Thursday, July 9, 2009

Review-"Bird by Bird"


"Bird by Bird, Some Instructions on Writing and Life" by Anne Lamott

This was my second book to read by the author Anne Lamott. It was a few years ago that I read "Traveling Mercies."
Anne Lamott is a writer that does not "fit" neatly into any particular mold of literature, nor does she herself follow a cookie cutter image of what a writer "looks" like. As a matter of fact she does not follow a cookie cutter image of anything. She is Anne Lamott; distinct, but not extinct, in that the reader will never forget her. If you google her name you will find video's of her reading to an audience, information on books she has written, classes on writing she has taught, and several quotes from her.
People in the Christian audience often shun her because of her potty mouth and liberal belief's.
The book "Bird by Bird" is a book on writing, with added raw life experiences. Anne does not hold back from the reader, she expresses herself without regard to whether or not the audience will be offended or not, she is honest, and take it or leave it.
I do not dog ear my books, but I do use those little small post it notes. Interspersed throughout the book I have many little pink post it notes, marking information that I don't want to forget.
Part One of the book brings about the "writing process; getting started in the process, character and plots." Part Two is on the "writing frame of mind," other chapters are on "help along the way," and to me most importantly was the final part, "reasons to write."
I recommend this book to anyone interested in writing, it is a great jumping off book for the fledgling writer.
My favorite quote from the book is at the end and it speaks to my heart.
"So why does our writing matter, again? they ask. Because of the spirit, I say. Because of the heart. Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul."

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