Hot Best Seller

Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

Availability: Ready to download

From the New York Times bestselling author of Hallelujah Anyway and Help, Thanks, Wow, a spiritual antidote to anxiety and despair in increasingly fraught times. As Anne Lamott knows, the world is a dangerous place. Terrorism and war have become the new normal. Environmental devastation looms even closer. And there are personal demands on her faith as well: getting older; h From the New York Times bestselling author of Hallelujah Anyway and Help, Thanks, Wow, a spiritual antidote to anxiety and despair in increasingly fraught times. As Anne Lamott knows, the world is a dangerous place. Terrorism and war have become the new normal. Environmental devastation looms even closer. And there are personal demands on her faith as well: getting older; her mother's Alzheimer's; her son's adolescence; and the passing of friends and time. Fortunately for those of us who are anxious about the state of the world, whose parents are also aging and dying, whose children are growing harder to recognize as they become teenagers, Plan B offers hope that we’re not alone in the midst of despair. It shares with us Lamott's ability to comfort and to make us laugh despite the grim realities. Anne Lamott is one of our most beloved writers, and Plan B is a book more necessary now than ever. It is further evidence that, as The New Yorker has written, "Anne Lamott is a cause for celebration."

Get        Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith  Now!

Compare

From the New York Times bestselling author of Hallelujah Anyway and Help, Thanks, Wow, a spiritual antidote to anxiety and despair in increasingly fraught times. As Anne Lamott knows, the world is a dangerous place. Terrorism and war have become the new normal. Environmental devastation looms even closer. And there are personal demands on her faith as well: getting older; h From the New York Times bestselling author of Hallelujah Anyway and Help, Thanks, Wow, a spiritual antidote to anxiety and despair in increasingly fraught times. As Anne Lamott knows, the world is a dangerous place. Terrorism and war have become the new normal. Environmental devastation looms even closer. And there are personal demands on her faith as well: getting older; her mother's Alzheimer's; her son's adolescence; and the passing of friends and time. Fortunately for those of us who are anxious about the state of the world, whose parents are also aging and dying, whose children are growing harder to recognize as they become teenagers, Plan B offers hope that we’re not alone in the midst of despair. It shares with us Lamott's ability to comfort and to make us laugh despite the grim realities. Anne Lamott is one of our most beloved writers, and Plan B is a book more necessary now than ever. It is further evidence that, as The New Yorker has written, "Anne Lamott is a cause for celebration."

30 review for Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    On re-reading this, I am finding much more to like. She's definitely the kind of girl who wouldn't go to the bathroom with a toothpick at a barbecue, and I like that...the oh fucks, the shitty days, the raw admittance of real struggles, past and present. Like teeth grinding while quitting cocaine and bad boyfriends all the way to grief over losing a pet but also wanting to gather a small pile of stones just in case you need to resort to the Old Testament stoning method for a moody, rebellious t On re-reading this, I am finding much more to like. She's definitely the kind of girl who wouldn't go to the bathroom with a toothpick at a barbecue, and I like that...the oh fucks, the shitty days, the raw admittance of real struggles, past and present. Like teeth grinding while quitting cocaine and bad boyfriends all the way to grief over losing a pet but also wanting to gather a small pile of stones just in case you need to resort to the Old Testament stoning method for a moody, rebellious teenager. There are authors who I would really love to listen to but hate to meet over dinner. Anne Lamott is one of these writers. She is too much like me, I'm afraid. There would be firestarting, fireworks, loud arguments. But her prose is near and present for me, making me feel better about my struggles about a lack of faith or the problematic practice of it. And I will read this book again for a third time. Maybe by that time I'll have gathered a small pile of stones designated for throwing at a rebellious and ass-y teen. If so, I know just how to handle things.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    I love Anne LaMott. In fact, on my trip to northern California next weekend to the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer's Assoc. I am bugging out on Sunday to drive a rental car to Marin County to attend her church and just MAKE her be my friend and read my book. Our lives run parallel, only I realized it before she did as she got off her duff sooner than did I. We are both single moms. We both share recovery from addiction. We both have memorable hair, hers in dreadlocks, mine sticking straight up from m I love Anne LaMott. In fact, on my trip to northern California next weekend to the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer's Assoc. I am bugging out on Sunday to drive a rental car to Marin County to attend her church and just MAKE her be my friend and read my book. Our lives run parallel, only I realized it before she did as she got off her duff sooner than did I. We are both single moms. We both share recovery from addiction. We both have memorable hair, hers in dreadlocks, mine sticking straight up from my moussed and perhaps pointed head. She comments in the book that her son is entering adolescence as she enters menopause, often walking into the shower while wearing her glasses. I have done this so often and then just shrug, well, "at least I'll clean my glasses too." Anne laments (sorry for the weakened watered down pun, just coming from the shower) that this is why people should have children while they are young, so that at least some of the time there is one sane person in the house. My Olivia is turning 11 in less than a month. She wants me to see each and every change she thinks her still-childlike body is making; which is way more information than I need or want at this juncture, and I would have taken 2 million dollars rather than show my changing body to my mother, of all the people on the planet. Which may qualify me to editorialize on LaMott's writing, as she has still not forgiven her mother's ashes some years after her death.... or may equivocally disqualify me. See? She has to take a walk with me along the rugged beach she loves and describes so well. Judith Ann Hillard author of: The Other Woman at the Well amazon.com judithannhillard.com addictionsovercome.com

