we'll read this new one -- AND maybe go see the E, P, L movie with Julia Roberts. I just bought The Help, another future book for us?

Kathleen said...

Cool! Can we see the movie with your mom?!

Julie Kistler said...

I am currently reading four short mysteries at once. I don't know why I started this, but it's working okay.

I am very happily committed (rather than ready to be commmitted) in my marriage, but feeling sad about marriage in general after hearing that Kate Winslet/Sam Mendes are breaking up, hot on the heels of Tim Robbins/Susan Sarandon breaking up, and now Sandra Bullock/Jesse James being in a mess. Yes, I know -- they are celebrities and they are always a mess and they should not warp my view of marriage in general. And yet it still makes me sad.

Let me know if "Committed" would make me feel better. I will put aside my simultaneous mysteries (bookstore, haunted bookstore, coffeehouse and book restorer) and read "Committed" to buck myself up.

Kathleen said...

Hmm, I seem to be following my own blog now. I am soooooo technologically challenged. I can't find a comment from Julie, though I hit the Publish button, and had to sign up with Google Friend Connect to let her know I'd somehow lost her comment, and now I follow me.

Kathleen said...

Ah! It appeared!

aka Simone said...

After reading Eat Pray Love and then reading part of it outloud to my friend Cindy in the Women and Children First bookstore in Chicago, so loudly and laughing so loudly that we were almost politely asked to leave, I am happy to say that next week I will be eating Naples-style pizza in Chicago with same friend Cindy. And I too, want to read Committed even though I'm definitely not into committment right now in my personal life.