"Eat Pray Love," due to open in theatres on Aug. 13, will make the perfect summer movie. I mean, come August, is there anyone – male or female – who doesn't want to live vicariously as Julie Roberts gorges on gelato, bicycles through exotic sunlit landscapes, and ultimately proves the universe to be a remarkably benevolent habitat?
But let's not forget that the movie comes from the bestselling book "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert – and her story of a woman visiting farflung points of the globe on a voyage of self-discovery is lovely but hardly unique. If you come out of your multiplex with a hunger for more such stories, you might start by looking up some of the titles on this list put together by The Globe Corner Bookstores of Cambridge, Mass:.
1. "Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations" by Georgina Howell
2. "Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark" by Jane Fletcher Geniesse
3."Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman's Skiff" by Rosemary Mahoney
4. "The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh: A Woman in World History" by Linda Colley
5. "Out of Africa" and "Shadows on the Grass" by Isak Dinesen
6. "The Best Women's Travel Writing 2010," edited by Stephanie Elizondo Griest
It's a fine list but this genre is so rich that I can't resist adding four more:
7. "West with the Night" by Beryl Markham
8. "Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle" by Dervia Murphy
9. "Tracks: A Women's Solo Trek Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback" by Robyn Davidson
10. "Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil" by Deborah Rodriquez and Kristin Ohlson
What about you? What's your favorite pre- or post-"Eat Pray Love" read?
Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.