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Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing…

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

by Anne Lamott

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6,413153600 (4.18)183

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Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
Bird by Bird was actually a re-read for me. I can't remember the first time I read this (which was sometime in between its publication in 1994 and a few years back), but I liked it well enough then. This time around, in 2015, this book showed its age -- a lot has happened in the writing/publishing industry in the past 21 years. Not only that, I felt that I was seeing Anne Lamott herself differently -- instead of thinking that she provided so much wise, sage advice, this time I saw her as someone who says something, then pauses anticipating laughter or oohs and ahhs. Not sure why my perception has changed -- I have not read anything else of hers that would color my viewpoint. Maybe it's just me.

I wouldn't say reading this book is a waste of anyone's time, but that a second reading is unnecessary even if someone felt that a refreshing-of-memory was needed.. ( )
  ValerieAndBooks | Aug 31, 2015 |
A funny, practical look at what you should focus on when trying to write. ( )
  LJMax | Aug 21, 2015 |
A book I've been meaning to read for a long time. Accessible, funny and wise. Great personal and practical advice for writers, both aspiring and practicing. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
A very dear friend was appalled that I hadn't read any of Lamott's non-fiction that she sent two books to me. (For full disclosure, I had read one fiction book and had found it deeply lacking leading me to wonder what all the fuss over Lamott was about.)

bird by bird showed me the errors of my ways, and I have joined the bandwagon of people beating the drum for sweet, honest, just as messed up as the rest of us, Anne Lamott.

Although each chapter is, ostensibly, about writing and learning how to shut those voices in our heads off and being willing to just write "shitty first drafts," it's also about learning to live life honestly.

I fell so thoroughly in love with Ms. Lamott that I left her a mash note on her Facebook page. Something I very rarely do on any author's page. I might have said something about wanting to hug her until I suffocated her. Might have. ( )
1 vote AuntieClio | Mar 31, 2015 |
This is one of those deeply philosophical books for me that takes a long time to read. I have to savor, and underline, and re read, and highlight. It is thoroughly practical and sympathetic to the human condition, and the role that writing plays within it. ( )
  librarycatnip | Jan 12, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
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I grew up around a father and a mother who read every chance they got, who took us to the library every Thursday night to load up on books for the coming week.
…getting all of one’s addictions under control is a little like putting an octopus to bed.
...perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor.
I understood immediately the thrill of seeing oneself in print. It provides some sort of primal verifications. You are; therefore you exist.
If you find that you start a number of stories or pieces that you don't even bother finishing, that you lose interest or faith in them along the way, it may be that there is nothing at their center about which you care passionately.
…if you are writing the clearest, truest words you can find and doing the best you can to understand and communicate, this will shine on paper like its own little lighthouse.”
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Book description
I found this book in a library after my life fell apart one rainy day in California. I thought the writing was so clean and simple and straight forward and funny that I almost cried with happiness. Telling the truth is really hard, but writing the truth is almost impossible. After that day, I went back to college for a few decades...so glad I did.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385480016, Paperback)

Think you've got a book inside of you? Anne Lamott isn't afraid to help you let it out. She'll help you find your passion and your voice, beginning from the first really crummy draft to the peculiar letdown of publication. Readers will be reminded of the energizing books of writer Natalie Goldberg and will be seduced by Lamott's witty take on the reality of a writer's life, which has little to do with literary parties and a lot to do with jealousy, writer's block and going for broke with each paragraph. Marvelously wise and best of all, great reading.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:35 -0400)

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"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that hed had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brothers shoulder, and said, Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird. Here, for the first time, is a local edition of the bible of writing guidesa wry, honest,-- down-to-earth book that has never stopped selling since it was first published in the United States in the 1990s. In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott, a bestelling novelist and memoirist, distils what shes learned over years of trial and error. Beautifully written, wise, and immensely helpful, this is the book for serious writers and writers-to-be."--Provided by publisher.… (more)

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