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melinda

    I read this book on a binge. Started it and couldn't put it down, the reading equivalent of a bag of chocolate chip cookies in front of the T.V. I've read her other books and still think Bird by Bird is the best book on writing I've ever read, but this one kinda snuck up on me. At first, I thought it was just going to be some funny bits, some thoughts on spirituality, and some ranting about Bush. Then, when Lamott suggests that she'll finally be able to forgive W. when they're sitting side by si I read this book on a binge. Started it and couldn't put it down, the reading equivalent of a bag of chocolate chip cookies in front of the T.V. I've read her other books and still think Bird by Bird is the best book on writing I've ever read, but this one kinda snuck up on me. At first, I thought it was just going to be some funny bits, some thoughts on spirituality, and some ranting about Bush. Then, when Lamott suggests that she'll finally be able to forgive W. when they're sitting side by side at the table in heaven, my spirit perked up. Lamott writes about being a Christian and loving Jesus in a seriously funny way. I especially liked the chapter on the changes her fifth decade has brought (more self kindness, for one thing), and the opening essay, "Ham of God." The commencement speech is good, too. Warning: if you're an indiscriminate fan of the Bush adminstration or you are easily offended by colorful language, you probably won't like this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Overall, so well written. Maybe Lamott should have let some time pass before publishing her anti-Bush rants. One, it's so bitter. Two, it dates the book. Three, it takes away from the more lovely, insightful essays. Example: my favourite essay is "heat" (chapter 9). In it Lamott reveals all that's annoying about being a parent. Ex: "One reason I think we get so angry with our children is that we can. Who else is there that you can talk to like this? Can you imagine saying to your partner, "You g Overall, so well written. Maybe Lamott should have let some time pass before publishing her anti-Bush rants. One, it's so bitter. Two, it dates the book. Three, it takes away from the more lovely, insightful essays. Example: my favourite essay is "heat" (chapter 9). In it Lamott reveals all that's annoying about being a parent. Ex: "One reason I think we get so angry with our children is that we can. Who else is there that you can talk to like this? Can you imagine saying to your partner, "You get off the phone now! No, not in five minutes"? Or to a friend, "Get over here, right this second! The longer you make me wait, the worse it's going to be for you." Or to a salesman at Sears who happens to pick up a ringing phone, "Don't you dare answer the phone when I'm talking to you."" Or this great insight: "What has helped me lately was to figure out that when we blow up at our kids, we only think we're going from zero to sixty in one second. Our surface and persona are so calm that when a problem beings, we sound in control when we say, "Now honey, stop that," or "That's enough." But it's only an illusion. In fact, all day we've been nursing anger toward the boss or boyfriend or mother, yet since we can't get mad at nonkid people, we stuff it down. When the problem with your kid starts up, you're really beginning at fifty-nine, but you're not moving. You're at high idle already, yet not aware of how vulnerable and disrespected you already feel.

  5. 5 out of 5

    D

    I think that Anne Lamott may be my favorite author right now. This is the second book I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Since I believe in God, I love reading books by other believers who aren't ashamed of their faith. Anne Lamott is such an author, but her books are by no means preachy or self-righteous. Instead, she writes with humor and honestly about her struggles with every day life as she tries to survive in these crazy times, raise her teen-aged son and be an authentic Christ I think that Anne Lamott may be my favorite author right now. This is the second book I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Since I believe in God, I love reading books by other believers who aren't ashamed of their faith. Anne Lamott is such an author, but her books are by no means preachy or self-righteous. Instead, she writes with humor and honestly about her struggles with every day life as she tries to survive in these crazy times, raise her teen-aged son and be an authentic Christian. It is also refreshing to read the thoughts of a believer whose politics are definitely left of center, and to know that political views don't and shouldn't have any bearing on following Jesus. This book really struck a chord with me. It was poignant in some places and laugh-out-loud funny in others. I am going through her Thoughts on Faith" series backwards, since first I read "Grace Eventually" which was the most recent. I still haven't read the first in the series, "Traveling Mercies." I got started on the series quite by accident when I picked up "Grace Eventually" one night in the book section of Target and starting reading just a bit here and there. After about five minutes, I knew I would either have to purchase the book or stay in the store all night reading it. I've been looking for books by Anne Lamott every since.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cori

