I think I read this at a particularly appropriate point in my life (embarking on a trip to Europe) so I think I enjoyed this a bit more than I might h...moreI think I read this at a particularly appropriate point in my life (embarking on a trip to Europe) so I think I enjoyed this a bit more than I might have had I been in a different situation.
That being said, Gilbert is a good story-teller. She's relatable and humorous. And not unlike a friend you meet up for coffee, Gilbert is interesting but also whiny and self-indulgent--but hey, what do you expect?
I got the juicy gossip, the love story, the self-pity, the "enlightening" journey, the self-consciousness, etc...and that's all I really wanted. No big literary expectations here.
basically: This book was not earth-shattering. There were some chuckles here and there. Some things I didn't particularly agree with (and you probably won't either)
Admittedly, I'm most annoyed at the whole "Eat,Pray, Love" tour that yuppie women all over are embarking on --their version of a middle aged man's crisis of buying a new sports car. But yet, I don't want to judge too much because everyone's journey to relative happiness and peace is different. Really, it's their prerogative. So let's stop being such haters and let this woman be a whiny, narcissist---we all are at some point.
The blunt tone of this book was a little surprising in an society obsessed with political correctness. I guess if I wasn't a C...moreShort read, really cute.
The blunt tone of this book was a little surprising in an society obsessed with political correctness. I guess if I wasn't a Christian, this might have annoyed me. But....I am. So, it didn't. It just simply stated what I've been taught in a Christian household. (less)
Maybe I misunderstood the first few chapters or perhaps I had such a romanticized view of Sartre and Beauvoir but this book was disappointing. Not in...moreMaybe I misunderstood the first few chapters or perhaps I had such a romanticized view of Sartre and Beauvoir but this book was disappointing. Not in the literary sense (although I've read books that were a bit clearer in their writing) but both Beauvoir and Sartre seem like two unstable, self-indulgent, privileged brats.
More obsessed with achieving fame and philosophical recognition, Sartre seemed like...well...a jerk. Isn't the point of creating an original idea or developing a theory more the theory in itself rather than the fame and acclaim that usually follows? Sarte seemed desperate to prove himself (almost to the point of neurotic self-denial) and Beauvoir seemed more obsessed with creating her own melodrama than developing a theory and establishing herself as an innovative thinker and distinguished novelist.
In the beginning of this book, Beauvoir just seems intellectually lazy (but inherently gifted with the talent for philosophical insight) and even, in a way, ambivalent, about her goals as novelist and philosopher.
So, basically, this books attempts to dispel much of what is believed in the "Sartre-Beauvoir Legend", namely that:
The innovative ideas originated from Sartre. Beauvoir was his "sidekick" who basically had to deal with Sartre's promiscuity and also just repeated his ideas.
Focusing on Sartre's "War Diaries" and "Being and Nothingness" and Beauvoir's "She Came to Stay", this book claims that Sartre more or less stole ideas from Beauvoir (partly because he was seeking revenge because she violated the "essential relationship" clause and out of desperation for notoriety) and Beauvoir...just kind of let it all happen. She even went to great pains to make it seem that it originated from Sartre and to avoid being named a "philosopher"(hiding letters, lying to her biographer, lying in interviews, changing publication dates, etc)
The Fullbrooks give their reasons as to why Beauvoir would let this happen---women were not allowed to be "creators" and she was not interested in fame...but why then all this big "feminist" talk? Was Beauvoir only seeking sexual equality, then? If she didn't want fame, why publish books---why even write a biography?
Incriminating evidence seems to support the Fullbrooks' claim that, in fact, Beauvoir was the master mind behind the brilliant French branch of Existentialism. But what was the point of all the lying, then?
Yes, it does repeat some of the classics ("eat healthy, "exercise", "don't drink or smoke", etc...) but it just expands so much on...moreWhat a great book!
Yes, it does repeat some of the classics ("eat healthy, "exercise", "don't drink or smoke", etc...) but it just expands so much on the reasons why that it would be almost impossible to ignore and keep on with your unhealthy habits. Bombarded with so much scientific support and research, I'm antsy to start my new "healthy life" plan. I've been trying to be more consistent with my healthy habits as well as cultivating awareness of my thoughts, eating habits, and other behavior and this book just solidified the idea that I really need to address these issues.
