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Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (edition 1995)

by Anne Lamott

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7,011172515 (4.18)197
Member:UsrLib
Title:Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Authors:Anne Lamott
Info:Anchor (1995), Edition: 1, Paperback, 239 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:writing, general

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Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

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Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
Great book about the art of writing and getting it done. ( )
  harrietbrown | Jun 24, 2017 |
I feel relieved and also a little saddened. Ms. Lamott gives voice to my neurosis and my fears, allowing me not to feel so alone in the world. I started reading this a few years ago and I won't lie that the introduction completely depressed me. She speaks the truth about writing (how solitary it is) and about being published (how it's not all it's cracked up to be). Yet once I got over that, it was amazing. Completely and utterly necessary for anyone who wants to write. ( )
  lapiccolina | Jun 23, 2017 |
Picked this up at a book fair although I have never read any of Lamott's other work. It is a very down to earth realistic book about writing for people who want to write about down to earth realistic stuff. I doubt she gets many potential horror or science fiction writers in her workshops. The book succeeds because it is so honest about how little chance you have to get published or even if you do get published to make any money. The author uses self-deprecating humor throughout to talk about her own trials and tribulations as a writer. There's a lot of autobiography here as well, some of it very moving. Lamott is an odd mix of a spiritual person who seems to attend church a lot and talk to a lot of priests, but uses some very earthly language in her writing. All in all it is a quick interesting read that will give you a few tips and some honest encouragement that, even if you don't become a famous writer, the act of writing itself is good for you. For example, think of the stories of your own childhood you can leave to your children and grandchildren. Just stop listening to KFKD, sit down, and write. ( )
  datrappert | Jun 14, 2017 |
The First book I read by Anne Lamott was Travelling Mercies. I loved that book for its raw and refreshing honesty, her description of her existential crisis leading up to her conversion and the depth of reflection. She totally lost me with Plan B, which I found narcissistic, shallow, angry and a political diatribe against W. I guess I just wanted to see some growth in her. I got Grace Eventually off the shelf a year and a half ago, haven't read it because I haven't had time and didn't want to be disappointed.


This book is about writing. In it she is reflective about her craft, and offers writing advice (she teaches classes on writing or did when she first published this book). Her advice is wise, she is funny, vulnerable, and reflective. This is vintage Lamott and I loved it. I will likely read Grace Eventually, eventually.

I haven't read any of her fiction, though my wife hasn't been super impressed by it. ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
Glad I finally picked this book up off my shelf! The first part on writing tasks, or assignments, or just getting the words onto paper at last, wasn’t terribly mind-blowing. In fact the reason I finally read this, because of the reference that Marlo Skyhorse made to her plot structure, she attributes to another writer!

But the second part, on the writing life, really struck a chord with me, and I’ve dog-eared the passage on morals, and another on the purpose of it all, that I can see myself rereading in the years to come.

This book is very readable, conversational, and quickly moves from philosophical attempts at explaining what it is that is so great about writing, and jokes that made me want to share the book with all my writer friends. I should note that while I understand that Lamott’s humor is off-brand there was only one (as far as I could tell) joke that should have been left out. I think we understand more about each other now than we did even as little twenty years ago when this was published. ( )
  knotbox | May 8, 2017 |
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Dedication
First words
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.
Quotations
…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)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"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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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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