Book #1 (January): Eat, Pray, Love

** I’ve started a new Facebook-based book club! Learn more HERE.**

This month’s book is: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Summary (provided by WikiSummaries):

AHow liberating it would be to just cast off the reins of your current life and go on a year-long trip to three far flung countries of the world? Elizabeth Gilbert does that in Eat Pray Love, by embarking on her journey with specific purposes – one country for pleasure of the senses, another for spiritual enlightenment and the third to restore balance in her life. The resultant travelogue is a warm and lively read.

Discussion Questions:

1. What is your first impression of the book? What is your first impression of the main character?

2. What do you expect to learn or gain from this novel?

Discussion Project #1 – What 3 places would you like to run off to like the main character? Tell me why and dont forget to add links to pictures of your chosen places!

3. Watch the movie trailer. In a comment below, tell whether Julia Roberts represents or portrays the author in the same way the author represents herself in the novel. Does Julia emit the same amount of emotion and despair as the author does in the first few pages? What differences, if any, do you notice between the novel and the movie trailer, or even the movie itself?

4. Liz explains that she went to Italy seeking pleasure, but pleasure comes to her in many ways, including talking in Italian and eating. What gives you pleasure? Which country or place would you go to seeking pleasure? (Please keep this G rated.)

Book Club Dare #1– I dare you (optional) to do one of the following in relation to the first section of the book: Speak Italian with someone, eat at an Italian Restaurant, cook an Italian Meal, listen to an Italian song, or eat Gelato (especially if you’ve never had it before!). Leave a comment detailing your experience with something Italian and show how it made you feel. How does your experience compare to Liz’s experience in Italy?

5. Liz travels to India to pray and meditate in her Guru’s Ashram. Do you pray or meditate? Do you practice a religion that is different than the one you were raised in? Which God, if any, do you believe in? Do you think a person can know God?

Discussion Project #2 –  Find a quote in the book so far, in either the Italy section or the India section. Write the quote in your comment, and tell why you like that quote the best. Does it inspire you? Does it resonate with you? Is it a good lesson, or piece of advice for someone else?

Book Club Dare #2 – Now that you’ve had a little slice if Italy, its time for a little slice of India! I dare you (optional) to listen to an Indian song (I recommend “Leja Leja”), eat Indian food, learn a few words in Indian or sing along to an Indian song. Describe your experience here in a comment below. And, if you find a great Indian song, please share it!

6. Liz returns to Bali after her initial visit with Ketut. Since some of the other things Ketut said would happen after reading her palm did in fact happen, do you believe Liz went back to Bali because she was destined to, like her “palm” said? Or do you believe she went for another reason? Do you believe in destiny or fate?

7.  Liz found love again in Bali. But Liz’s past, when it came to love, was also tumultuous. Where did you find love? Can you relate to Liz’s past love life?

Discussion Project #3 – Since it’s the end of the book, simply tell in a comment below what your favorite part of the story was, and why.

Book Club Dare #3 – For this dare, I dare you (optional) to listen to an Indonesian song, eat something Indonesian, watch the “Eat, Pray, Love” movie, or have your palm read. Write about your experiences here, or tell whether you liked or didn’t like the movie.


71 responses to “Book #1 (January): Eat, Pray, Love

  1. I have seen the movie and heard the first chapter being read on radio. I’m looking forward to reading it (have it booked in library), I’m sure it will be better than the movie and help me a bit to look on the bright side of life! 🙂 I hope the book will be honest more than naive.

    • I have also seen the movie. Movies always leave out a lot of good parts, so hopefully the book will offer something more interesting than the movie did. Of course in the movie, we think of the story more in relation to Julia Roberts than we do the actual author. Perhaps this book will gives us more insight on the author’s personal life than the movie did.

  2. The 3 places I’d travel to would be:

    Ireland: I’d travel here not only because I’m Irish and love the country, but because I’d hope to find love here.

    Greece: This is a beautiful country, and I’d love to travel there not only for the scenery but in hopes of finding some connection with God.

    Finland: I’d travel here, probably not for any reason other than the fact that I have friends here, and think it would be a lovely place to go to.

  3. It really is hard to just choose 3 places as I love to travel everywhere:

    1.) Italy, because a lot of my family came from Sant’Arcangelo and I speak Italian and it would be neat to speak to natives.

