We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Bird by Bird Audiobook

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.
    • 1 audiobook per month
    • 180,000+ titles to choose from
    • $14.95 per month after free trial

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 (573 )
5 star
 (382)
4 star
 (123)
3 star
 (47)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (9)
Overall
4.5 (504 )
5 star
 (328)
4 star
 (118)
3 star
 (40)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (10)
Story
4.6 (508 )
5 star
 (376)
4 star
 (86)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (10)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    BLC 08-17-13
    BLC 08-17-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EastTNAmazonAddict 04-12-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W Perry Hall 02-05-14 Member Since 2015

    “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” Steinbeck

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1347
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    653
    244
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    65
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason & Heather Boston, MA, United States 06-11-15
    Jason & Heather Boston, MA, United States 06-11-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "15 stars"

    If you write or want to, read it. If you are any kind of creative, read it & transpose "writing," with painting, quilting, composing, campaigning, pearl diving, etc.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy 06-25-15
    Amy 06-25-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    94
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "By far the best book on writing I've ever read."

    Not only is this the best book on writing I've ever read it's in my top 10 favorite books of all time. Anne Lamott doesn't just give excellent advice on writing but captures the emotional roller-coaster that is the writing life. I often listen to this book rewind the beginning and start it all over again.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorraine 06-12-14
    Lorraine 06-12-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane 07-05-15
    Diane 07-05-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best...Best writer ever!"

    A friend of mine gave me this book maybe 10 years ago...never read it. Believing it is never to late and hoping listening would satisfy the soul...I listened and my heart was torn open. Inch by inch I felt her words come alive and bring more life to my already well lived years. A must read for anyone who loves to read, think, feel and grow.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kay Standefer Alamogordo, NM United States 07-02-15
    Kay Standefer Alamogordo, NM United States 07-02-15 Member Since 2010

    Thinker11

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "As good as I remembered it."

    I think I wore my first copy out reading and rereading it. I listened to the Audible version this time and loved it just as much. I believe Susan Bennett is the perfect reader for Bird by Bird - excellent job, and the time flew by.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly B 06-05-15
    Holly B 06-05-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fun, Entertaining and Instructional!"

    I loved Ms Lamont's frank honesty. Her quips and stories of life opened a world of learning that snuck up on me. At times, I laughed out loud as I was drawn further into the lines of "Bird by Bird." I highly recommend this book to aspiring writers as well as to any one who enjoys the stories of life.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derek M. Sym 05-17-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engaging and actionable"

    I'm only 3 chapters in but the writing feels directed at me personally. Love it and can't wait to hear the rest!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.