    Anne Lamott is sort of off her rocker. And I love her so very much for this. Whereas so many Christian writers seem pulled together, even in the worst of times, Lamott is not. She struggles like the rest of us. She cries. She yells. She says things she doesn’t mean (and says mean things she does mean). She has no idea what she’s doing most of the time. Yet she still manages to practice a very real grace to those around her. She loves deeply, and practices real forgiveness. She is self-depricatin Anne Lamott is sort of off her rocker. And I love her so very much for this. Whereas so many Christian writers seem pulled together, even in the worst of times, Lamott is not. She struggles like the rest of us. She cries. She yells. She says things she doesn’t mean (and says mean things she does mean). She has no idea what she’s doing most of the time. Yet she still manages to practice a very real grace to those around her. She loves deeply, and practices real forgiveness. She is self-depricating yet true to herself. And I just love this about her. The essays in this book are, for the most part, excellent. Of course, some are better than others. I loved the essay on the death of her dog. As I was listening to it, I cried thinking about how we lost our dog, Phydeaux, a few years ago. How does that hurt so much? But it does, and she captured it. My favorite quote from this book shows just how different she is from mainstream Christian authors: “Hope is not about proving anything. It’s about choosing to believe this one thing—that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.” Amen. Read my full review here: http://letseatgrandpa.com/2011/02/11/...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Allender

    "Bird By Bird" was recommended to me by the fabulously talented Pearl Cleage, when I encountered her after her appearance(to promote her, at-that-time-upcoming book, "What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day") at Agnes Scott's Lit Fest. I believe this was in 1997 or 1998. I read the book with excitement, and Anne Lamott(as well as Ms. Cleage) are favorite authors to this day. "Plan B" was published in 2005, just a short time after the 2004 election. Let me give you the first few lines of "Plan B". "Bird By Bird" was recommended to me by the fabulously talented Pearl Cleage, when I encountered her after her appearance(to promote her, at-that-time-upcoming book, "What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day") at Agnes Scott's Lit Fest. I believe this was in 1997 or 1998. I read the book with excitement, and Anne Lamott(as well as Ms. Cleage) are favorite authors to this day. "Plan B" was published in 2005, just a short time after the 2004 election. Let me give you the first few lines of "Plan B". I dare you to NOT read this book, after you read the following lines: "On my forty-ninth birthday, I decided that all of life was hopeless, and I would eat myself to death. These are desert days. Better to go out by your own hand than to endure a slow death by scolding at the hands of the Bush administration." You'll roar with laughter as Ms. Lamott gives her prescient take on George W. You'll see yourself in her incredibly irreverent view of what is "sacred". And you'll marvel at her faith--in herself, her family, friends--and an elusive entity she refers to as God. Give yourself a gift this year: Anne Lamott!!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shauna

    This book was at times funny, engaging, and earnest. I enjoyed the author's honesty and willingness to take on SOME topics - around parenting, for example - that are rarely broached. Over all, however, I found it a self-indulgent, obsessive endeavor on the part of the author. The stories were held loosely together by the "faith" thread - but Ms. Lamott didn't engage thoughtfully or analytically with the topic of faith. It just happens that she's a member of a church and the community of her chur This book was at times funny, engaging, and earnest. I enjoyed the author's honesty and willingness to take on SOME topics - around parenting, for example - that are rarely broached. Over all, however, I found it a self-indulgent, obsessive endeavor on the part of the author. The stories were held loosely together by the "faith" thread - but Ms. Lamott didn't engage thoughtfully or analytically with the topic of faith. It just happens that she's a member of a church and the community of her church is present in her stories. I think the publishers needed a way to tie together the disparate stories, and faith was as good a marketing package as any. The stories also followed a predictable pattern: she described some situation, created neurotic drama around it, then found beauty. Situation, self-created drama, beauty. Repeat. This became tiresome. I don't recommend this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)

    Reading this book made me feel good. It's funny and honest and sprinkled with profanity, but in the end, every essay is life-affirming and love-affirming. She's so good, she made me consider going to church sometime. That's no small thing. I am a non-religious but open-minded person who gets very bored during sermons. Bored, or alienated. The last time I tried out a Christian church -- the first time since high school -- the guest speaker spent 45 minutes telling us we were God's chosen ones, th Reading this book made me feel good. It's funny and honest and sprinkled with profanity, but in the end, every essay is life-affirming and love-affirming. She's so good, she made me consider going to church sometime. That's no small thing. I am a non-religious but open-minded person who gets very bored during sermons. Bored, or alienated. The last time I tried out a Christian church -- the first time since high school -- the guest speaker spent 45 minutes telling us we were God's chosen ones, then bemoaned the fact that she couldn't convert a Jewish man before he killed himself gruesomely at his office (the cause of death, in her mind, being the lack of Jesus in his life). True believers like this frighten me, make me yawn, or climb all over my last nerve. They give Christians a bad name. Anne Lamott gives Christians a good name. She's not perfect, she doesn't rain judgment down on people who aren't like her, and she struggles daily to stay close to God, to keep an open mind, and to be kind to herself and others. Reading her essays got me wanting to live a more mindful, generous, and helpful life, *especially* when it's inconvenient and difficult to do so.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Eric_W

