Book Recommendation: BIG MAGIC


“I happen to believe we are all walking repositories of buried treasure. I believe this is one of the oldest and most generous tricks the universe plays on us human beings, both for its own amusement and for ours: The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.” Elizabeth Gilbert, BIG MAGIC

Publisher Synopsis:

From the worldwide bestselling author of Eat Pray Love: the path to the vibrant, fulfilling life you’ve dreamed of.

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

My Recommendation: 

I have been a long-time fan of the writing of Elizabeth Gilbert, and only recently, have stumbled upon her joy-filled, wonder-full, awe-some Facebook and Instagram accounts. They are a well for anyone involved in creative pursuits; no, for all of us–for we are all creative and curious beings.

Gilbert’s joy is unabashed. She’s radical in her flagrant wielding of it. Her joy is the antidote to the abundance of trouble-making, politicizing, snarky, angry babel that infests social media. Gilbert addresses this joy in the opening pages of BIG MAGIC by quoting poet Jack Gilbert (no relation), so the reader knows what to expect from the onset:

“We must risk delight…We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world.”


I’ve lately seen a sharp uptick in the amount of posts on Facebook and Twitter addressing divisive issues. I’ve been tempted to respond to these posts, retweet them, create my own, but often this leads me to a darkness that just doesn’t fit…me.

Does the need to share controversy arise from ego? (Do a certain amount of likes give me satisfaction?) Does it arise from a fear that I’m not doing my part? (We must not be silent.) Or is it more sinister? (Zuckerberg is playing with my emotions using data and share-metrics, and I am falling right into his trap.) I don’t know what it is, but increasingly, I find myself turning off social media (or retreating into the happy pictures of Instagram) in search of time off from Facebook and Twitter philosophers and politicians. More so, I find myself going OUTSIDE which has done wonders for my emotional and physical well-being, but more on that in another post.

All of this may seem like a digression from the purpose of this post; it is not. Read BIG MAGIC.

Liz Gilbert is a light-bearer. She brings energy and wonder and curiosity and gratitude back into fashion. She reminds the reader of simple things we know, or more complicated things we might not have understood, but all of it translates into a manifesto for embracing the joy of life, taking yourself and your endeavors lightly, and boldly going forth in the world bearing light.

Skeptics might grow uncomfortable with Gilbert’s talk of faith, of ideas as entities floating around looking for ways to be made manifest, and the divine cooperation the universe seeks with us, but read it anyway. Read it because it will not hurt you or make you angry. It will not make you lose sleep worrying over the state of the world, or whether you should share that political post, or if anything is worth fighting for any more.

Some things must be taken seriously. Some things must be shared and protested and addressed, but all of that seems to take care of itself, in excess. Give yourself the gift of BIG MAGIC to take care of the other part that needs tending: the glorious side of humanity when it engages fearlessly in the wonder of creation.


5 thoughts on “Book Recommendation: BIG MAGIC

  1. What a gorgeous review, Erika. You bring up the current state of “trouble-making, politicizing, snarky, angry babel that infests social media”. (Yes!) I too, have retreated a bit, in an effort to give myself the space and quiet to create. Sometimes it gets to be too much. And spending time outdoors in nature is the perfect antidote. (Hoping for a camping trip this fall!)
    I’ve seen some glowing reviews of Gilbert’s new book, and some dismissive ones. But I trust your opinion. You like so many of the same books I do, and are the kind of writer you are, so I’m going to pick this one up. I need a good, inspirational book to read while writing this fall. (I’m also going to check out Gilbert’s FB and Instagram accounts. Thanks for mentioning those.)

  2. Melissa Crytzer Fry says:

    Great post, Erika. I’ve been eyeing this book, and you’ve nudged me (maybe this should be a holiday gift wish)! I absolutely abhor listening to the bickering during political elections, too. And you know I’m ALL about getting out in nature — the truest way I’ve found to ground myself and ignite creativity.

  3. erikarobuck says:

    Thank you, Melissa. And yes, your nature photos are an inspiration!

  4. This is definitely on my “buy and read with highlighter in hand” list! As I get older, the more I enjoy things that make my soul sing, my heart full, and my spirit light up. It sounds like this is just the book. Love that you loved it and are recommending it! xoxo

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