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April 16, 2021

Looking Back - Traveling Mercies

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.



Nonfiction
2000 Anchor Books (first published in 1999)
Finished on April 29, 2000
Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

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.

My Original Thoughts (2000):

Nice collection of essays on faith. Lamott is quite witty. I laughed out loud. Sometimes crass. Richly satisfying. Loved her stories about an "off" mole, the Aunties (her "fetacheese thighs"), airplane turbulence, etc.

A gifted storyteller. Honest. Definitely one to read again and again.

My Current Thoughts:

Well, I no longer own a copy of this book and I never did read it a second time, but now I'm curious. Maybe I'll see about getting a copy from the library.

I've also read & reviewed a couple of other books by Lamott:


15 comments:

  1. I'm not much of an essay reader but I do enjoy her writing.

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    1. Ti, I do too. I have several more of her books on my TBR list.

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  2. I think I'd enjoy this book, I'll look to see if my library has a copy.

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    1. Vicki, this may almost be worth owning, especially if you like to highlight passages.

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  3. I absolutely love Traveling Mercies. It's one of my all-time favorite reads. Anne Lamott is funny and vulnerable, and I adore how she came to find some good things in her life after great troubles.

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    1. Deb, I am not surprised that you loved this book. She is quite funny, isn't she? I follow her on Facebook and have a few more of her titles to add to my library list.

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  4. I'm adding this to my list...I read Bird by Bird years ago, and heard Anne Lamott speak more than 20 years ago in Southern Oregon. I remember she was a bit awkward and funny and honest. Thanks for reminding me!

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    1. Laurel, I'll bet it was fun/interesting to hear Anne Lamott speak at an event! By the way, I've been getting three comments from you each time you comment on one of my posts. I'm not sure what's going on, but that's why I deleted one of them after accidentally approving it. Thanks for all the blog-lovin'! ;)

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    2. LOL, sorry about that! For some reason recently when I submit a comment on your blog, it disappears. From now on I will trust that you're getting my comments on the first try. :-)

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    3. No worries! You can always submit two comments to play it safe and I'll just delete the duplicate. :)

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. I don't think I've read any of her work but you've piqued my interest! And I still need to choose an essay collection for my nonfiction challenge. I'll see if my library has this one.

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    1. Jen, she's quite prolific and several of her more recent works are very short. Another great collection of essays is Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan. It's one of my favorite books in the past few years.

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  7. I really liked Bird by Bird .... and still hope to read more of Lamott's books. But not sure any of them can match Bird by Bird. which was quite good.

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    1. Susan, Bird by Bird is one I'd like to read again. I wonder if it would be good on audio. I remember how much it made me laugh!

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I may not answer your comments in a timely fashion, but I always answer. Check back soon!