I am finally getting around to reading this book, after what seems like a gazillion people recommending it to me, often people I barely know–my Pilates instructor, strangers at a bookstore. Last week I was in Prague at The Globe, an English bookstore, looking at the book once again and thinking this exact thing–what is it about a book that compels total strangers to recommend it to you?–when the woman at the counter saw me pick it up. “Oh, you HAVE to read that book! Have you?” she yelled from across the room. “And we also have the original cover, better than the Julia Roberts cover. Most people want that one… here it is.”
Julia Roberts is playing the author and main character in the new film based on the book, and I’m guessing it’s finally time to read it before the story goes totally Hollywood. I admit one of the main reasons I avoided it was because the content seemed goopy New Agey; personally, the idea of escaping to India in search of gurus and healing from life’s traumas seems so, oh, predictable. At the same time, I’m curious about the writing. Despite my huge list of to-read fiction accumulating on my bookshelves, the last few years I’ve found the most pleasure in memoirs and non-fiction writing.