Jessa Crispin defends Elizabeth Gilbert:

Committed is kind of boring and just rehashes a lot of Stephanie Coontz's vastly superior Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage. It's value lies in that it's about how we get married despite all the bad news, and how, if we go into it really knowing what we're up against, we can create new types of marriages. Marriages where one partner is not unconsciously lifted at the expense of the other.

Like a lot of people who care about books and writing and sentence structure, I was initially horrified at the success at Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Then I realized what it meant: 80 million people read a book about the removal of femininity from the Catholic Church, about how Jesus liked women and prostitutes and screw-ups and freaks, about how the Bible was edited by men in power, about how Jesus' divinity was not universally accepted. They read the book, and now it's in their brains, like a vaccination against patriarchal monotheism, even if they don't do anything with the information. Even if the people who read Elizabeth Gilbert's books now only toss them away and grumble ''How dare she?,'' Gilbert's sincerity about figuring out a new way to be in the world are now out there.

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