Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
The world is a more dangerous place than it was when Lamott's Traveling Mercies was published five years ago. Terrorism and war have beco...more
We are both single moms. We both share recovery from addiction. We both have memorable hair, hers in dreadlocks, mine sticking straight up from m...more
Traveling Mercies chronicled Lamott's slow journey toward faith. Now in her 50s, Lamott still insists upon sugarcoating nothing in this enlightening update. She combines brilliant sparks of wit, self-deprecating humor, wisdom, and appreciation in these 24 essays, previously published in Salon (see http://dir.salon.com/topics/anne_lamott/ for an excerpt from Plan B). If some have a moralistic bent, they rarely proselytize; instead, they inquire into Lamott's own, and sometimes naughty, truths. Th...more
For example, twice she compares making her teenaged son go to church with making him floss and do his homework. I don't see these as the same sort of thing. Flossing is beneficial to a perso...more
If you're familiar withAnne Lamottor have read some of her more intentionally theological pieces like "Traveling Mercies" before, you know that she's quite the eccentric writer but that, just when you think her story couldn't have anythingless to do with God, she levels you with brilliant spiritual truths.
If you've never read Lamott before, she'sdabbled in fiction,has offered great guidance and assuranc...more
Ex: "One reason I think we get so angry with our children is that we can. Who else is there that you can talk to like this? Can you imagine saying to your partner, "You g...more
"What are you supposed to do, when what is happening can't be? When it's all too scary and weirdly fascinating and grim, and the old rules no longer apply? I remember this feeling when my mother was in the last stages of Alzheimer's, when my brothers and I needed so much more to go on than we had -- explanations, plans, a tour guide, and hope that it really wasn't going to be all that bad. But then...more
Anne’s been through a lot. She had a father who was also a writer and a drinker, and she herself was addicted to substances when she was younger. She changed some things around and fo...more
I read the book with excitement, and Anne Lamott(as well as Ms. Cleage) are favorite authors to this day.
"Plan B" was published in 2005, just a short time after the 2004 election.
Let me give you the first few lines of "Plan B"....more
This book is a sequel of sorts to Lamott's book, "Traveling Mercies" (TM). I read the first book several weeks ago and the moment I finished it, I got online and ordered this book. I did a little math and realized that it had been ten years since TM was first published and I was dying to know what had happened to Lamott and her son, Sam, since then. While TM is a chronological telling of Lamott's life (ending with Sam's eighth birthday), Plan B is not so linear. Instead...more
She's so good, she made me consider going to church sometime. That's no small thing. I am a non-religious but open-minded person who gets very bored during sermons. Bored, or alienated.
The last time I tried out a Christian church -- the first time since high school -- the guest speaker spent 45 minutes telling us we were God's chosen ones, th...more
The Church of 80% Sincerity (109-110)
-80% sincerity is about as good as it's going to get. So is 80% compassion. 80% celibacy. So 20% of the time, you just get to be yourself.
-This is contrary to everything society leads us to believe - that it's 100% or nothing
-In the Church of 80% Sincerity, everyone has come to understand that unconditional love is a reality, but with a shelf life of about 8 to 10 seconds. Instead of beating yourself up because you feel it o...more
This book, like others she has written, takes moments in her life and compares them to faith and her understanding of God (whoever "She" may be...). I absolutely love her writing style and her comparisons. Half the time she says what's in my head that I would be too afraid to ever say out loud, much less write for the world to see. The other half the time she's so far off from my own life experiences I have a h...more
The stories were held loosely together by the "faith" thread - but Ms. Lamott didn't engage thoughtfully or analytically with the topic of faith. It just happens that she's a member of a church and the community of her chur...more
Lamott's religion is so different than mine has been for much of my adult life--it's...more
Some notes from the book:
- peace is joy at rest and joy is peace on its feet.
- forgiveness means it's finally unimportant that you hit back.
- one secret of life is that the reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day. Another secret is that laughter is carbonated holiness.
- President Kennedy received 2 letters from Russia during the Cuban Missile Crisis. One agre...more
"When you pray, you are not starting the conversation from scratch, just remembering to plug back into a conversation that's always in progress." p.25
"Jesus said, 'The point is to not hate and kill each other today, and if you can, to help the forgotten and powerless. Can you write that down, and leave it by the phone?'" p. 55
"I nursed my resentments and disgrace like young plants, watering them, trimming back the dead l...more
Big thumbs up to the parts about her teenage son, life as a single mom, blended family complications, and connecting with friends.
Big yawns to (a) the frequent vitriolic comments on how much she hates George W. Bush, and (b) angst about gaining weight...more
Anne Lamott is someone I easily relate with as she ponders how to live peacefully and happily in a world where so much is going wrong. She, like I was, is particularly d...more