Bites with Books: Rome Edition

Reading while travelling is one of my favorite ways to relax and take a break from sightseeing.  Here is a visual diary of my quieter moments in Rome – usually with an espresso and/or pastry to go with it!

jitterbug perfume santa maria maggiore rome cafe
Rome October 2012: Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
the art of travel alain de botton
Rome June 2014: The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton (and lesson planning for kids ;])
spirit junkie rome cafe
Rome March 2015: Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein
committed elizabeth gilbert cafe
Rome January 2014: Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
the night circus cafe
Rome April 2013: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Here are some of my thoughts about the books pictured here:

Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins

What a wild ride this novel is.  I literally have difficulty describing it, so here’s Amazon’s summary of it: “Jitterbug Perfume is an epic.  Which is to say, it begins in the forests of ancient Bohemia and doesn’t conclude until nine o’clock tonight (Paris time).  It is a saga, as well. A saga must have a hero, and the hero of this one is a janitor with a missing bottle.  The bottle is blue, very, very old, and embossed with the image of a goat-horned god.  If the liquid in the bottle actually is the secret essence of the universe, as some folks seem to think, it had better be discovered soon because it is leaking and there is only a drop or two left.”  It totally transports you and makes you believe in magic.

The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton

I read this when I didn’t really have the money to travel for a few months, and it totally satiated my needs for a little while!  My copy is dog-eared and highlighted to death, with all of the great advice for truly soaking in your travels and the beautiful pictures painted with words from an obvious travel lover.  With tips on how exactly to enjoy the moment while travelling, what Alain’s book really boils down to is mindfulness, and it made a lasting impression on me.

Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein

Um, is it obvious how amazing I think this book is through my numerous Gabby QOTD‘s and references to her stuff? When I started yoga again in January 2015, I was inspired to find some cool chicks to follow within the spiritual world with whom I could really connect.  After listening to a few of Gabby’s talks on YouTube, I was hooked, so I bought her book.  Spirit Junkie was the first “self-growth” book that I’ve read cover to cover, and it was definitely due to the fact that Gabby is so damn relatable!  This is actually her second book, and in it, she tells her story of how she got to where she is in her life, while including corresponding meditations and journal-writing ideas to help you do positive inner work, too.  It deals with shifting perceptions and how to deal with relationships, among other things, all focused on the goal of you being “the happiest person you know!”

Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert

Ever since Eat Pray Love changed my life many years ago, I have been a huge Elizabeth Gilbert fan.  Committed is the book she wrote immediately afterwards, with the tagline, “a skeptic makes peace with marriage.”  After her shattering divorce (which we should all be familiar with…), she is very happy to never get married again: a feeling that is shared by her equally-divorce-scarred partner.  Unfortunately, their different nationalities obligate them to do so if they want to make a home together in America.  The first time I read this, I was in a bi-continental relationship with a Swiss, and I found Liz’s insights into that aspect very cathartic to read.  The second time I read it, I was actually getting married to an Italian, and wanted to re-visit the incredibly helpful insights into what marriage means to different cultures, which Liz gained through extensive research into the history of marriage, and through visiting with South-East-Asian communities during her and her partner’s “exile” while they awaited his marriage visa.   I recommend this to anyone who is in a multi-cultural relationship OR is planning to get married.  I still use quotes that I found in this book!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I’ve actually read this book twice!  When you need a bit of magic (um, always?!) and a mysterious, enchanting escape from real life, this is the book to read!  With a swoon-worthy romantic love story of doomed lovers tied into the magical circus setting… GAH! Seriously, just read it… and then be sure to tell me afterwards so we can have a gushfest! :]

Let me know what you think of these books, and, as always, I love suggestions for future books!

xx Katie

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