The dog that made me weep..

Book Name : Marley & Me : Love & Life with the world’s worst dog
Author: John Grogan
Genre :Memoirs
Publisher : Harper collins
My rating : 4/5

I am a self-confessed “No-Pets” person.I didn’t grow up around dogs to appreciate their loyalty or cuteness. All i knew was that they slobbered,chewed on shoes and pooped at will.So,when other dog-lovers regaled me with tales of their dogs,i forced myself to examine my chipped-off nail polish.. Marley has significantly changed the way i look at dogs,now…Marley also has heralded another first for me .. more on that in a while ..

To say that i loved John Grogan’s Marley & Me : Love & Life with the world’s worst dog would be an understatement..I loved it to bits..The travails of an ordinary American family with a madcap-Labrador is too adorable to even start explaining..And,John Grogan’s narrative weaves magic..Unexpectedly,i found myself rooting for Marley.

When Marley misbehaved,i felt indignation and wanted to spank the dog,when he bungled along the corridors of “domestic training”,i wanted to hug him and say that it was okay.. that’s how involved the book gets you..The book describes 13 years in the life of a lab against the backdrop of Florida and later Pennsylvania.Grogan describes the neighborhoods so well,that the words paint vivid pictures in your mind’s eye.Incidentally,it is his memoir too …Also,one cannot miss how the dog fits into the Lives of the Gorgans and how Marley is there by the side of his master through thick and thin.Through Grogan’s wife’s miscarriage,birth of babies,change in career et all ..

And eventually,when Marley is put down,i felt miserable.As miserable as i would have felt if Marley was my own. His antics,disobedience and loyalty at once leave you teary eyed..A beautiful book !!

Incidentally,this was my first audio e-book( edit: e-book read with microsoft e-reader..thanx Shona !!).. I was skeptical when i began the book and struggled with the pace of the first few chapters..As i part-heard and part-read the book,i settled into a groove which surprisingly was more comfortable than reading a normal paperback.Though,i must confess that it took me longer than usual to finish the 300 odd pages,i had the luxury of just relying on the audio when my eyes tired.

Lovely book and what an experience !! I haven’t watched the movie adaptation and cant wait to catch it..

Thanks Veens,for sharing this`with me!!!

Liz rocks,and how !

Book name : Eat, Pray Love- One woman’s Search for everything across Italy,India & Indonesia.
Author : Elizabeth Gilbert
Genre : Spiritual memoirs
Publisher:Bloomsbury
Price:Rs.350
My rating : 4/5

The book is sensual,spiritual,funny and serious all at the same time.This is probably the first spiritual memoirs i have read and i am not disappointed.Eat Pray Love chronicles Liz’s journey to sanity after a very traumatic divorce.Liz takes a year off her “life” and decides to EAT,PRAY and LOVE. the book is divided into 109 chapters ,symbolically representing the Japa mala which has 108 beads.The 109th bead is for thanking the teachers.These 109 chapters are further divided into 36 chapters each devoted to the pursuit of Eating,praying and Loving.

Liz gallivants across Italy with the sole purpose of eating beautiful food.This part of the memoirs is very light and Liz’s wit sparkles in the pages..Liz describes beautiful food and her hunger for gelatos.Funnily,the book reminded of the book Conversations with God.But,this part of Eat Pray Love is definitely more engaging and almost chick-lit-ish!.

The second part of the book was a little dense.The part in India,where she goes to pray.The humour that sparkled in the first half almost dries up,replaced by a serious narrative that describes Liz’s struggles with taming her mind.She stays in an Ashram (edit: in the outskirts of ) Mumbai,scrubs floors,meditates,battles fears and demons and emerges cleansed.This is a boon for people like me who have 10 books about alternative religions with them,yet don’t have the urge to read any of them as they are dense and tiring.Liz does compare notes about various religious ideologies.She seems so learned and spiritual at this point.

The final 36 chapters of the book deal with Liz’s journey to Indonesia to find a balance between her spiritual-seeking and pleasure seeking nature.Yeah,that’s where she meets the love of her life after almost one and a half years of celibacy.This part again is fun and full of interesting tit-bits on Bali’s Socio-cultural aspects. Very engaging read.

All in all,a beautiful book.Hugely popular.Some critics have panned it saying that it has a very Chick-lit-ish approach to spiritualism.My take is that this is what makes the book what it is.. Funny ,poignant and yet serious.You can’t help but like Liz and her motley group of friends at the end of the book.Wonderful book that lets us have a peak inside a troubled mind going to divorce.At the end of the designated year of eating,praying and Loving,Liz is rid of her negative thoughts and feelings about divorce. She doesn’t however say that these will be kept at bay for ever as spiritual good health is something that has to be constantly strived for.If not given timely overhauls,the weeds will grow right back and draw you back to the negative circle.

I loved it.A book i would want to gift my best girlfriends(in the words of Julia Roberts!!).. A higly recommended read.