February ’14 Book Club: The Signature of All Things

2/19/14 update: My real-life book club met this week to discuss The Signature Of All Things, and we all agreed we are loving it, but (most) of us have not yet finished. We decided to give ourselves another month to finish, so dive in because you’ve got the entire month of March to discover the wonderful world and adventures of Alma Whittaker. Happy reading ox Heather


How did you enjoy January’s book, Me Before you? My reactions are over here; scroll down to the comments to view and please post your own, too. I had to miss my ‘real life’ book club meeting to discuss Me Before You with my friends, so I can’t comment as to their reactions, but it did seem that everyone enjoyed reading it, so Me Before You is a definite must-read! 

February ’14 Book Club Pick: The Signature of All Things: A Novel by Elizabeth Gilbert 

This month’s book was picked by Kim, who always puts a tremendous amount of thought into her choice of book for our club, so I have high hopes. It is by Elizabeth Gilbert; of Eat, Pray, Love fame. 

Book Description (excerpt from Amazon): 

Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globe—from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad. But most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, who—born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution—bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas.

Author Background:


Elizabeth Gilbert was born in 1969 Waterbury, CT (just a few miles from my own hometown), studied Journalism at NYU, and began writing steadily since then. Her work includes seven books of both fiction and non-fiction, and was winning awards even before the incredible success of Eat, Pray, Love in 2006. She lives in New Jersey with her husband — also known as the Brazilian guy from referenced in Eat, Pray, Love.


  • The author’s official website is here and includes a free download of the first chapter.
  • Connect with Elizabeth on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
  • Did you know the article Liz wrote for GQ Magazine about bartending on the Lower East Side of Manhattan eventually became the basis for the movie COYOTE UGLY?
  • Liz & her husband Jose own a shop full of imported treasures from around the globe. Check it out.
  • A book review of The Signature of All Things by Barbara Kingsolver for The New York Times.
  • Elizabeth discusses The Signature of All Things:


  • Elizabeth gave a charming, smart, and inciteful TED talk about the nature of out inner creative that is one of my all-time favorites as a writer:

Dive in and post your reaction this month by leaving a comment below. Subscribe in the comments section below if you want to keep up with the discussion. Your comments are the best part of The Big Girl Book Club.  Purchasing your copy of The Signature of All Things through this link helps support this blog. Thank-you for your support!

Author photo courtesy of ElizabethGilbert.com  


  1. Hey book-Clubbers, and update for you. My real-life book club met just a few days ago and we agreed that we are loving The Signature of All Things, but (most) of us need some more time to finish this tome. So, please dive in because you’ve got all of March to discover the wonderful world and adventures of Alma Whittaker. Please leave a comment if you’d like to start some discussion.

    For me? I cannot for the life of me figure out adopted sister Prudence! She really annoys, me in fact, but I’m not sure why. I suspect Liz Gilbert is purposefully withholding the ‘whys’ of Prudence’s actions. I’m still in part III, though, there is a lot more to come. Oh, and I love Beatrix because I love a good curmudgeon. Happy Reading ox Heather


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