    I suppose it's a little strange that I would really like this book given it's spiritual overtones, but Anne Lamott's unique blend of humor, observations on relationships and life in general ("Everyone has been having a hard time with life this year; not with all of it, just the waking hours"), not to mention her caustic comments about Bush even as she struggles to love him because her faith insists on it, should win over just about everyone. She can have you moved to tears as she describes the p I suppose it's a little strange that I would really like this book given it's spiritual overtones, but Anne Lamott's unique blend of humor, observations on relationships and life in general ("Everyone has been having a hard time with life this year; not with all of it, just the waking hours"), not to mention her caustic comments about Bush even as she struggles to love him because her faith insists on it, should win over just about everyone. She can have you moved to tears as she describes the painful death of a friend to howls of laughter describing bumps in the road raising a teenager. Lamott is unfailingly honest about herself and others. Predictably, some reviewers have complained about an occasional "vulgarity," but to me that just makes her writing more honest and real. After all Jesus, himself, was nothing if not radical and honest. I suggest that anyone offended by this book has no life and little compassion. Lamott has all these great lines. We were listening to her read her book; I would recommend this as she is such a great raconteur. I was unable to write down all the great lines, but here's a small sample: "If you insist on having a destination when you enter a library, you're short-changing yourself." "Someday the lamb is going to lie down with the lion, but the lamb is not going to get any sleep." "Jesus was soft on crime; he'd never get elected to anything." "On my forty-ninth birthday, I decided that all of life is hopeless, and I would eat myself to death. These are dessert days."

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Anne Lamott captures some powerful truths in this book...I hope I never forget the section below... "What are you supposed to do, when what is happening can't be? When it's all too scary and weirdly fascinating and grim, and the old rules no longer apply? I remember this feeling when my mother was in the last stages of Alzheimer's, when my brothers and I needed so much more to go on than we had -- explanations, plans, a tour guide, and hope that it really wasn't going to be all that bad. But then Anne Lamott captures some powerful truths in this book...I hope I never forget the section below... "What are you supposed to do, when what is happening can't be? When it's all too scary and weirdly fascinating and grim, and the old rules no longer apply? I remember this feeling when my mother was in the last stages of Alzheimer's, when my brothers and I needed so much more to go on than we had -- explanations, plans, a tour guide, and hope that it really wasn't going to be all that bad. But then it was all that bad, and then some, and all we could do was talk, pray and stick together. We somehow managed to laugh a lot, the great miracle, and we sought wise counsel -- medical, financial, spiritual. A nurse from the Alzheimer's Association finally entered into the mess with us. We said, "We don't know what we're doing; we don't know if we should put her in a home; we don't even know what's true anymore," and the nurse said gently, "How could you know?" And so we kept hobbling forward, and all we could do was the next right thing. I kept remembering an old Xeroxed photo of Koko the signing gorilla, with a caption beneath it that read, "The law of the American jungle: Remain calm, share your bananas." That's what we did -- cried, tried to make each other laugh and stay calm, shared our bananas. And when the time came to know what to do, we did. I took the cat out of her arms; we put her in a home. It was a nightmare. It killed something in us, and we came through."

  12. 4 out of 5

    ♥ Ibrahim ♥

    Anne Lamott writes so beautifully; she is a queen of her writing craft. However, she strikes me always as bitter, angry and sarcastic, and as such it is hard to glean much spirituality out of her books. I have often wished to be "blessed" by her writings as I do always by books of the Buddhist Thich who comes across so gentle and penetrating to your soul. It is funny I can take the writings of a Buddhist monk and Christianize them and feel nourished, but the Christian writings of A. Lamott I can Anne Lamott writes so beautifully; she is a queen of her writing craft. However, she strikes me always as bitter, angry and sarcastic, and as such it is hard to glean much spirituality out of her books. I have often wished to be "blessed" by her writings as I do always by books of the Buddhist Thich who comes across so gentle and penetrating to your soul. It is funny I can take the writings of a Buddhist monk and Christianize them and feel nourished, but the Christian writings of A. Lamott I can't do that with; they are full of anger. I really wanted to like the woman. I am pretty sure I would love Anne Lamott in real life, but I end up getting disappointed by her books as they end up just amusing, intelligent read but not "spiritual" enough for my taste.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kari Yergin

