A review by howifeelaboutbooks
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott


I've read this book before, I know I have, but I can't find a review I wrote about it anywhere. So I either didn't finish it or didn't review it. This time I remedied both.

     Anne Lamott has a special way of writing that sounds like you're having a conversation with her… a really eloquent, thought-out conversation. She seems very approachable and realistic and doesn't make writing out to be something only the truly gifted can do. She talks about her struggles and her jealousy and her doubts and how being a published writer hasn't made her life a fairy tale, like many people might think. It was incredibly refreshing to read. It doesn't hurt that she's hilarious in a sly, dark way.

     I read this book in two nights before bed, and with every page I wanted to jump up and start writing something, just to be putting words on the page. She's that good.

     Some favorite quotes:
     - "One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, to go places and explore. Another is that writing motivates you to look closely at life as it lurches by and tramps around."
     - "Because for some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die."
     - "Think of those times when you've read prose or poetry that is presented in such a way that you have a fleeting sense of being startled by beauty or insight, by a glimpse into someone's soul. All of a sudden everything seems to fit together or at least have some meaning for a moment."