cover image Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Elizabeth Gilbert, read by the author. Penguin Audio, , 4 CDs, 5 hrs., $32 ISBN 978-1-61176-468-0

Like her previous memoirs, Eat, Pray, Love and Committed, Gilbert reads for the audio edition of her latest, which explores her creativity and life as a writer. Gilbert sounds appropriately playful, making the most of the book’s many humorous moments, but she’s also capable of serious turns, such as when she describes some artists’ tortured and self-destructive methods of creation. Her performance mirrors the advice she gives in the book itself that an artist should be a “disciplined half-ass”: determined to show up every day and make the most of whatever gifts are on offer from the universe, but lighthearted enough to avoid attaching one’s self-esteem to the reception of one’s work. Overall, Gilbert’s performance feels like an intimate tête-à-tête with a wise friend. A Riverhead hardcover. (Nov.)