    I listened to this one, too. I like her writing much more than I like her reading. I love her stories and some of her words are so wise, but I got really sick of the her passionate but dated complaints about Bush. "We figured out that ppl who make farting noises and weapons out of doritos should not determine what we do and don't do in class. There's a lovely hasidic story of a rabbi who always told his ppl that if they studied for the torah they would put scripture on their hearts. One of them I listened to this one, too. I like her writing much more than I like her reading. I love her stories and some of her words are so wise, but I got really sick of the her passionate but dated complaints about Bush. "We figured out that ppl who make farting noises and weapons out of doritos should not determine what we do and don't do in class. There's a lovely hasidic story of a rabbi who always told his ppl that if they studied for the torah they would put scripture on their hearts. One of them asked, why ON our hearts and not IN them? The rabbi answered, Only God can put scripture inside but reading sacred texts can put it on your hearts and then when your hearts break, the holy words will fall inside."

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ahf

    While I'm not Christian I find her faith wonderful and inspiring. She despairs at what I despair at, and rejoices at the same things I rejoice at (often her son and politics for both). I love Anne Lamott as I have since reading Operating Instructions

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    I love Anne Lamott. Traveling Mercies was hilarious, observant, and honest. This has all of these elements as she continues to reflect on little moments in life. This one just didn't quite blow me away the same way. I would still recommend it though. Check it out.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    Irreverent, provocative, stream of consciousness essays on life, politics, and faith.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    I like her meanderings and thoughts on being.....a woman,a Christian, a failure,a success...I just like it~!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    uber quick read- but entertaining with some nice nuggets of truth thrown in as well. very stream of consciousness style which is easy and enjoyable, and often skim-able.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Candice

    A while ago our home group read Grace Eventually by Anne Lamott and I liked it quite a bit, even though most of our home group didn’t. Anne is a woman after my own heart (and she says Don Miller is after hers as well, so it’s all good!). She writes: “I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything.” My good friend Heidi was thinking about me when she visited the dollar store, saw Plan B on the shelf and bought it. I’m so thankful she did! Plan B is ac A while ago our home group read Grace Eventually by Anne Lamott and I liked it quite a bit, even though most of our home group didn’t. Anne is a woman after my own heart (and she says Don Miller is after hers as well, so it’s all good!). She writes: “I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything.” My good friend Heidi was thinking about me when she visited the dollar store, saw Plan B on the shelf and bought it. I’m so thankful she did! Plan B is actually the precursor to Grace Eventually, and Traveling Mercies is the precursor to Plan B. Traveling Mercies is next on my list to read. I’m reading a trilogy in reverse, go figure. I’m guess that’s what the plan was, unbeknownst to me. I thought Plan B was much better than Grace Eventually. For me reading Anne Lamott is like being at home. She writes the way I feel and the way I wish I could express. (“Grace means you’re in a different universe from where you had been stuck, when you had absolutely no way to get there on your own.”) She makes me want to try to express, though. In fact she advises: “You start where you are, and you flail around for a while (writing), and if you keep doing it, every day you get closer to something good.” When I read what Anne writes I don’t feel so lonely, I realize someone else besides me is an anxious mess. Amidst this Anne tries to motivate herself (and her readers) to pray and to sit still and to listen. I also happen to think Anne’s hilarious. I could start this book over right now but I’ve got too much reading on my “to do” list, so I’ll pass it back to Heidi and hope she enjoys it as much as I did. I am going to hold back giving this book 5 stars, however, because as much as I loved it Anne wrote a little bit too much about her hatred of George Bush. Not that I don’t respect her right to (admittedly) hate someone as much as she does he (although she’s working on it, see Chapter 17 “Loving your president: Day 2”) it’s just that I could only handle so much. Anne has some great stories about her friends…She asks Father Tom “How are we going to get through this craziness?” He wisely answers: “Left foot, right foot, left foot, breathe.” She writes lovingly about her animals, her church, and of course her son. In Plan B she also spends a good deal of time discussing her difficult relationship with her (now deceased) mother, which, as she writes about in Grace Eventually, her family gave her quite a bit of flack for doing. Here’s a few quotes I really liked… “Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back.” “You can either practice being right or practice being kind.” “Maybe this is what grace is, the unseen sounds that make you look up.” “Learning to love back is the hardest part of being alive.” “Gratitude, not understanding, is the secret to joy and equanimity.” And, finally, Anne Lamott reminds me: “Jesus had washed his disciples’ feet, to show that peace was not about power; it was about love and gentleness, and being of service.” I really appreciate her wisdom, and I look forwarding to putting it into practice. My life is better today because I read Plan B, I hope you'll read it too.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    "There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground" (Rumi, quoted on p. 37) "I could feel something tugging on my inside sleeve, which is the only place I ever hear from God: on the shirtsleeve of my heart" (60). "Archbishop Carlo Maria Martini of Milan wrote the 'full of grace' is the passive: grace is something Mary has received, and the phrase is in the distant past tense, so it really means something like, 'You have been loved for a very long time'" (63). "Laughter is carbonated holiness" "There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground" (Rumi, quoted on p. 37) "I could feel something tugging on my inside sleeve, which is the only place I ever hear from God: on the shirtsleeve of my heart" (60). "Archbishop Carlo Maria Martini of Milan wrote the 'full of grace' is the passive: grace is something Mary has received, and the phrase is in the distant past tense, so it really means something like, 'You have been loved for a very long time'" (63). "Laughter is carbonated holiness" (66). "During the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy received two letters from the Kremlin. One was aggressive, the other gentler. And because Kennedy said to his men, 'Let's respond to the saner message,' we did not get blown up, or have to blow up the world. So I tried to respond to the kinder voice" (66). "Even as we improved as teachers and students, the children continued to have impulse-control problems; the very thing that made them spontaneous and immediate could also make them mean. One day a mouthy eight-year-old said something insulting about my dreadlocks. Rather than hit him over the head with the Wiffle Ball bat, which was my first impulse, I sat beside him and said, 'It's only been in the last ten years that I learned how beautiful my hair and I are, so please don't say critical things about me. It hurts my feelings.' He gaped at me, and said, 'You're freaking me out, Octopus Head'" (70). "There's a lovely Hasidic story of a rabbi who always told his people that if they studied the Torah, it would put Scripture on their hearts. One of them asked, 'Why on our hearts, and not in them?' The rabbi answered, 'Only God can put Scripture inside. But reading sacred text can put it on your hearts, and then when your hearts break, the holy words fall inside'" (73). "Your sick, worried mind can't heal your sick worried mind" (130). "Arrange whatever pieces come your way" (Virginia Woolf quoted on p. 166) " . . . not only do I get along with me most of the time now, I am militantly and maternally on my own side" (172). "The eight-year-old flower girl could not be there [at the rehearsal:], and she did not really need to be, because there is no one more capable and helpful than an eight-year-old girl" (248-9). "I remembered something Father Tom had told me--that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns" (257). "Rumi wrote, 'Be a well-baked loaf.' Loaves are made to be eaten, to be buttered, and shared. Rumi is saying to be of service, to be delicious and give life" (296)....Reminds me ofSleeping with Bread. "Rest and laughter are the most spiritual and subversive acts of all" (308). 1st read this book in April 2006. Listened to the audiobook in August 2009.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Danyelle Read

