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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
Anne Lamott claims the two best prayers she knows are: "Help me, help me, help me" and "Thank you, thank you, thank you." She has a friend whose morning prayer each day is "Whatever," and whose evening prayer is "Oh, well." Anne thinks of Jesus as "Casper the friendly savior" and describes God as "one crafty mother." Despite--or because of--her irreverence, faith is a natural subject for Anne Lamott. Since Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird, her fans have been waiting for her to write the book that explained how she came to the big-hearted, grateful, generous faith that she so often alluded to in her two earlier nonfiction books. The people in Anne Lamott's real life are like beloved characters in a favorite series for her readers--her friend Pammy, her son, Sam, and the many funny and wise folks who attend her church are all familiar. And Traveling Mercies is a welcome return to those lives, as well as an introduction to new companions Lamott treats with the same candor, insight, and tenderness. Lamott's faith isn't about easy answers, which is part of what endears her to believers as well as nonbelievers. Against all odds, she came to believe in God and then, even more miraculously, in herself. As she puts it, "My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers." At once tough, personal, affectionate, wise, and very funny, Traveling Mercies tells in exuberant detail how Anne Lamott learned to shine the light of faith on the darkest part of ordinary life, exposing surprising pockets of meaning and hope.
Traveling Mercies begins with the poet's family--those who emigrated from Lebanon, and those who remained behind, enduring their homeland's civil strife. His affinity extends naturally into intimate poems about Central American refugees with whom he has worked and Native American children who were his students. Whether he writes a transparent lyric, a resonant narrative, or a poem that proceeds through a series of cathartic images that can bring to mind Lorca's notion of duende, the language sings.
This book describes a journey through life. While it is intended to entertain, it is also intended to show that when the chips are down one must go on and make the best of things. At the same time, life should not be taken too seriously. As the saying goes, you only live once. A good part of my childhood took place during the war which was a dangerous time for our elders, but for us kids it was all a big adventure. Either way, we got through it! Later, a college education became a must even though my parents felt that we were "working people," and we did not need a higher education. Nevertheless, I persevered and got my education, (with some help from Uncle Sam, ) and it opened worlds to me that I might have never known. The book is not intended to be religious; however, I cannot feel but that God has a hand in things which shows in my life, perhaps not always immediately but upon some reflection. Finally, as I said, the book is intended to entertain. If the reader gets a kick out of it and if it causes him or her to reflect a little upon his or her own life, writing it will have been worthwhile!
At the heart of acclaimed poet Lorna Goodison’s seventh book of poetry – her first published in Canada – is music, moving from a slow ska, a hard rocksteady, and a sweetie-come-brush-me bossanova, to line and sight gratitude psalms, lionheart outlaw anthems, and Miles Davis, blown by the winds to a concert in Berlin. Many of the poems are about those not heard or less counted, those who live in places like the favelas of Rio or the Kingston slum called Moonlight City. Goodison chronicles how “from shameports we passed through whale-belly nights of no return”, or from prison through the fields of Tecumseh on a Greyhound bus to Detroit. And she journeys, as they must have, to hell, this time in a marvellous translation of the canto about Brunetto Latini from Dante’s Inferno, where she meets Mr. Brown, a Jamaican duppy conqueror from her own land of look behind. Set mainly in her native Jamaica but universal in its concerns, this book, rare and special, is the real thing.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Hallelujah Anyway, Bird by Bird, and Almost Everything, a spiritual antidote to anxiety and despair in increasingly fraught times. As Anne Lamott knows, the world is a dangerous place. Terrorism and war have become the new normal. Environmental devastation looms even closer. And there are personal demands on her faith as well: getting older; her mother's Alzheimer's; her son's adolescence; and the passing of friends and time. Fortunately for those of us who are anxious about the state of the world, whose parents are also aging and dying, whose children are growing harder to recognize as they become teenagers, Plan B offers hope that we’re not alone in the midst of despair. It shares with us Lamott's ability to comfort and to make us laugh despite the grim realities. Anne Lamott is one of our most beloved writers, and Plan B is a book more necessary now than ever. It is further evidence that, as The New Yorker has written, "Anne Lamott is a cause for celebration."
With the same brilliant combination of humor and warmth she brought to bestseller Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott gives us a smart, funny, and comforting chronicle of single motherhood. 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. "Lamott has a conversational style that perfectly conveys her friendly, self-depricating humor." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review "Lamott is a wonderfully lithe writer .... Anyone who has ever had a hard time facing a perfectly ordinary day will identify." -- Chicago Tribune
Look out for Anne's next book, Hallelujah Anyway, coming April 2017. New York Times Bestseller Author Anne Lamott writes about the three simple prayers essential to coming through tough times, difficult days and the hardships of daily life. Readers of all ages have followed and cherished Anne Lamott’s funny and perceptive writing about her own faith through decades of trial and error. And in her new book, Help, Thanks, Wow, she has coalesced everything she knows about prayer to these fundamentals. It is these three prayers – asking for assistance from a higher power, appreciating what we have that is good, and feeling awe at the world around us – that can get us through the day and can show us the way forward. In Help, Thanks, Wow, Lamott recounts how she came to these insights, explains what they mean to her and how they have helped, and explores how others have embraced these same ideas. Insightful and honest as only Anne Lamott can be, Help, Thanks, Wow is the everyday faith book that new Lamott readers will love and longtime Lamott fans will treasure. From the Hardcover edition.