Really simple to understand yet strong in its neuroscience foundation, I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in their health and the health of others. (less)
My good friend Rhanna let me borrow this book, explaining that it was about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's pre-murderous stage (middle and high school...moreMy good friend Rhanna let me borrow this book, explaining that it was about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's pre-murderous stage (middle and high school) as written from the viewpoint of one of his acquaintances during that time period. At first I thought it was a work of fiction but then I realized that it was actually based on true events. Rhanna mentioned how this book actually makes you feel a little sorry for Dahmer (in my mind I was like, how can you feel sorry for a serial killer?!) but it actually does. Not unlike the infamous fictional serial killer Mike Myers, Dahmer seemed to be a sad young man leading a lonely and tormented life in the midst of many unsuspecting friends and family members. It was almost like he was drowning in a sea of torturous thoughts and agony while life just zoomed by him... quite sad, really. I can tell Derf feels a mixture of regret and sadness when he thinks of Dahmer and the possibility of a different outcome. I would admit to similar feelings-- one can't deny the absolute monstrosity of his actions yet Dahmer, at least adolescent and misunderstood Dahmer, is a character one can't help but feel sorry for.(less)
Apparently relationships and love seem to permeate many aspects of my life (and my friends' lives)...I find that when we get together, we end up talki...moreApparently relationships and love seem to permeate many aspects of my life (and my friends' lives)...I find that when we get together, we end up talking about this subject inevitably. But as much as we talk about it, we always just circle around the same ideas--many of which have become cliche. That being said, a lot of what this book says sounds a little cliche and pretty sappy but if you allow yourself to open your mind to them, they're actually really powerful. I am currently searching for myself spiritually, seeking to nurture this side of myself with kindness and love. This book has helped a lot on this journey. She reminds us of the Natural Law ("Whatever you put out, you receive back threefold. In choosing lovingkindess, you set yourself up to receive it. It is an endless circle of win/win energy")
One of the most beautiful and poignant ideas are those of our sacredness, not matter what religion you are or what your spiritual inclinations are, these thoughts are amazing: "You are sacred. Your body is sacred. Your heart is sacred. Your mind is sacred. What does sacred mean? It means blessed, revered, protected, connected with the Divine. It means that you are made of the Divine. Of stardust, of purity, and of passion. In your relationships with yourself, this shows up in your unconditional acceptance and love for your true, authentic self"
"This is premise one of spiritual dating: You are sacred. Premise two is: your dates are sacred, also.. Their bodies, minds, hearts, and souls are so very sacred. Do they recognize their sacredness? To be conscious daters, they need to. If your date recognizes his sacredness and has plenty of self-respect, there is good potential that he can see your sacredness, too. Seeing other people's sacredness is a natural follow-up to seeing your own. Then, and only then, can the two of you consciously date. That is the essence of spiritual dating."
She talks about consciousness, mindfulness, and kindness: "Conscious people usually have an outlook that is positive overall. Stressful instances sometimes provoke negative responses; we are still human after all. But an overarching respect and regard for life, family and friends, plants and animals is a good indicator of a conscious person."
"Valuing your opinion. Behaving in a considerate manner toward you. Respecting your time, attention, and energy. You can feel he values and respects you and see his kind, respectful behavior toward everyone from waitstaff that serve you dinner to people in line for a movie with you. Respect is a precursor for seeing sacredness. So if you are on a date with a respectful man who behaves with kindness and compassion, then you can look for his sacredness-vision, his ability to see sacredness."
People committed to their own spiritual journey are especially great for the soul! She reminded me of the importance of this. If they are into their own personal growth and are trying to increase their emotional maturity, then this is a great sign!
Other favorites: "Have faith and be in love with yourself. Make space in your life for real love. Time will bring you the real thing when you least expect it. Ready your being and get your emotional and mental house in order because you are wonderful!"
"Brainstorm all the ways you would like a partner to treat you: flowers, bubble baths, supportive words, nature walks, whatever makes you feel loved and treasured. Now start doing all these things for yourself."