    2.) Australia- They have some of the world’s best bird species and I’m studying to become an avian vet.

    3.) Antarctica- The continent is fairly remote, but it has a lot of interesting animal species and beautiful landcapes.

  4. My first impression of the book was contradictory. It’s always hard for me to feel related to the character when it’s a mature woman with huge experience. And it’s important for me to feel related when I read such books. I need to comprehend the problems of the character.
    I found that connecting link in the part where Elizabeth tells about her image of good God. It’s like I have always imagined him and still do.

    3 places!
    I totally agree with author when it comes to Italy. And all the descriptions of the scenery and (!!!) FOOD! Now I’m 200% sure that someday I will visit Italy. I’m interested in many parts of the country but Rome is the city I can’t leave behind.

    then I would love to visit Aland islands. I love sea views and islands and sea shores but I hate hot weather. Mild climate of Finland is just perfect. These islands are really peaceful (I believe they are) and I hope I can visit them next summer.
    (big image)

    the third place is Prague.
    well actually I’ve already been there but this city feels like home for me. I wish I could live there constantly. On the one hand it’s all year round party: all people drink beer from dusk till dawn and sing, dance etc., on the other hand on every corner you can see the history, lots of churches, cathedrals, castles… and simultaneously the city seems to be so small. I learned all the streets in 3 days and walked there like I’ve been living there forever.

    I’ve seen the movie but can’t remember one thing. Did they show how that woman from Bali acted when Elizabeth found money to build a house?
    Anyway I think that Julia Roberts created a perfect character. I can’t imagine other person on her place.

  5. Hi everyone, I just joined the book club so I am new. My name is Karin and I am a POstcrosser as well. I am 41, live in the Netherland and just lóve reading! Sometimes I read one book per evening.

    I will try to get the book at the library as I am not allowed (told myself) to buy books anymore as I have no space for them in my home :-).

    Will get back once I have read it.

  6. If I had to choose three places, one of them would definitely be Ireland. I don’t know why, but I just want to go there 🙂
    the second place would be Cuba. I love everything about Cuba and want to see there.
    and the last place would be Japan! My friends went there about a year ago and shared their pictures. It was AMAZING! So colourful and beautiful *-*

  7. Book Club Dare #1

    I speak Italian, come from an Italian family and have done almost all things Italian, except visit Italy…so guess for this dare I will travel to Italy some time this year. I guess my experiences would vary from Liz’s because I have lived with Italian culture all my life. Her experience was more like becoming a new person and melting into the Italian lifestyle.

  8. #3

    I saw the movie, but really haven’t read too much of the book yet. I think Julia Roberts did a great job in the movie and showed a lot of emotion. All in all the book is always better than the movie and movies leave out some really good parts.


    Just being with my family gives me the greatest pleasures in life, but I think if I were to pick a place I would choose Florence, Italy to make me feel alive. There is so much art to look at and the Ponte Vecchio has always been the heart of symbolism for me. Plus, the food in Italy definitely is some of the best and floods the senses with aroma, love and happiness.

  9. Hi everyone! I have just joined the book club and i’m happy to meet you all 🙂 I have seen the movie of Eat, Pray, Love a few months ago, so now i’m interested to see how the book will compare. Luckily my mom had a copy of the book, so I have read up through the Italy section so far. I really liked what Liz said about learning Italian, that she deserved to learn something beautiful. Thats how I feel about Portuguese, to me it is the most beautiful language in the world 🙂 So my first stop on my trip would be Brazil!!I absolutely love everything to do with Brazil. Secondly, I think I would like to go either to Lake Ohrid in Macedonia or Sofia, Bulgaria as they both seem like really peaceful places to me. Finally I would like to go to Papua New Guinea because it is the most exotic place I can think of, where I could experience things really outside of my comfort zone.

    • Well, we’re happy to meet you too! You read pretty fast! Hope you enjoy the book! Brazil sounds like a great place. WOW, I didnt think of going to a place outside of my comfort zone, especially a place like Papua New Guinea. Nice choices!

      Yes, what Liz said about deserving to learn something beautiful was a great reason to learn Italian. Dont we all deserve to treat ourselves to something nice and beautiful? Although, I’m not sure learning a langauge would be something I’d treat myself to since I find it quite hard to learn, but to each is own!

