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EAT, PRAY, LOVE
By Elizabeth Gilbert
$15.00, Penguin Books
www.penguin.com

I must admit, I feel like I have arrived late for the party because EAT, PRAY, LOVE
has been at the top of the New York Times best seller list for over 25 weeks and I just got a chance to read it. But let me tell you, it was worth the wait.

When author Elizabeth Gilbert found herself on the losing end of what was supposed to be an idyllic marriage, she blamed herself for not wanting the “normal” life that such a union usually signifies. She had the successful career, the great guy who wanted to raise a family with her, a brand new home in the country as well as an apartment in Manhattan and yet, night after night she found herself weeping uncontrollably on her bathroom floor, praying for answers about her next move and getting none. After months of deliberation, she opted to leave the nest for parts unknown and a future that was just as mysterious. But when a head-over-heels collision with new love ultimately crashed, Ms. Gilbert garnered an advance from her publisher and embarked upon a year-long journey that would take her to Italy, India and Bali.

The result of her adventures is the vividly engrossing memoir that is EAT, PRAY, LOVE wherein the author packs us up and takes us along for the ride of her life. Ms. Gilbert’s story is at once familiar and refreshing, and while there are times she may appear to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown, her self-deprecating sense of humor serves to break her fall at every turn. Gilbert’s transformation from wife to divorcee follows a decidedly spiritual bend as she spends four months in each country seeking to heal herself and regain her emotional footing. With a cast of characters as interesting and diverse as the countries she visited, Elizabeth Gilbert is the perfect tour-guide to this adventuresome read that you’ll be hard pressed to put down.


THE GOSPEL SIDE OF ELVIS
By Joe Moscheo, Forward By Priscilla Presley
$19.99, Centerstreet
www.centerstreet.com

Hundreds upon hundreds of books have been written over the years about Elvis Presley but none have specifically dealt with his love of gospel music and the importance it held both in his career and personal life. In his new book THE GOSPEL SIDE OF ELVIS,
singer Joe Moscheo explores this rarely discussed aspect Elvis’ life.

From his earliest years growing up in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis was exposed to gospel music at church and in his every day life. His mother, whom he worshipped, loved this form of music and it seems that Elvis did as well; the three Grammys he was awarded during his lifetime were all for Gospel records. Despite the fact that the executives at RCA discouraged him from recording and releasing these records, preferring he stick to Rock and Roll, Elvis persisted and made them see the wisdom of his ways when “How Great Thou Art”, his first Grammy winning album, stayed at the top of the charts for 21 weeks.

On movie sets and after his concerts, “The King of Rock and Roll” loved nothing better than surrounding himself with fellow gospel musicians and singing until dawn. He found that the music of his roots gave him comfort and consolation, especially when his life or the burdens of his mega-success began to weigh on him. Preferring to concentrate on Elvis’ love and devotion to gospel music rather than the more sordid details of Presley’s personal life, Mr. Moscheo, who performed with Pressley in Las Vegas as one of “The Imperials” and remained a close personal friend until his death in 1977, writes of a humble man who was devoted to family, friends and his love of God. Unable to attend church regularly because of the disruption his presence caused, Elvis turned to gospel music as his way of worshipping and once wrote that his inability to attend church was one of his top ten dislikes.

Complete with a wonderful foreward by Priscilla Presley and filled with heartwarming stories and quotes from musicians who knew him well, THE GOSPEL SIDE OF ELVIS will give readers a behind-the-scenes look at the music that made the man and the people who influenced one of the greatest performers of all time.


CITY GIRL PHILOSOPHY

By Karn Knutson
$14.95, Conari Press
www.redwheelweiser.com

Do you have enough fun in your life? Are you feeling just a tad-bit short of fabulous? Really, it doesn’t matter if you answered yes or no to these questions because CITY GIRL PHILOSOPHY is a great guide to finding and/or keeping the spirit of fabulous fun in your everyday life.

Whether you live in the city or the country, author Karn Knutson takes you on a tour of how to have the best of everything, from clothes to boyfriends, in her hilarious and instructive new book. When it comes to fashion, Knutson regales us with many facts such as “Never wear beige. Ever.” and “Go shopping with good friends and good lighting. If you’re without one, you must definitely have the other.” Friendship is of huge import to the author who advises us that a true friend “can seamlessly rationalize a shared dessert into any meal” and whose “phone calls are accepted at any time, even in inconvenient places. Yes, flushing may be heard.”

With a tongue-in-cheek attitude, this colorful book is splashed throughout with Ms. Knutson’s wonderful artwork. Her pithy advice about party going, “Occasionally, exit a room for simply no other reason than to make another entrance.” and work, “Your brain is as brilliant as your style, so letting it be seen and sharpened is a must” will keep you turning the pages for her next well-hewn tidbit. On men and dating, the author advises us to shop for a boyfriend as carefully as we would for any fabulous accessory and to remember, “If a man can’t talk to your friends, his shelf life is shorter than sushi.”

In the end, being a “City Girl” comes down to your self-confidence, love of style and charisma and being fabulous in every area of your life no matter how much money you have. “A city girl lives lavishly within her means, but knows that money in the bank is oh-so-stylish, and big debts are as bad as big hair.” And being fabulous is not only about how we look, but it’s about being “lavish with ourselves and others” which is nothing short of brilliant.

PAMPER YOUR POOCH: Grooming Techniques, Spa Cuisine, plus Fitness and Style Ideas for the Chic Canine
By Sarah Whitehead
$16.95, THF Publications
www.thf.com

If you are a dog lover, you know how wonderful the unconditional love you get from your pet can be. And in her new book, PAMPER YOUR POOCH, author Sarah Whitehead will show you how to give back to the canine cutie in your life.

As a pet behavior counselor and Director of the Centre of Applied Pet Ethology, Ms. Whitehead has put together an amazing array of tips on grooming, exercise, feeding and spoiling your dog in ways that are both fun and healthy. Beginning with Chapter One, “A Dog’s Life” will give you an overview of what a dog really wants. Each breed has different exercise and playtime requirements and Whitehead runs us through this list in short order. Then it is on to the fun of “Doggy Dining” with recipes for healthy treats and meals, some of which look good enough for you to eat.

Grooming tips go beyond the ordinary boundaries of bathing and brushing to caring for Fido’s teeth and nails and there are even beauty treatments like a mint-scented facial and a Rosemary hot-oil bath for the well-groomed pup. “The Latest Cuts for the Modern Mutt” explores interesting new looks for your pet and fashion for dogs who never looked so good as they do in the beautiful color photos in “Accessories To Show You Care.” Rounding out this bountiful book are massage techniques for the achy or aging among our furry friends and a section on holistic remedies will introduce you to new therapies for your dog you might not have considered before.

Well rounded, easy to read and fun for the whole family, PAMPER YOUR POOCH is a filled with great tips that won’t break the bank and are certain to make the life of your dog a more enjoyable one.

 

 

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 75 - September 5823
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