"Currents of energy or vital life force flow all around us all the time. When we talk to someone, we exchange energy. When we share time with someone, we exchange energy proportionate to how much we bond and how open we are. One dates, we are constantly exchanging energy. How much and whether it is enhancing or detrimental can vary. Energy exchange is the essence of our interaction with people, animals, and plants. Thank of how some people life you up and enliven your life with their presence. These people enhance yoru life. On the other hand, some people make you feel drained, tired, or slightly out of sorts after you spend time with them. These are people to be aware of; modulate the amount of time you spend with them. If you are considering dating someone who makes you feel this way, think twice. Is it in your best interest to spend lots of time with someone who drains you? Especially potentially intimate time?"
"Lovingkindness is a way of being that focuses on loving acceptance of yourself and others. With such a positive focus, you can't help but attract positive people and situations. Staying the course and committing to lovingkindness, especially toward yourself, will help you draw forth your spiritual soul mate. Because you dwell in the space and vibration of lovingkindness, your eventual mate will, too"
"The universe is designed to be a positive place. Having a positive outlook and believing in goodness helps you do two things: attract your life partner and feel patient and happy in your life before and after he comes into your life. Believing in goodness pervades your life. If you feel it and expect it, it will show up in all areas of your life: romantic, career, home, social, everywhere. Put your focus on the positive.Talk about it. Make a commitment to speak positively 90 percent of the time. Focus on the good stuff. Make a mental commitment to exert discipline on yourself, not only stopping yourself from making negative comments but even from thinking negatively."
"We need to prepare ourselves, do our emotional and spiritual work to get ready, and know that the amount of work we do is directly proportional to the quality of guy we will end up with. Don't skimp on emotional and spiritual growth. It is an investment in your future happiness."
"Open your hear. Every day. Open your heart. Surround the earth with your love. Live with the beautiful, authentic truth inside your heart. Radiate it outward and fill yourself with it. Believe in love and yourself. Believe in how incredible you are and believe that life will bring you an incredible true love to share your life together at just the right time in just the right way. Accept the goodness and love that life has to offer you. Every moment is a gift from life to you. View your world with positive, rose-colored, love-filled glasses. See the loving child hugging her puppy on the street and let that love in. Let the loving child inside you reawaken and feel the freedom of your existence. You are worthy of happiness, health, love, light, and all the goodness in the world."(less)
In "God is Real", Patel discusses the convergences between two seemingly disparate traditions: the Yogi literature of the East and Biblical texts of t...moreIn "God is Real", Patel discusses the convergences between two seemingly disparate traditions: the Yogi literature of the East and Biblical texts of the West. He explains how both seem to address actual scientifically proven events such as deep-sea volcanoes, hydrothermal vents, the Permian-Triassic extincton, the Big Bang, and the eventual destruction of our planet by the Sun's ever-expanding size. He claims that these scientific events came to be proven after years of thorough research and modern equipment but that the Yogis and Israelites somehow already these facts, long before sophisticated science. Patel posits that these convergences are a sign of spiritual enlightenment and divine inspiration. Somehow, these ancient peoples had actually experienced powerful spiritual clarity and perhaps even contact with God.
Many of his explanations are lengthy and admittedly I often skipped ahead at times. His arguments for how these people knew these scientific facts were more romantic than logical, at times. Many times, it was redundant. I can definitely see his point, though, and how one could conclude that the reason behind their relatively accurate descriptions of the earth were due to divine inspiration.
Picked this book up randomly while perusing through B&N. It seemed appropriate since I have recently been on a "spiritual" stint, if you will. The...morePicked this book up randomly while perusing through B&N. It seemed appropriate since I have recently been on a "spiritual" stint, if you will. The books I've been reading have been mostly about Buddhism and meditation but being that I've been raised Christian, I wanted to see what this book had to say about the questions I've been struggling with for pretty much my entire life.
Basically, I thought the message would be different (the name is "Erasing Hell" so I thought it had a positive kind of tone to it) but as I read on, I realized it gave me the answers I've been given constantly which are: hell is a real place where everlasting torture will be inflicted upon non-believers. Not quite the message I wanted to hear but I guess truth hurts, rights? I liked that Chan seemed to struggle with this truth too. I appreciated his caution and his reluctance to delve into parts of the Bible that would make God "look bad" because I, if I were a pastor, wouldn't want to discuss this. Yet he was unapologetic and adamant about the fact that we, as creations of the Creator, have no real right to question God because he is infinitely more intelligent and supreme than we are.