  10. For now,I’ll just answer to 4. I’d go to London, this a dream I want to fulfill. I would love to go to Broadway see Phantom of the Opera and maybe Beauty and the Beast, I would see all the well know places like the wax museum, big ben, would buy some souvernirs and postcards and maybe try some regional dishes like Wellinton steak

  11. I’d choose these three places:
    I have been to Italy, Rome as Liz. I liked it a lot. I absolutely agree with her and with her impressions of this wonderful city.

    So I tasted gelato and found it the best ice cream in the world. Really. I have also eaten a lot of kinds of pasta there, lasagna. And I understood that I like Italian cuisine loads.

    • I have tasted gelato too! I too find it to be very good! However, I dislike Italian food, except for pizza. And I definitely hate lasagna, which is why I wouldnt go to Italy for any reason except to visit it and to say that I visited.

  12. Hello everyone..
    In Postcrossing, my username is lalalander. Sorry for the late introduction. Yesterday I had a final exam and it was hard >_<
    All of you can call me Lala.
    I would love to go to Italy. In fact I would love to live there for a short period of time. Learning Italian language is a good idea.
    The next destination, I would choose to go to Indonesia. Though I'm going there for a short period of time to do my shopping. Many people told me that in Indonesia, the goods are very cheap.

    As for a place that I want to visit for pleasure…. That's a tough question. I think I want to go to Japan. I absolutely love the Japanese culture and I'm studying very hard to increase my proficiency in Japanese language. Moreover, once I'm in Japan, I want to to Harajuku Street, the unique place of fashion capital in this world.

    For the dare, I really want to try the gelato. Perhaps, after my exams are all over, I'll head to the shopping mall and try one. Italian songs.. I'm not familiar with it. any recommendations for me? Maybe I can try and search for it.

    • Welcome! For song recommendations try, “Mambo Italiano,” or songs by Rosemary Clooney for more old-fashioned/traditional Italian songs. Of course, you can always search it up on iTunes. I believe they do have an essentials list for Italian songs.

    • After I read your reply, i went off to find that song. It’s a very catchy song.. But sadly I don’t understand. Need to find the lyric translation to enjoy that song fully.
      Thanks for the recommendation

  13. Hi everyone! I have just joined the book club: Very happy to be here.
    I´ll start with #4…. To me pleasure is a book, the sea, a concert by my favourite singer and paintings. To seek pleasure I´ll probably will go to Italy, too. Italy is an open air museum, art in every corner and delicious food 🙂
    I´ve red the book long ago (love it) and watch the movie (didn´t like it).

  14. Well, i joined a bit later here, and i guess i wont be able to go through this month’s book…funny, when it came out in the stores time ago, i wasnt really fond of it, and thought it was again another of those ‘tell you how to live your life’ books…however a friend later told me it is a rather nice one, so I thought i should maybe give it a chance, but i dont think ill manage so in January…hopefully ill join the book discussions from February on.

    as for the question of where to travel… top 3 is as follows;

    1. Norway – I’ve been in love with it for a long long time…im fascinated by its nature, its fjords, and tranquil landscapes, plus i love the Nordic Mythology

    2. Mexico – well, the country has rich and amazing history, awesome places to be visited, the language is just lovely, and im in a way emotionally attached to the country…plus i still havent really visited an exotic country.

    3. North Korea – due to its regime and politics, this country never ceases to draw my attention and keep my interest to it. Id love to see it on the inside, myself, how life really is there


  15. The quote that I like at the moment:
    “Stop! Please stop! YOU’RE MAKING ME CRAZY!!!”
    This one was when she tried really hard to concentrate on meditation but is failing. Well, it is kind of funny because it resembles like my situation whenever I have to go and study.

    I know a few songs which are superb. One of my favourites is Bole Chudiyaan from Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham. A really catchy song. As for Indian food, I tried the chapati. It’s quite nice as a breakfast.