    I fall 'in like' with Anne Lamott each time I begin anything she's written, there is so much promise, so much that is kindred for me in what she writes, then, by the end of whatever it is that I am reading, I have already separated myself from her, as easily as a butterfly separates from a flower, thanking it for the nectar, more than ready to move on. This book gets a 5 because of the writing and the content - an amazing mix of humor, insight, devotion to an inclusive spiritual Christian path, I fall 'in like' with Anne Lamott each time I begin anything she's written, there is so much promise, so much that is kindred for me in what she writes, then, by the end of whatever it is that I am reading, I have already separated myself from her, as easily as a butterfly separates from a flower, thanking it for the nectar, more than ready to move on. This book gets a 5 because of the writing and the content - an amazing mix of humor, insight, devotion to an inclusive spiritual Christian path, honesty, despair and hope, irreverence, gleaned from the moments lived as mother, daughter, seeker, writer, human, and library stroller. Just as with anything I have written by her, though, the writing is overshadowed by unresolved resentments, not so much that it is a little too angry but that there is the underlying hubris that seems to be saying, this anger is also spiritual. Unfortunately, hanging onto anger and fear also cause her to be too black and white, though less so in this book than in earlier writings as it marks her maturity since them. And this is where Anne and I diverge, although I say this respectfully since she is my friend on Facebook, for what it's worth since she's never acknowledged any of my comments or posts personally, despite what I know to be some very brilliant thoughts on my part! I appreciate her honesty, her brilliant, roving mind, and the connections she makes between unlikely worlds. I am deeply grateful for the success and acclaim she has found, which she acknowledges in this book, and over which she expressed great angst in earlier writings. Also, this book helped me remember how the war with Iraq rocked me and influenced my decision to move out of the US, something I had forgotten. This book though is worth the effort wherever it might bog down in details that don't apply to one's own life or credo's - you never know when you are going to hit a mother load of rich, green emerald-like wisdom or humor or epiphanous peaks, and perhaps some of the greatest quotables ever.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Devon

