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Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life | [Anne Lamott]

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

A New York Times best-selling author of both fiction and nonfiction, Anne Lamott was also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. As much a guide to writing as an exploration of the emotional challenges of being a writer, Bird by Bird offers a candid and often humorous look at how to tackle these varied obstacles.
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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times best-selling author of both fiction and nonfiction, Anne Lamott was also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. As much a guide to writing as an exploration of the emotional challenges of being a writer, Bird by Bird offers a candid and often humorous look at how to tackle these varied obstacles.

©1994 Anne Lamott (P)2013 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

“Lamott’s … guidance and reflection should appeal to writers struggling with demons large and slight.”—Publishers Weekly

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (206 )
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Performance
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  •  
    W. Perry Hall 02-05-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Swell Songs Sung So Well"

    This little book sings and the narrator carries the tune so sweetly. Yes, a lot of this optimism and outlook and pointers and warnings you've heard in other sermons.

    But, if you are a writer or want to be one, Ms. Lamott's virtuosic LP can be viewed as a Best of Little Birds (anecdotes, experience and hope). Something you can pop in to put you on the right track, get you unstuck and, in all cases, on to making magic.

    The narrator at times seems too perky and overly caffeinated, but see her with dimples and you'll just want to bust through your speakers, squeeze her cheeks, lightly tap her button nose and kiss her forehead.

    I highly recommend this audiobook.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BLC 08-17-13
    BLC 08-17-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Funny and Instructive"

    After a friend read Lamott's humorous passage to me about elementary school lunchroom protocols, I had to buy this book. I laughed aloud all the way through it and learned many useful insights for improving my writing (e.g., writing a "shitty first draft" as a way of overcoming the perfectionism that besieges most writers when they sit down to write).

    Lamott also opens a window to her own soul, sharing a wide swath of experiences to include how the passing of her father (also an author) affected her development as a writer. These personal sections are refreshingly non-melodramatic. Rather, the reader feels intimately connected with Lamott. The effect is one of trust in who she is and what she says.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria Provo, UT, United States 09-27-14
    Victoria Provo, UT, United States 09-27-14 Member Since 2008

    RangerGirl

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    "get your writing tools ready"

    I enjoyed this Audible edition. Lots of inspirational tips which fire up the desire to sit down and write! :)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorraine 06-12-14
    Lorraine 06-12-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Not only motivational but very entertaining"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bird by Bird to be better than the print version?

    Although I have not seen the print version, this book held my attention and motivated me to write.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was written with a wonderful sense of humor, feeling, purpose and so very motivating. Ms. Lamott very much relates to her readers. It felt great to laugh out loud several times. I could relate to the writer's block frustrations and the experiences shared.


    Which character – as performed by Susan Bennett – was your favorite?

    The author shares her experiences, her advice and humor. It's apparent she knows how to reach out and pull her audience right into her audio classroom, so to speak. I thought Ms. Bennett did a fabulous job as I didn't feel like Walter Kronkite was telling a news story. It seemed that Ms. Bennett related to the content fabulously.


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    What hits home is the idea that we all come up with all sorts of reasons we should or could be doing something else instead of taking the time to write. It's nice to know that it's natural to have these distractions try to rob us of our writing time. Anne Lamott explains a lot and provides a sense of freedom and encouragement to write. She totally convinced me that the enjoyment is in writing and expressing and not being preoccupied with how others write, or how quick one can get published. The joy is in creating the art. I will listen to this whenever I need inspiration. I truly loved it.


    Any additional comments?

    This may seem like a lengthy review but the book was such an inspiration that I don't think there are enough descriptives to do it the justice it deserves. It was a better experience for me than watching a "feel good" movie. I'm so glad Ms. Lamott wrote this to share with everyone who is interested enough in their writing. This book has definitely been worth the while.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Collins Tampa Bay, FL 04-20-15
    A. Collins Tampa Bay, FL 04-20-15 Member Since 2015

    Claire

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    "Fantastic!"

    Narrator is perfect.
    I was sure it would be good as just about every author I read has recommended her. I laughed a lot, learned a lot, and felt validated.
    The funniest part to me was the phrase "treadmark on the underwear of life." I will laugh out loud every time I think of it!! She's great and real.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EastTNAmazonAddict 04-12-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A funny listen, but no writing samples to speak of"
    What did you love best about Bird by Bird?

    It was funny in many places but it was almost more biographical or like a collection of musings from Facebook or a blog. It wasn't really a book on how to write better. She talked about all the obstacles that a writer runs into, personal experience with her publishing company, jealousy of other writing friends who are publishing more books than her, students from her class that ask (on the first day) how they can get published right away, etc. I enjoyed it but it wasn't what I had originally hoped it would be.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Since this was a non fiction book, there was no memorable "ending."


    What about Susan Bennett’s performance did you like?

    She was actually wonderful. A clear, witty, funny narrator. I will look her up and see what else she can read.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Musings of a Writer


    Any additional comments?

    If you want to listen to a lighthearted book about being a writer, get this and and enjoy.

    If you want a book on how to actually BE a better writer, I highly recommend:

    1). On Writing by Sol Stein. Incredible advice and never a dull moment. The narrator, Christopher Lane, is awesome and keeps your attention throughout the entire book.

    2.) On Writing by Stephen King - The first half is autobiographical and then he gets down to business talking about real writing advice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia 03-25-15
    Patricia 03-25-15 Member Since 2015
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    "GREAT STORY NOT SO GREAT PERFORMANCE"

    I love the book but I don't like the voice of the narrator, makes the book sound too neurotic. I know Anne Lamott original voice and it's much more natural, quiet and slow. the story is great anyway

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian D. Hawkins 02-24-15 Member Since 2014

    Blogger and business book reviewer for Success Reads.

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    "Storyfied Education - Awesome"

    I enjoyed Bird By Bird. It was like learning about writing by one of the insiders while, at the same time, being treated with expertly written short stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Leanne Sherwood Park, AB, Canada 02-15-15
    Leanne Sherwood Park, AB, Canada 02-15-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Unexpectedly Funny & Informative"

    Any aspiring writer will appreciate the author's insight into the experiences of writing... Seriously- a nice break from the "how-to" books, yet, still gives you the "how-to's"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sora SOMERVILLE, MA, United States 12-15-14
    Sora SOMERVILLE, MA, United States 12-15-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Book on writing is good advice for life"
    What insight do you think you’ll apply from Bird by Bird?

    I appreciated the author's dry wit and sense of humor in this self-help-like book about writing. You can apply her messages, beliefs, and systems about writing to life. I shared copies with friends.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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