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Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by…

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith (original 1999; edition 2000)

by Anne Lamott (Author)

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3,863591,960 (4.05)60
Title:Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
Authors:Anne Lamott (Author)
Info:Anchor (2000), Edition: 1st, 290 pages
Collections:Your library

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Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott (1999)



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This collection of biographical essays that all center on Lamott's faith (except one of them is just about her hair). Most of them are about the beginning stages of her faith and how she eventually found a home in her church and in Christianity even though she initially didn't really want to. A good book for both religious and nonreligious people, as it is though provoking without being preachy and offers a very different view of religion than the one that is most vocal in this country. ( )
  covertprestige | Feb 24, 2019 |
With an exuberant mix of passion, insight, and humor, Anne Lamott takes us on a journey through her often troubled past to illuminate her devout but quirky walk of faith. In a narrative spiced with stories and scripture, with diatribes, laughter, and tears, Lamott tells how, against all odds, she came to believe in God and then, even more miraculously, in herself. She shows us the myriad ways in which this sustains and guides her, shining the light of faith on the darkest part of ordinary life and exposing surprising pockets of meaning and hope.

Whether writing about her family or her dreadlocks, sick children or old friends, the most religious women of her church of the men she's dated, Lamott reveals the hard-won wisdom gathered along her path to connectedness and liberation. ( )
  jepeters333 | Sep 15, 2018 |
She seems to confess to all her faults. She seems very human but I imagine she's pretty tough. ( )
  mahallett | Feb 9, 2018 |
I loved this book! Anne Lamott seems to have fought the calling of God most of her life. She speaks frankly of her alcoholism, bulimia, and atheistic family and friends. Despite all this, she is repeatedly confronted with God's presence and and his unconditional love. Finally she succumbs, and realizes, as we all do, that we are still confronted with the heartbreaks of a child with a terrible disease, the need to forgive those who hurt us, the insecurity of aging. She deals with these and other subjects by sharing stories from her own life. She is a rough, sometimes crass, believer and sometimes hangs on to her faith by her fingernails, but she learns to recognize God's hand all around her.

I especially enjoyed this book because while it evidences a strong faith, she doesn't pretend it always comes easily or that life becomes perfect once you become a Christian. She makes me feel that if God can love and accept her, with her flaws, he can surely do the same for me. ( )
  LeslieHurd | Jan 11, 2017 |
I really really like Anne Lamott's writing. She is an exquisite narrator. This book is a bit like a very good blog, little vignettes of life- insights, thoughts, impressions and real life happenings.

Funny thing is, I don't agree withe Lamott's politics, doctrines or life style, but I still like her. It's hard to explain why she comes across so likeable when we are at polar opposites as far as personal views go. But Lamott won me over. Her grit, her honesty and wit are all so appealing. And she does offer wisdom. I liked what she said about a lot of things, but one chapter where she describes grace stood out especially.

It's the help you receive when you have no bright ideas left, when you are empty and desperate and have discovered that your best thinking and most charming charm have failed you. Grace is the light or electricity or juice or breeze that takes you from that isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be there.

This passage reminded me of another favorite author of mine, Marion Bond West. West would often pray to God to send her a friend during a time of trouble. "Lord, please send me a friend today," she'd pray. And sometimes a cat would appear. Or someone would show up with a plate of fruit. And this was grace coming. I love that.

I will check out some of Lamott's other books, although many reviewers say this is the best one and the others fall short. ( )
  homeschoolmimzi | Nov 28, 2016 |
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"Mine was a patchwork God, sewn together from bits of rag and ribbon, Eastern and Western, pagan and Hebrew, everything but the kitchen sink and Jesus."
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Book description
Lamott (Bird by Bird) reads a collection of her autobiographical essays, each a heart-wrenching detailing of a life grown up in a world of obsessions: food, alcohol, drugs and relationships. She tells of her childhood and early adulthood in Tiburon, Calif., where she started drinking and drugging young in a permissive 1960s-era disheveled household. The title essay, "Traveling Mercies," dwells on things "broken," such as her body, when she became a bulimic. Lamott's writing is honest and direct, and in her reading she presents her words with emotional insistence. She recalls episodes from her life with vivid ferocity, noticing how "everything felt so intense and coiled and M?bius strip-like." As she has a son, sobers up, her search for awareness turns spiritual. The sum effect comes across like a hipper version of Melody Beattie's self-help classic, Codependent No More.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385496095, Paperback)

Anne Lamott admits that she's "ever so slightly more anxious than the average hypochondriac." When faced with a small, irregular mole and a family history of skin cancer, however, she remembers her faith in God and enjoys some peace--despite behaving "a little more like Nathan Lane in The Birdcage than I would have hoped." Author Lamott reads these wonderfully detailed postcards from her meandering journey to faith. With sharp and bittersweet humor, she recounts a past full of bad relationships with men, with food, with drugs, with alcohol, and worst of all, with herself. She battles her demons thanks to the love of her friends and family and her "lurch of faith" to embrace religion, that "puzzling thing inside me that had begun to tug on my sleeve from time to time, trying to get my attention." Inspiring but not dogmatic, Traveling Mercies is a treasure. (Running time: 4 hours, 3 cassettes) --C.B. Delaney

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:33 -0400)

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Combining elements of spiritual study and memoir, the author describes her odyssey of faith, drawing on her own sometimes troubled past to explore the many ways in which faith sustains and guides one's daily life.

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