  16. Hello everyone! Just a quick “Hi” from me. I joined late and only got the book today, so I’m way behind right now. (chapter 9). I hope I can catch up this weekend. So far I’m really impressed with the book. I was sceptical at first and expected something much more sappy. I absolutely love the witty, informal writing style and I think I’ll be done with the book really quickly, unless it soon takes a turn for the worse.
    I immediately connected with the main character and her struggle with both her (ex)husband and David, as I’m still reeling from a current break-up and lots of drama. I’m curious to see if this book will help me see things from a different point of view. I’m not expecting a great epiphany, mind you, but maybe some more perspective.
    I haven’t seen the movie yet, and I’m quite happy about that. I much prefer my “mental cinema” as we say in german. I’ll consider watching the movie when I’ve read the book.

    Anways, I know I’m late, but better late than never, right? 😉 Three places I’d like to run off to:
    1. Israel – I’d like to travel the whole country, possibly on horseback. It’s a country I’ve loved from afar for a long time now and if I had the money I’d be on the next plane. Hebrew might be my Italian. 🙂
    2. Vanuatu (or some other melanesian island, I’m not THAT picky :D) because I’ve had a professor last semester who did a lot of research in that region and I’d love to see some of what I’ve learned in person. Sitting in a classroom in Germany most of the culture seems to surreal that it is difficult to imagine what it would be like to be in the middle of it all.
    3. Morroco – I don’t have a very good reason for this one, it has just always been very high on my list of places I want to visit some day. Colorful, exotic and full of mystery. And I definitely wouldn’t mind picking up some Arabic, while I’m there.

    • I definitely felt the book helped me see things in a different light, on many topics. So perhaps the book will help you too!

      Morroco sounds nice! Never heard of Vanuatu…

  17. Question #5:
    I don’t pray or meditate or follow any sort of religion, but I try to stay spiritual. To me it is most important to know yourself and what makes you feel alive.

  18. Discussion Project #2:

    I like the quote in the book “We’re going to need a bigger boat,” that Liz takes from the movie Jaws. I think it is very true that one must see the bigger picture in detail, before you can conquer your demons. If you look at every aspect of your life and find out what is causing you to feel a certain way and find the essence of that then it is better than just looking within yourself blindly through closed doors.

  19. “To meditate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clean away dirty energy. ”

    I really need some rest *sigh*. This inspires me because sometimes sadness get us down but we have to smile to get us through.
    And well, no one can be relaxed with a frown 🙂

  20. I do not meditate, but I do often pray. And yes, I believe in God.

    My favorite quote so far would be ” In return, Giovanni told me that empathizing Italians say L’ho provato sulla mia pelle, which means “I have experienced that on my own skin.” I like this quote because its a neat way to say that you’ve been “there” before. I think its more poetic and real sounding.

    As for the dare, I’ve listened to many Indian songs, and I do enjoy them!

    • Funny, I actually marked the part before that. “But I explained that deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. […] if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope.”
      Maybe it’s because English is my second language, but I never thought of it that way. Of course I knew the phrase, but I don’t normally question these things. Just goes to show how worthwhile linguistics can be. 🙂

  21. I do Yoga and we always end the sessions with a tiny meditation. I should probably do it more often because I always feel much better afterwards. I’m agnostic, so I don’t pray. But I find Liz’ idea of praying quite interesting. She’s essentially talking to herself, the only difference being that she thinks she’s getting an answer from someone else, instead of herself. It’s a bit difficult for me to wrap my head around all of this, but is there really a huge difference to thinking very throughtly? Maybe it’s the hope she’s gaining from the conversation? Am I missing something?

    • I found that Liz talking to herself was very confusing and couldn’t understand her getting responses from herself and then she would talk to people in her mind. I guess we all talk to ourselves in our minds most of the time, but having full depth conversations is sort of mind boggling to me. Maybe that is just how she works through her problems and to me she would have made a great theatric performer, because she can act out all sorts of scenes on her own.

    • Exactly. I guess it’s just overdone for the sake of her writing, but some things are so over the top, they really confuse me. Like the journal. I mean, I do keep a journal myself and it’s very helpful for me to write things down when having it all swimming around in my head is too confusing. But having someone else pretty much possess your body to write an answer is just a bit too much for me, no offense. If it works for Liz and others, that’s fine, but I can’t really relate.

    • I was starting to think she had multiple personalities, because of all these strange things she started doing with the journal, like you mentioned and talking to people in her mind. Plus, she said she kissed a tree and wrote some other odd things about trees which made me just go “WHAT IN THE WORLD!” Maybe India was not the best place for her to seek out her spiritual self after all.

