The world is a more dangerous place than it was when Lamott's Traveling Mercies was published five years ago. Terrorism and war have become the new normal; environmental devastation looms even closer. And there are personal demands on Lamott's faith as well: turning 50; her mother's Alzheimer's; her son's adolescence; and the passing of friends and time.
Fortunately for those of us who are anxious and scared 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 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 will prove to be further evidence that, as The Christian Science Monitor has written, "Everybody loves Anne Lamott."
©2005 Anne Lamott; (P)2005 Penguin Audio and Books on Tape, Inc.
"Anne Lamott is a cause for celebration. [Her] real genius lies in capturing the ineffable, describing not perfect moments, but imperfect ones...perfectly. She is nothing short of miraculous." (The New Yorker)
"Funny and candid....Lamott brings invaluable humor, imagination, and magnanimity to the conversation about faith." (Booklist)
Anne Lamotte is funny, quirky, very Christian, and a Democratic feminist! If you think all those can't co-exist in one author, give a listen. This is a rant about the tough times in life -- softened with the repetoire of hope, of replacing fear with faith. It won't appeal to some because it is deeply spiritual, and she's not afraid to say it loud and proud. But for those on the journey, it offers new ways to look at life today in America, and new ways to laugh about it, too.
Anne Lamott is a rarity in these times: a Progressive Feminist Christian!
As a writer she is extraordinarily generous, sharing how she moved through very dark times into recovery. She doesn't posture or pretend. She speaks for and inspires people who are deeply distressed by our country's class warfare, people who are struggling to forgive destructive parents, or who are struggling not to be destructive parents themselves, people who are into their 50s, trying to gather up whatever hard won wisdom they hope they've gained. She's a quirky, poetic writer. Plan B is an insightful memoir.
She doesn't read so much as TELL the stories in these essays. Her candor is sometimes shocking, sometimes funny. Over and over, she chooses hope over fear, service over surrender and like C. S. Lewis before her, speaks of the spiritual benefit of plain things like taking a walk or having a shower. Her faith is like her politics, integrated into even the most embarrassing parts of her life, and hearing her tell us about it, we learn that we are not alone in our guilt and self-loathing.
This book is worth your time. It speaks of faith with truth and candor. You may not be used to that, but maybe it's time to try it.
I've been a fan of Anne Lamott's for 15 years or so. I've still got articles she wrote for the SF Chronicle in the late 80's, before I knew "who she was", so believe me when I say I -wanted- to like this! It's harsh but true, her narration is unlistenable. She sounds in turns whiney and droning. Her cadence and tone sound like Dylan Thomas reciting "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" - which would be wonderful if she were Dylan Thomas or reading "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"; but she's reading essays - mostly funny ones - and it is a grind. If you can hear past the whine and drone, yes! Her words are good and substantial and funny. But it's a lot of work to get there. Better to buy the book.
I love Anne LaMott and was excited to listen but I found her delivery annoying and unsettling. On the one hand I guess her dryness goes along with her humor, but a more soothing tone would have enhanced my listen and enjoyment of her philosophical navigation. I will read her next book instead of listening unless she changes the narrator.
A longtime Lamott fan, I find this her most hilarious work yet. Anne Lamoot is alternately funny and introspective in the vignettes cobbled together to form this book, but one thing is constant--her fresh perspective on the world. I am not a crazy-religious person, or a GW Bush hater, or a tree-hugger, but I find myself counting my blessings when I see things through Anne Lamott's eyes. She is a treat to listen to. I actually found myself looking forward to my commute! You know that's a good book!
The reader was so monotone, I couldn't bear to hear it for a few weeks before trying again to endure the terrible voice. The story wasn't interesting as a daily journal of the authors life. Nothing new to me or particularly revealing. Sorry I bought it.
This book is not without truth, but it was far from inspiring. This is not so much book about spiritual truths as it is a collection of essays about the author's experiences. She is right to make connections between her own sense of brokenness and the broken people that Jesus called to himself, but she doesn't take it any further.
She seems to take a position that God accepts everyone, so don't set your sights on anything better than where you find yourself. In fact, God calls us to much more... holiness.
Even so, some of her imagery is interesting and there are some really novel turns of a phrase here and there. But I found her frequent profanity and regular diatribes against President Bush to be unnecessary distractions that left me with a sour, uninspired disposition.
I listened to the end, only to be sure there wasn't something I missed. This one wasn't worth the time.
I had read a couple of Ms. Lamott's books before and enjoyed them. Imagine my surprise at this diatribe of negative thoughts and what seemed like an endless bashing of the President. I'm not a huge fan of the President either, but he was elected so God must have a plan for that. Come on...this book should be filed under politics instead of spirituality, then I could have been spared Lamott's often short-sighted opinions.
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