    Just a few passages that struck me: The Church of 80% Sincerity (109-110) -80% sincerity is about as good as it's going to get. So is 80% compassion. 80% celibacy. So 20% of the time, you just get to be yourself. -This is contrary to everything society leads us to believe - that it's 100% or nothing -In the Church of 80% Sincerity, everyone has come to understand that unconditional love is a reality, but with a shelf life of about 8 to 10 seconds. Instead of beating yourself up because you feel it o Just a few passages that struck me: The Church of 80% Sincerity (109-110) -80% sincerity is about as good as it's going to get. So is 80% compassion. 80% celibacy. So 20% of the time, you just get to be yourself. -This is contrary to everything society leads us to believe - that it's 100% or nothing -In the Church of 80% Sincerity, everyone has come to understand that unconditional love is a reality, but with a shelf life of about 8 to 10 seconds. Instead of beating yourself up because you feel it only fleetingly, you should savor those moments when it appears. "Rubble is the ground on which our deepest friendships are built. If you haven't already, you will lose someone you can't live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and you never completely get over the loss of a deeply beloved person. But this is also good news. The person lives forever, in your broken heart that doesn't seal back up. And you come through, and you learn to dance with the banged-up heart. You dance to the absurdities of life; you dance to the minuet of old friendships." (174) "Jesus had an affinity for prisoners. He had been one, after all. He must have often felt anxiety and isolation in jail, but he always identified with the prisoners. He made a point of befriending the worst and most hated, because his message was that no one was beyond the reach of divine love, despite society's way of stating the opposite. God: what a nut." (182) And a C.S. Lewis quote - "We do not truly see light, we only see slower things lit by it."

  23. 4 out of 5

    hadashi

    i'm biased with my stars, because the book is probably 4 stars, but Annie being Annie makes it a full five. although they'd be sort of odd company, i think of her and Madeleine L'Engle as the two women who have done more for me to embrace my faith and get comfy with it instead of bristle at all the stuff that comes with it that makes me feel squidgy and annoyed. i do love her earthy, authentic words about life & faith intersecting in all its messiness. for this girl who grew up in a very cle i'm biased with my stars, because the book is probably 4 stars, but Annie being Annie makes it a full five. although they'd be sort of odd company, i think of her and Madeleine L'Engle as the two women who have done more for me to embrace my faith and get comfy with it instead of bristle at all the stuff that comes with it that makes me feel squidgy and annoyed. i do love her earthy, authentic words about life & faith intersecting in all its messiness. for this girl who grew up in a very clean-scrubbed evangelical world, her take on love and doubt and faith and hope is always very refreshing. choice quote: “Laughter is carbonated holiness.” whether she’s writing about her dog’s death (or her mother’s), starting a Sunday School (“Holy of Holies 101”), struggling with bitterness over George W. and his war, there is somehow always a simple, meaningful spiritual life truth that rises to the surface in the most hilarious, honest, conversational of ways. i’ve always wanted to have a beer with Annie (i think she’s a beer kind of girl), i mean for heaven’s sakes, she calls the jiggly part of her butt & thighs “the aunties.” and she originated my favourite phrase for terrible trouble, “f****d unto the very Lord.”

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bookmarks Magazine

    Traveling Mercies chronicled Lamott's slow journey toward faith. Now in her 50s, Lamott still insists upon sugarcoating nothing in this enlightening update. She combines brilliant sparks of wit, self-deprecating humor, wisdom, and appreciation in these 24 essays, previously published in Salon (see http://dir.salon.com/topics/anne_lamott/ for an excerpt from Plan B). If some have a moralistic bent, they rarely proselytize; instead, they inquire into Lamott's own, and sometimes naughty, truths. Th Traveling Mercies chronicled Lamott's slow journey toward faith. Now in her 50s, Lamott still insists upon sugarcoating nothing in this enlightening update. She combines brilliant sparks of wit, self-deprecating humor, wisdom, and appreciation in these 24 essays, previously published in Salon (see http://dir.salon.com/topics/anne_lamott/ for an excerpt from Plan B). If some have a moralistic bent, they rarely proselytize; instead, they inquire into Lamott's own, and sometimes naughty, truths. The best essays discuss Lamott's son's relationship with his father; conversely, Entertainment Weekly cited the piece about loving George W. Bush as Jesus as "an easy comic stunt." But the lesson is the same: "Gratitude, not understanding, is the secret to joy and equanimity." Although Lamott has had her share of life struggles, she sure makes it look easy. Buck up, kid: As Lamott says, "God has extremely low standards." Copyright 2005 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.

