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Big Magic Book Review

December 8, 2015

The Queen of Eat, Pray, Love is back - this time with great ideas on how to conquer fear and get creative!

I have to start out with a confession: I, my name, have never read Eat, Pray, Love. What? I know right. Everyone read it. 83% loved it. 14% hated it. But I think at the time I thought it was so over-hyped I wasn't gonna go anywhere near it. But somewhere along the way, I came across Gilbert's original TED talk, and I was impressed. This chick is smart. And funny. I've been meaning to go back and pick up her most-popular book, but for whatever reason, I just haven't. Sigh. So many books, so little time.

When I saw that Gilbert had a new book out, and that it was one about creativity and fear I knew I had to (HAD TO!) read it. It seems like I've really been studying this topic of doing things afraid here lately, so it was nice of such a popular author to write a book just for me. (She claims she wrote it for her...but I think we all know better.) A lot of these books fall flat because as a reader you can tell that the author is telling you more to "Practice what I say, not what I've done." With Gilbert, though, you know she's been there. She's been at that low point, wondering if anyone was every going to recognize her art. One time when she'd gotten one of many rejection letters, she talked herself out of quitting by saying something like, "No way [insert publishing company name here]. Just because you rejected me this time, that doesn't mean I'll quit. I'll keep writing. There are people who aren't even born yet that are going to reject me!" That was my favorite line because it was so encouraging.

In our culture, if you aren't immediately successful, people expect that you'll quit. But, a)It takes years to be an overnight success and b) Gilbert says the only person you let down when you quit is yourself. You need to change your expectations and your attitude and keep doing what your are supposed to be doing. That's how you win.

This is one of those books that I'm sad because it's over. I don't want to give it back to the library - I want to read it again - but 111 other people want to read it too. Sigh. Ok, I'll be a responsible library patron, and I hope that you all enjoy it as much as I did.

Gilbert made Salon@615 a stop on her latest book tour. I didn't get to go, but hopefully our tech team will get the podcast put together so that we all can see what we missed. That will give me something to look forward to.

Happy creating...

Amanda :)

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Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.