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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 (141 )
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  •  
    W. Perry Hall 02-05-14 Member Since 2012

    S. Quire

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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.

    3 of 3 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
  •  
    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
  •  
    Sora SOMERVILLE, MA, United States 12-15-14
    Sora SOMERVILLE, MA, United States 12-15-14 Member Since 2013
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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
  •  
    Michelle 11-27-14
    Michelle 11-27-14 Member Since 2014

    wildkat307

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    "If you want to write read this..."

    This book is funny, informative and a must read for any level writer. I loved it. Even if you're not a writer but are a creative person I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail Elmore 11-02-14
    Gail Elmore 11-02-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Wonderful book!"
    Would you listen to Bird by Bird again? Why?

    Absolutely. I actually own the paperback version! The author is so talented and the reader did a wonderful job.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the author's acceptance of herself and her stories were great!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I cannot pick just one.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me laugh out loud many, many times.


    0 of 0 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! :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ninos Skokie, IL, United States 07-30-14
    Ninos Skokie, IL, United States 07-30-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Thank You"

    Thank you for making this book on audible. I love the book...It really help me...Thank you again and again

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Southern California 01-28-14
    Scott Southern California 01-28-14 Member Since 2004
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    "Anne is my coolest friend riding shotgun in my car"
    What did you love best about Bird by Bird?

    Anne's writing...and the narrator's delivery make this message the tastiest meal ever. This book is funny and encouraging and helpful and I can't wait to go through it again.

    Her message is about how to be a better writer...and she makes me believe that I can be just that.


    What does Susan Bennett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Until just this second, I thought Anne read the book. This narrator had me totally conviced that it was the author speaking...it was so perfectly natural. It simply felt like someone just speaking from their heart. Effortless and perfect. And so funny.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES!!!


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to it now!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    eddie 10-05-13
    eddie 10-05-13
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    "worthless"

    This book contains little usable advice about writing. The author seems angry and spends too much time ranting and degrading those that don't agree with her.

    1 of 15 people found this review helpful
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