Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Elizabeth Gilbert. Riverhead, $24.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-59463-471-0
Gilbert (The Signature of All Things) offers an empathetic and inspiring guide to mustering the courage to live a creative life. That doesn’t necessarily mean a career in the arts, she’s quick to point out (“If you’re alive, you’re a creative person,” she states); instead, she proposes a life fueled by curiosity rather than fear. Gilbert, more than most, can understand how a big success can make one feel as if the follow-up must not disappoint, writing that “I can’t tell you how many people said to me during those years [of Eat Pray Love’s bestseller status], ‘How are you ever going to top that?’ ” She notes that this kind of pressure can be an instant creativity killer and encourages readers to let go of perfectionism and embrace being good enough. This mind-set, in her experience, leads to the willingness to take chances, live life to the fullest, and act on risky ideas. Gilbert divides her book into six sections, each devoted to a quality she believes necessary for living without fear: courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust, and divinity. In each section, Gilbert peppers sound advice with personal triumphs and failures. Nearly anyone who picks up this self-help manual should finish it feeling inspired, even if only to dream of a life without limits. Agent: Sarah Chalfant, Wylie Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/15/2015
Release date: 09/22/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-61176-468-0
Hardcover - 978-1-4104-8315-7
Paperback - 304 pages
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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