  25. 5 out of 5

    MizzSandie

    There's something very liberating and courageous about someone who is not afraid to admit their shortcomings, their fears, their resentments towards others and themselves - exposing the dark side of themselves to the light for all the world to see. And in admitting and owning up to their vulnerable, pitiful Self, there is healing. On part of both the speaker and the listener. By telling our stories of how we hurt, love, grow, falter, rejoice, break down, mess up, clean up, own up, blame, judge, le There's something very liberating and courageous about someone who is not afraid to admit their shortcomings, their fears, their resentments towards others and themselves - exposing the dark side of themselves to the light for all the world to see. And in admitting and owning up to their vulnerable, pitiful Self, there is healing. On part of both the speaker and the listener. By telling our stories of how we hurt, love, grow, falter, rejoice, break down, mess up, clean up, own up, blame, judge, learns, forgives and is forgiven, helps and is helped, fumbles through darkness, reaches moments of peace, we piece ourselves and each other together little by little. We get a little closer to understanding ourselves and each other a d how to survive and thrive in the midst of the flutter and fluctuation called Life: back and forth, up and down, darkness and light. I have the deepest respect for Anne Lamott, as an imperfect perfect human being and as a writer. Anne Lamotts storytelling is one of humor and of personal revelation, and as such it is an interesting journey to embark on.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    I had avoided this book because I had confused this author with an Anne of another name, whom I did not like. Then, I was driving somewhere and heard an interview with Anne Lamott, thought to myself that there was someone that I would like to listen to more and went looking for books by her. If you think (and wonder) about your relationship with things spiritual, this is a wonderful book. She is Christian, but I don't think that is a necessary condition for readers. The author seems quite honest I had avoided this book because I had confused this author with an Anne of another name, whom I did not like. Then, I was driving somewhere and heard an interview with Anne Lamott, thought to myself that there was someone that I would like to listen to more and went looking for books by her. If you think (and wonder) about your relationship with things spiritual, this is a wonderful book. She is Christian, but I don't think that is a necessary condition for readers. The author seems quite honest about the fact that she isn't completely sure in all cases what the best thing to do is, but if one is honest and true, things will work out better. She shares some of her spiritual practices, but more from the perspective that this is what worked for her, not that it would necessarily be the best thing for her readers - which is a wonderful change from most authors who are quite clear that they have found the one true way.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    It seems that not even Anne Lamott can write a book as good as Traveling Mercies. Of course there remains the beautiful nuggets of truth scattered throughout. And it wouldn't be a Lamott book without a very good helping of irreverence; which, surprisingly, can be freeing and comforting. However, though this book reminded me what I first experienced in Traveling Mercies -- that it's OK to not be OK -- something here felt unfinished, or maybe even forced. Where Travling Mercies said, "Here I am, as It seems that not even Anne Lamott can write a book as good as Traveling Mercies. Of course there remains the beautiful nuggets of truth scattered throughout. And it wouldn't be a Lamott book without a very good helping of irreverence; which, surprisingly, can be freeing and comforting. However, though this book reminded me what I first experienced in Traveling Mercies -- that it's OK to not be OK -- something here felt unfinished, or maybe even forced. Where Travling Mercies said, "Here I am, as I am," Plan B seemed to say, "Here I am again. No, seriously...here I am. Check me out." If you are looking for, or expecting, the experience you had with her first set of essays, just re-read Mercies. I'm glad I continued down the road, and definitely plan on working through Grace Eventually to finish out the trifecta...but I imagine I'll read page one with less enthusiasm than I did with the first words of Plan B.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Okay, here I go with the cheesy reviews, just warning you. It's late at night and I hope i won't be embarrassed I wrote this, but... When I read this book the first time it felt like I had been a dried out cactus and was getting a big drink of water or something. Now when I pick it up and re-read something random from it I'm encouraged and provoked and also a little uneasy and also inspired to trust that providence will help me and help the world's sad state of affairs somehow, someway. See, I c Okay, here I go with the cheesy reviews, just warning you. It's late at night and I hope i won't be embarrassed I wrote this, but... When I read this book the first time it felt like I had been a dried out cactus and was getting a big drink of water or something. Now when I pick it up and re-read something random from it I'm encouraged and provoked and also a little uneasy and also inspired to trust that providence will help me and help the world's sad state of affairs somehow, someway. See, I can't review this book without being a big slab of cheese. Sorry.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Madona

    Anne Lamott is very witty. I'd love to have her as a friend/mentor. While I appreciated many of the insights offered in this book, I was a bit turned off by the politics. She wrote the book during the Bush administration's reign, and she was pissed off and terrified, and so was I...but I don't think it's productive to turn Bush into the scapegoat. Reading this book now, her demonization of Bush feels dated. With that said, I plan to read more of her works because I think she has the wonderful ab Anne Lamott is very witty. I'd love to have her as a friend/mentor. While I appreciated many of the insights offered in this book, I was a bit turned off by the politics. She wrote the book during the Bush administration's reign, and she was pissed off and terrified, and so was I...but I don't think it's productive to turn Bush into the scapegoat. Reading this book now, her demonization of Bush feels dated. With that said, I plan to read more of her works because I think she has the wonderful ability to see beauty and hope and light in the midst of rotten rotten times.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ami

    I kind of wish I could have an Anne Lamott book going in the background forever, which is why this one took me so long to read. I love how God (and for her, Jesus) is a character in her life, and the way she writes about relying on prayer and her spiritual community, which helped me figure out part of what is missing in my spiritual life. Pretty good stuff.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.