My ego had trouble hearing that ("WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE NO RIGHT TO QUESTION?!) because it was reminiscent of the whole "I'm the parent, you're the child so don't talk back or question me" thing of my childhood but I guess there comes a time when I guess humility and acceptance is the best way to go. Ultimately, I got put in my place and, with a resigned sigh, I accepted that there's just some things that will always go unanswered. (less)
What an appropriate book at this point in my life. After many failed romances and at the tender age of 22, I was starting to become a little cynical....moreWhat an appropriate book at this point in my life. After many failed romances and at the tender age of 22, I was starting to become a little cynical. This book redirected me to a healthier and more loving place--a place where I learn to love and respect myself before getting involved with anyone else. Yes, the urge to feel loved and have romance in my life is still there but now I look at it with different eyes--now I ask myself, what is this loneliness signaling? Am I loving and nurturing myself fully right now? I am learning, albeit slowly, how to soothe my own anxieties and tenderly love myself without resorting to dating. It's a tough journey, especially for someone admittedly has a "dating addiction" but this book has surely helped a lot.
Kasl, an incredibly fascinating woman, begins with a little background on Buddhism and reminding the reader of the 4 noble truths: suffering is inherent to life, we create our suffering through attachments and demands that things be different than they are, we can ease our suffering by ceasing our endless demands and accepting the what is of life, and the last truth which is: through complete acceptance of the what is in life and recognizing the superficial desires we harbor, we learn to live in peace and love. With this in mind, we can contemplate on how we push our agendas on the world and, subsequently, other people (including and especially our love interests) Admittedly, I struggle with this constantly (and it was very apparent in my most recent relationships) so it definitely hit home and called for some self-reflection.
In addition, Kasl discusses how anxiety is inherent in most relationships because they resurrect the feelings of attachment we had with our mother or primary caregiver. We were once completely merged with our mother and, unconsciously, we still desire that feeling of complete and utter connection. We want someone to take care of us, soothe us, comfort us. But we are adults now. Therein lies the problem. She reminds us that this trap is easy to fall into, especially when first starting a relationship. Kasl is adamant about this fact--that we need to be happy with ourselves and be okay with letting a relationship end, if it does. Our ego tricks us into getting into a state of panic at the possibility of loss but if we relax and realize that this is just a moment in life and that people will always come and go (and that we will continue to live) we will be happier and appreciative of the learning experiences that come with each relationship.
Throughout the book, Kasl always mentions how the most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves and how if we learn to fully love and accept every aspect of ourselves, we will be tremendously happy, in or out of a relationship :)
Machu my Picchu is a fast fluffy read, no confusing or complex plotline. Just a young woman traveling and dealing with her neuroses. Iris is humorous...moreMachu my Picchu is a fast fluffy read, no confusing or complex plotline. Just a young woman traveling and dealing with her neuroses. Iris is humorous though and she makes really funny observations throughout the book. I liked how open she is about all her issues. At the end of the story, she seems to realize that she needs to work on them before she can ever really be happy.(less)
Neat book. I learned many things that have now slipped my mind but I remember this cool little disorder: Akinetopsia. It is an extremely rare neuropsy...moreNeat book. I learned many things that have now slipped my mind but I remember this cool little disorder: Akinetopsia. It is an extremely rare neuropsychological disorder in which the person cannot perceive motion. It is usually due to some type of brain trauma. With this disorder, people can see someone but cannot see them move to the other side of the room, making it seem as if everyone around you can teleport. It sounds awesome but it's actually pretty dangerous. So yeah, that's what I remember from this book. Quick read. (less)
A slightly embarrasing book to buy at the bookstore (which is why I got it on my kindle, woot) but definitely worth it. It was cheesy, admittedly, but...moreA slightly embarrasing book to buy at the bookstore (which is why I got it on my kindle, woot) but definitely worth it. It was cheesy, admittedly, but after a while, I actually kind of liked being referred to as a "Super Fox" ...it was funny, insightful, and filled with stories of break-ups worse than my own. It was also brutally honest where my friends and family aren't because they don't want to hurt me with the truth. Honestly, it was the first thing I picked up in the mornings (when I would usually grab my cellphone and call him) and the last thing I picked up at night (when again I would usually give him a call) Although I can't say I am 100% better, I am definitely a lot more hopeful about the future after reading this book. I say to all the broken-hearted: go get this book. At the very least, it will provide a distraction.(less)