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Operating Instructions: A Journal of My…

Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year (1993)

by Anne Lamott

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,512317,485 (4.12)26
  1. 20
    Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son by Anne Lamott (meggyweg)
  2. 10
    Having Faith by Sandra Steingraber (kellyholmes)
    kellyholmes: These memoirs have different tones, but I found them both to be very honest, pensive accounts of the first year of motherhood.
  3. 00
    The Poo Bomb: True Tales of Parental Terror by Jeff Vogel (meggyweg)
  4. 00
    Babyhood by Paul Reiser (meggyweg)

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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
It's Anne Lamott. DUH. ( )
  gentlespirit512 | Nov 27, 2018 |
I’m not a parent. I’ve been a step-parent twice over. Still no matter whether it’s biological or vis marriage, nothing, and I mean nothing, can prepare you for parenthood.

Such was the harsh reality novelist Anne Lamott. She found herself pregnant and alone (ie: without a husband or reliable partner). However, Anne is not alone. She has a bevy of friends and neighbors with a speckling of strangers thrown to help her.

Anne was absolutely sure that she would have a girl. If she was going to do this, God would give her a girl, another female in the house. She was a girl; she could raise a girl. But when she learned that the blossoming bud inside was a boy, well, she could hardly comprehend it. She never fully accepted her fate until her son, Sam, was born. This is not the journey of pregnancy; it’s the journal of that first year, in all its glory and its horror.

Some of the journal entries are short, some a bit longer, and some last almost two pages. It’s isn’t a day-by-day account. Who has time for that when there is a colicky baby screaming at the top of his lungs?

The entries are equally poignant and humorous. I laughed so hard at times that I woke hubby, who was asleep in another room. Anne’s entries also have a cadence to them. From I love him so much, he’s the best baby ever to he’s trying to kill, I hate him, I laughed and cried.

My favorite account occurs not to long after Sam and Anne are home. She has to take his temperature. When she learns that anal, not oral, is how this is done on babies, it’s laugh at loud hilarious, especially when she describes how his tiny rear-end erupted like a full-scale volcano, spewing feces everywhere.

I recommend Operating Instructions to everyone. It’s short and easy to read and leaves the reader, or at least this one, with a new-found respect for new mothers. Therefore, Operating Instructions receives 5 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world. ( )
  juliecracchiolo | Feb 16, 2018 |
Anne Lamott is the most honest, funny, sincere, spontaneous, vulnerable, strong, serious, spiritual writer I can think of. In this book, she chronicles her pregnancy, her son's birth, and the first year of his life. During that same year her best friend is diagnosed with incurable breast cancer. In taking you along for the ride, you will experience transcendent ups, crushing downs, and will laugh out loud at both ends of the extremes. Highly recommended for anyone who is human. ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
I loved this. She does use a lot of profanity, despite her faith (for some that may be a reason to avoid it --- so I want to include that to prepare the potential-reader).

I love the analogies she uses in her writing. So far everything I've read of hers I very much enjoy. ( )
  SaraMSLIS | Jan 26, 2016 |
Should be given as a present at every baby shower, but with very specific instructions for the mother-to-be not to read any of it until the baby is at least three months old. The experiences are so true to life. How can I say , "I laughed, I cried" in a new way? ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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This one is for Pamela Murray, and Sam Lamott
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I woke up with a start at 4:00 one morning and realized that I was very, very pregnant.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 044990928X, Paperback)

The most honest, wildly enjoyable book written about motherhood is surely Anne Lamott's account of her son Sam's first year. A gifted writer and teacher, Lamott (Crooked Little Heart) is a single mother and ex-alcoholic with a pleasingly warped social circle and a remarkably tolerant religion to lean on. She responds to the changes, exhaustion, and love Sam brings with aplomb or outright insanity. The book rocks from hilarious to unbearably poignant when Sam's burgeoning life is played out against a very close friend's illness. No saccharine paean to becoming a parent, this touches on the rage and befuddlement that dog sweeter emotions during this sea change in one's life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:46 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

It's not like she's the only woman to ever have a baby. At thirty-five. On her own. But Anne Lamott makes it all fresh in her now-classic account of how she and her son and numerous friends and neighbors and some strangers survived and thrived in that all important first year. From finding out that her baby is a boy (and getting used to the idea) to finding out that her best friend and greatest supporter Pam will die of cancer (and not getting used to that idea), with a generous amount of wit and faith (but very little piousness), Lamott narrates the great and small events that make up a woman's life--From publisher.… (more)

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