    • She does say something about possibly being “shizo” herself… It definitely crossed my mind.

  22. I have another quote: “[…]and when you sense a faint potential for happiness after such dark times you must grab onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt – this is not selfishness, but obligation. You were give life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.”

  23. Dare #2

    I chose to listen to some bollywood songs from India and tried to learn how to dance like they do. I am just amazed at how difficult it is to dance like those women do.

    I finally finished up the India part and it was so hard for me to relate to Liz, because she seemed to be having some sort of bi-polar battle with herself and finding God. Personally, I found it great that she went all the way to India to learn self discipline through religious grounds, but I really started to believe she was truly insane in a way or just over dramatic which can get a bit overwhelming to keep up with when reading.

    • I agree. I was actually looking forward to reading the India part, but became so frustrated with Liz’s constant complaints about not being able to connect with God or meditate. How many pages can you possibly write about your inability to concentrate in meditation? It was repetitive. Hopefully the Bali section will be better.

    • I became frustrated too, because she just kept going on and on about her struggles. It was not too hard for me to become bored with this part of the book and now I am reading the beginning of the Bali section, which seems to be much better than that India section. Liz really needed to just chill out! =)

    • I think over-dramatic is a good description, revy1. The India part is what I expected when I first heard what the book is about. It’s sappy and way too specific. It’s impossible for me to relate when I start to dislike Liz for all of her whining. To me that part of the book is poorly edited. It’s obvious that to her this is a very intense time and to her all of it is essential, but part of good writing is to cutting down. This just drags on forever.

      I just about hate this part as much as I loved Italy.

    • Jujak-

      I agree that it is so easy to dislike Liz for her whining, because that is how I felt reading her long, drawn out conversations with herself and her friends/imaginary people. I like the Italy section too, because she seemed more alive there and was actually busy being productive and having fun eating, making friends and learning Italian. In India she had too much time to fuss about how she can’t connect with God and the Yogi or find that blue light during meditation. She is definitely an over thinker about everything. Must be her control issues like Richard from Texas pointed out.

    • The thing about Liz whining, isnt really just in the India part, but in the entire book so far. I realize its a story about her journey, but if you think about it, she sounds almost selfish. I was more interested in the funny stories with her and Luca Spaghetti, or with Richard from Texas. And then, once again, she lapsed into talking about herself, or David, or her husband, and her needs. You almost want to shout “Get over yourself!” while you’re reading.

      Also, she should be lucky she got married at all (twice!). Instead, she cried about it and divorced her husband. And, she acts like being a married woman means its a requirement to have a child. You dont have to have one, so why waste an entire page explaining about how you dont want to have one? Plus, she was lucky enough to get the money to go on her little trip, that most people only dream of doing, and its almost like its a right for her to travel to all of those places, instead of a privelege.

      And, I totally agree with Richard’s statement: “Stop wearing your wishbone wear your backbone oughta be.” She really needs to get a backbone.

    • You know what! Liz did whine in Italy too, but I sort of ignored that part and was more into that whole Luca Spaghetti and how she loved eating Italian food and speaking the language. Plus, she did seem more lively and more fun to be around, except when she was alone of course sobbing in the bathroom. In India she was just an all over cry baby mess. It sort of irritates me how Liz does complain about being married, her divorce, loving her husband and David and then not wanting to be with them. It also doesn’t make any sense as to why she would marry a man who would want to have children in the future. I wish I had money to just travel for a whole year like she did and I don’t think I would have time to dwell on such negative thoughts like she does. The parts where she doesn’t drone on about herself are really good, but the parts where she does make me not like her at all.

    • I think the reason I could relate to her in Italy was that is was just the beginng. I get that. Sometimes I have to keep my own whininess in check. I’ve never been married, but I can imagine that a divorce can be horrible – We never really find out about all the reasons, just the bit about children, which is huge, but I still don’t understand how this could come up over night. She’s a bit like that friend everyone has, who has been through a rough break-up and needed a lot of support. But then it’s a year later, or maybe even longer, and it just won’t stop. And then there’s what you two already mentioned – She’s incredible fortunate. Things have turned out great for her. I know depression isn’t overcome that easily (which is why I feel really uncomfortable with the way she dealt with the anti-depressants in the book, but that’s another story altogether) but, but there’s only so much a reader can relate, too.

