Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

by Anne Lamott

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,814233712 (4.15)270

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 270 mentions

English (232)  Dutch (1)  All languages (233)
Showing 1-5 of 232 (next | show all)
This is a great little book to set on the shelf beside [b:On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft|10569|On Writing A Memoir of the Craft|Stephen King|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1436735207s/10569.jpg|150292] or [b:Zen in the Art of Writing|103761|Zen in the Art of Writing|Ray Bradbury|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1436734917s/103761.jpg|2183601]. It's not so much a book about how to write as about how to be a writer. Why do you write? Why should you write? Who are you writing for (or to)? These are all questions that need to be answered. Anne Lamont doesn't try to answer them for you. But she gives you a little bit of insight into her answers and why the questions may be more important than the answers.

If it's too cold and stormy to get out and have coffee with your writing buddy and you can't get them on the phone, read a chapter or two in Bird by Bird. It may be just what you need to get writing again. ( )
  zot79 | Aug 20, 2023 |
The only reason I didn't give it five stars -- my conscious was troubled. After such kind, helpful, funny and honest advice about writing there is no excuse for me. I know. Sigh. ( )
  rebwaring | Aug 14, 2023 |
Rereading this book was amazing self-care. Thank you, Anne Lamott. 🙏 ( )
  beckyrenner | Aug 3, 2023 |
I borrowed this book from the local library. Honestly, I mostly ended up skimming the book just for the tips after reading the Introduction. The writing tips were good, but I wasn’t a fan of the way they were presented, as the tips were interspersed through tons of other content that I wasn’t as interested in, being that I thought I was reading a book on writing rather than a writer’s journey. I have a feeling this other content will prevent me from remembering many of her tips.

I’ve never read Lamott’s writing before though, and from the book’s title I was honestly expecting something different. I also wasn’t a fan of all the curse words and mentions of sexual content. I’m of the opinion that as a writer, you should be able to come up with better options than cuss words to express yourself. ( )
  aebooksandwords | Jul 29, 2023 |
Funny, engaging anecdotes about writing and living. I'm a writer, and sometimes she nails it, and sometimes not. Lamott comes off as being quite neurotic, and sometimes I was just shaking my head about her emotional reactions to things. Perhaps she exaggerated a lot. IDK. Or perhaps she really does live inside a Woody Allen movie. There's definitely an east coast culture and sensibility which permeate the narrative, which bored me after awhile. Still a worthwhile read. ( )
  TheGalaxyGirl | Jul 13, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 232 (next | show all)
A gift to all of us mortals who write or ever wanted to write...sidesplittingly funny, patiently wise and alternately cranky and kind--a reveille to get off our duffs and start writing now, while we still can.
added by ArrowStead | editSeattle Times
Superb writing advice...hilarious, helpful and provocative.
added by ArrowStead | editNew York Times Book Review
A warm, generous, and hilarious guide through the writer's world and its treacherous swamps.
added by ArrowStead | editLos Angeles Times

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anne Lamottprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bennett, SusanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
…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.”
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


No library descriptions found.

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.
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (4.15)
1 15
1.5 4
2 72
2.5 13
3 287
3.5 61
4 717
4.5 70
5 804

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 194,853,212 books! | Top bar: Always visible