Bestselling author and spiritual sage, Anne Lamott releases Stitches: a Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair Tuesday, October 29th that follows her popular book on prayer, Help, Thanks, Wow. Stitches, captures her unique, wry and sometimes funny spiritual insights aimed at how to make sense out of life’s chaos in the midst of “evil or catastrophe.”
Such as unwanted divorce, suicide or natural disasters that she writes are examples of “when life hotfoots it out of town,” a phrase indicative of her unique writing style. Which she then summarizes with this question—“Where is meaning in the pits?”
The book is “intended to be useful on the bad days,” she writes. For days when the phone rings with news of a devastating car accident or the mail arrives with ominous diagnosis results that suggest cancer or the television pans horrific pictures to announce the largest tornado every recorded on earth such as the one that struck El Reno, OK, May 31, 2013.
She uses the example of the classic darning egg that fits insides damaged socks to make them easier to repair, to the familiar “rituals and repetitions” that make lives easier to repair and knit back together—“one stitch at a time.”
She shares her own recovery from addiction, the loss and death of close friends and her inability to explain the horror of the Connecticut Newtown massacre of 20 children to her Sunday school class as examples. It’s the return to everyday “fragments and experiences” that equip us to survive, she writes, whether with the help of a stranger, loved one, or neighbor.
That sense of community that draws communities together is what affords the “stitches” to recover “wholeness after loss” in the patchwork of life. Where, pain, grief and sadness are embraced with the help of God’s grace and the support of loving family and friends.
Anne’s thoughts on human loss and brokenness are served with slices of quirky humor, wisdom and spiritual insight that pull readers in and won’t let them go, perhaps because of what O Magazine calls “her honest portrayal of chaotic human emotions.”
For more of Anne’s unique outlook check out Anne Lamott Quotes posted by Brainy Quote.
Stitches…Meaning, Hope and Repair, by Anne Lamott, Riverhead Books, Hardcover, October 29, 2013, 112 Pages, 978-1594632587, $17.99
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Stitches: a Handbook of Meaning, Hope and Repair, by Anne Lamott
A wise and compassionate exploration of how we can make sense of life’s chaos.
What do we do when life lurches out of balance? How can we reconnect to one other and to what’s sustaining, when evil and catastrophe seem inescapable?
These questions lie at the heart of Stitches, Lamott’s profound follow-up to her New York Times–bestselling Help, Thanks, Wow. In this book Lamott explores how we find meaning and peace in these loud and frantic times; where we start again after personal and public devastation; how we recapture wholeness after loss; and how we locate our true identities in this frazzled age. We begin, Lamott says, by collecting the ripped shreds of our emotional and spiritual fabric and sewing them back together, one stitch at a time.
It’s in these stitches that the quilt of life begins, and embedded in them are strength, warmth, humor, and humanity.
Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, BY Anne Lamott
New York Times-bestselling author Anne Lamott writes about the three simple prayers essential to coming through tough times, difficult days and the hardships of daily life.
Readers of all ages have followed and cherished Anne Lamott’s funny and perceptive writing about her own faith through decades of trial and error. And in her new book, Help, Thanks, Wow, she has coalesced everything she knows about prayer to these fundamentals.
It is these three prayers – asking for assistance from a higher power, appreciating what we have that is good, and feeling awe at the world around us – that can get us through the day and can show us the way forward. In Help, Thanks, Wow, Lamott recounts how she came to these insights, explains what they mean to her and how they have helped, and explores how others have embraced these same ideas.
Insightful and honest as only Anne Lamott can be, Help, Thanks, Wow is the everyday faith book that new Lamott readers will love and longtime Lamott fans will treasure.
Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son, by Anne Lamott & Sam Lamott
“If there is a doyenne of the parenting memoir, it would be Anne Lamott.”—Time
In Some Assembly Required, Anne Lamott enters a new and unexpected chapter in her own life: grand-motherhood. Stunned to learn that her son, Sam, is about to become a father at nineteen, Lamott begins a journal about the first year of her grandson Jax’s life. In careful and often hilarious detail, Lamott and Sam—about whom she first wrote so movingly in Operating Instructions—struggle to balance their changing roles. By turns poignant and funny, honest and touching, Some Assembly Required is the true story of how the birth of a baby changes a family—as this book will change everyone who reads it.
Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, by Anne Lamott
“Lamott has chronicled her wacky and (sometimes) wild adventures in faith in…the wonderful Grace (Eventually).” (Chicago Sun-Times)
In Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, the author of the bestsellers Traveling Mercies and Plan B delivers a poignant, funny, and bittersweet primer of faith, as we come to discover what it means to be fully alive.
Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, by Anne Lamott
With the trademark wisdom, humor, and honesty that made Anne Lamott’s book on faith, Traveling Mercies, a runaway bestseller, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith is a spiritual antidote to anxiety and despair in increasingly fraught times.
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 fifty; 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.”
Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year, by Anne Lamott
It’s not like she’s the only woman to ever have a baby. At thirty-five. On her own. But Anne Lamott makes it all fresh in her now-classic account of how she and her son and numerous friends and neighbors and some strangers survived and thrived in that all important first year. From finding out that her baby is a boy (and getting used to the idea) to finding out that her best friend and greatest supporter Pam will die of cancer (and not getting used to that idea), with a generous amount of wit and faith (but very little piousness), Lamott narrates the great and small events that make up a woman’s life.
Imperfect Birds: A Novel, Anne Lamott
A powerful and redemptive novel of love and family-
from the beloved bestselling author.
Seventeen-year-old Rosie Ferguson is smart, athletic, and beautiful- everything her mother, Elizabeth, and stepfather, James, hoped she would be. But as the school year draws to a close, there are disturbing signs that the well-adjusted teenage life that Rosie claims to be leading is a sham. Slowly and painfully, Elizabeth and James are forced to confront the fact that Rosie has been lying to them-and that her deceptions have profound consequences for them all. Imperfect Birds is Anne Lamott’s most honest and heartrending novel, exploring our human quest for connection and salvation as it exposes the traps that life-and we-set for ourselves.
Blue Shoe, by Anne Lamott
The New York Times Bestseller from the beloved author of Bird by Bird and Traveling Mercies.
Mattie Ryder is marvelously neurotic, well-intentioned, funny, religious, sarcastic, tender, angry, and broke. Her life at the moment is a wreck: her marriage has failed, her mother is failing, her house is rotting, her waist is expanding, her children are misbehaving, and she has a crush on a married man. Then she finds a small rubber blue shoe—nothing more than a gumball trinket—left behind by her father. For Mattie, it becomes a talisman—a chance to recognize the past for what it was, to see the future as she always hoped it could be, and to finally understand her family, herself, and the ever-unfolding mystery of her sweet, sad, and sometimes surprising life.
Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, by Anne Lamott
Anne Lamott claims the two best prayers she knows are: “Help me, help me, help me” and “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” She has a friend whose morning prayer each day is “Whatever,” and whose evening prayer is “Oh, well.” Anne thinks of Jesus as “Casper the friendly savior” and describes God as “one crafty mother.”
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.
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott
“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'”