  24. #6

    I think Liz returned to Bali to seek out Ketut again, because she has this yearning to find herself and God. Ketut has wisdom about life that Liz has not yet acquired, which is beneficial to Liz. Also, I see Liz as a drifting soul, because no matter where she goes she carries all her problems with her, instead of moving on and actually living life without constant worry and control. So hopefully Bali makes her loosen up a bit and I can’t wait to see what happens in the end.

    As for fate or destiny, I believe that every person makes their own choices in life and those choice are what make us or break us. I guess we may all be destined to have certain lives and do certain things, but it is more so based on what paths we choose and what upredictable things occur in life.

  25. #6 I do and dont believe in destiny. I dont think bad things that happen were meant to happen. People or animals getting hit by cars or tortured, or people getting murdered and raped cant possibly be the path God or fate laid out for us. But then again, some things in History, if they hadnt happened the way they did, would change the way things are now. And you have to wonder if things are the way they are now, if it was meant to be this way. Was this really all planned out?

    • This reminds me of the time I did research in a buddhist community. I was attending a meditation and afterwards there was a short lecture. At some point the speaker said that our actions, no matter how good they look to us may be terrible for the world at large, because normal people (who aren’t enlightened by meditation) cannot see very far beyond what they know now. As an example he named the discovery of Penicillin. His reasoning was that, although it was a miracle back then and saved an insane amount of lives, it is the major reason for the overpopulation we face today and may thus have actually destroyed the planet in the long run. It’s somewhat logical, but it makes me feel queesy – same as Karma.

  26. #7 Ha. My love life has been just as tumultuous as Liz’s. But it really wasnt much of a love life. But, to be honest, real and true love hasnt come my way. So I’d like to hope I might find love one day in the oddest way like Liz did.

  27. Discussion Project #3 – My favorite part so far would have to be the wisdom of Richard from Texas. Dont we all wish we had a smart, wise-cracking, friend to help us along?

  28. #7- I haven’t found the whole romantic love, but when I had my son that was when I felt real love of a person. If Liz had my sort of love life chaos, she would probably have had to commit herself haha! Seems like she had some ok men in her life, but was too self centered to realize what she had, instead of what she did not have.

    The Bali section if very different than the Italy and India sections. Liz more so is talking about other people and stating facts about Indonesia and their cultural beliefs.

  29. Discussion Project #3

    I thought the best part of the book was Richard from Texas telling Liz she was a control freak and her getting mad, but then realizing he may be right. He totally told her what he honestly thinks of her. I also like Ketut, because he seems to just radiate happiness, which Liz needs to learn how to do. Liz is just a downer throughout the book.

  30. Book Club Dare #3:

    I chose to learn some words the Balinese speak by using this site:

    It is one language that will take awhile to learn, but I am up for a challenge of learning a few words at least. I also am going to try an cook some authentic Balinese dishes, but have to do some more research on what I may like to try.

    Finally done with the book today and very excited to start the new book for next month!

  31. 6. I think she went back because she believed that something would really happened and not just because of destiny itself. I do believe in destiny but it modifies according to our choices.

    7. WE FOUND LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE! Sorry about that. I found love in my city and I’m happy :3

    The whole “I have so much to see and I’m stuck here, I have to discover the world” was my favorite part. I love to travel and that type of attitude is sometimes what I wish I would do, just leave and discover new stuff!

    I’ll go watch the movie! Tell you later 🙂

    • It’s easy to have the attitude about doing something, but you have to have the money too! Luckily for her, she had the money to do it. Otherwise, this book wouldnt be possible.

  32. 1. I think the book is written very honestly and with the touch of some healthy self-irony. The main character is intelligent and also passionate. She gets elated, but also depressed easily. At the beginning of the book she has low self-esteem, but it grows during her travels. She likes to be spontaneous, but she is from a family and culture that considers routine important and at first it’s difficult for her to break with it and just let go of her problems.

  33. Question 7:
    From chapter 22 (sorry, it’s a bit long): “If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my ass, my money, my family, my dog, my dog’s money, my dog’s time – everything. If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, i will give you a sun check and a rain check.”
    After I first read this I put the book down, thought about it for a minute and then read it again. Damn, that rings a bit too true. While I can’t relate to the side of this she talks about, “Disappearing into the person you love”, this is what I see myself doing, and what I’ve seen my mother do and my grandmother before her. Maybe it’s time to get that in check before I repeat this pattern again.

  34. I don´t often pray but I like medidating a lot. I tried yoga some times and had a strange feeling of it. I think it may be very nice in a right mood.
    I don´t know what my favourite quote is. I like the whole book and I like Liz´s speculations a lot.
    I don´t believe in fate or destiny myself. I think that people can change everything in their lives or in the world but only If they really want it and really try to do it. I think that if person don´t fight for his successes anw wants everything to be as he wants not making efforts, then he always says that it is his fate. But it is only my opinion and I may be wrong certainly.
    So I think that Liz came to Bali not because her palm was read to do it. I think she wanted to visit again, see new places there and meet its habitants again.
    I tasted Indian food… I must say that it was very unusual to me. I can´t say whether I liked or disliked it but it made a strong impression on me. I think I´ll taste it again soon and then I´ll have a definite opinion of it.
    I watched the movie. I liked it but I think that the book is much better. I m not a fan of film versions because I don´t believe that moviemakers can transmit all the depth of emotions and feelings which author puts in a book.
    I´m in the middle of Bali section and I like the Italysection now most. I think it´s so because I eas in Italy myself and I totally agree with Liz about this wondrful country.

  35. My favourite part is when Liz went to the Gili Meno. The part where she meditated on the ninth day and she managed to get to acknowledged her anger,sadness and shameful moments in her life. It is a great step to accept yourself as who you are and start to strive and lead a better life. I’ve never done that but I think it is good to do it in order to get over any difficulties or past issues that remained unsolved for many many years.

    As for the 3rd dare, I’ve done all of them quite some time ago. I live in Malaysia, which is a neighboring country to Indonesia. I listened to many Indonesian song but personally I love Kris Dayanti’s song, Mencintaimu (meaning: Loving You). Such a bittersweet song. Her voice is simply powerful.I understand most Indonesian Language since their Malay Language is quite similar to Malaysian Malay Language.
    Indonesian food that I always eat and love are perkedil and dendeng.

    As for palm reading, one of my friend is quite good in interpreting the lines on the palm. She said to take care of my health especially my tummy. (I never told her about my health to her before). Well, she is true because I do have a mild case of gastritis once in a while if I don’t eat during the proper time.

  36. Discussion project #2

    My fave quotation is from chapter 40 and quite long (therefore some cutouts by me :P), but very beautiful:

    “But when we chant here in the ashram it’s a kind of angelic singing. Generally, it’s done in a call-and-response manner. A handful of young men and women with the loveliest voices begin by singing one harmonius phrase and the rest of us repeat it. It’s a meditative practice – the effort is to hold your attention with the music’s progression and blend your voice together with the neighbours voice so that eventually all are singing as one. /…/
    The chant tonight is a lullaby, a lament, an attempt at gratitude, written in a raga (a tune) which is meant to suggest compassion and devotion. /…/ I’m trying to become a mirror of the voices of the lead singers, picking up their inflections like little strings of blue light. They pass the sacred words to me, I carry the words for a while and this is how we are able to sing miles and miles of time without tiring. All of us are swaying like kelp in the dark sea current at night. /…/
    I’m so tired, but I don’t drop my little blue string of song, and I drift into such a state that I think I might be calling God’s name, or maybe I’m only falling down the well shaft of this universe.”

    This quotation strongly resonates with me, because I sing Estonian runic songs (“regilaul” in Estonian) in a folk group. Of course the songs itself are totally different from Indian ones. But the way of singing is the same: lead singer and the choir. So the singing process in this quotation describes singing Estonian runic songs as well. I have felt the ancient power in these songs. Some of them can be more than a thousand years old! And yes, it makes You sway! I have sung both the lead and the choir and I like the thought that the phrases are like some precious treasure You get from others and give back to be hold carefully. And sometimes I feel the song sings me, not vice versa…

  37. Discussion project #3

    My favourite part were the India stories featuring Richard from Texas. He’s a total superstar of the book and I think Liz realised it herself introducing him: “Ladies and gentlemen, Richard from Texas!” I like him because he said things that were harsh (often not only for Liz, but also the rest of us), but so true! And he did it in a funny and witty way! I think everyone should have a friend like Richard.

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