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Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith: Further Thoughts on Faith

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  18,041 Ratings  ·  837 Reviews
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 beco ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Riverhead Books (first published 2004)
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Mar 12, 2010 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: spiritual ragamuffins
On re-reading this, I am finding much more to like. She's definitely the kind of girl who wouldn't go to the bathroom with a toothpick at a barbecue, and I like that...the oh fucks, the shitty days, the raw admittance of real struggles, past and present. Like teeth grinding while quitting cocaine and bad boyfriends all the way to grief over losing a pet but also wanting to gather a small pile of stones just in case you need to resort to the Old Testament stoning method for a moody, rebellious t ...more
Mar 26, 2007 Judith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: almost everyone who's ever felt human
I love Anne LaMott. In fact, on my trip to northern California next weekend to the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer's Assoc. I am bugging out on Sunday to drive a rental car to Marin County to attend her church and just MAKE her be my friend and read my book. Our lives run parallel, only I realized it before she did as she got off her duff sooner than did I.

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
Jul 14, 2007 Melinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are interested in authentic spirituality
Shelves: essays
I read this book on a binge. Started it and couldn't put it down, the reading equivalent of a bag of chocolate chip cookies in front of the T.V. I've read her other books and still think Bird by Bird is the best book on writing I've ever read, but this one kinda snuck up on me. At first, I thought it was just going to be some funny bits, some thoughts on spirituality, and some ranting about Bush. Then, when Lamott suggests that she'll finally be able to forgive W. when they're sitting side by si ...more
Jan 08, 2011 D rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think that Anne Lamott may be my favorite author right now. This is the second book I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Since I believe in God, I love reading books by other believers who aren't ashamed of their faith. Anne Lamott is such an author, but her books are by no means preachy or self-righteous. Instead, she writes with humor and honestly about her struggles with every day life as she tries to survive in these crazy times, raise her teen-aged son and be an authentic Christ ...more
May 30, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: Jill
Overall, so well written. Maybe Lamott should have let some time pass before publishing her anti-Bush rants. One, it's so bitter. Two, it dates the book. Three, it takes away from the more lovely, insightful essays. Example: my favourite essay is "heat" (chapter 9). In it Lamott reveals all that's annoying about being a parent.

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
Feb 11, 2011 Cori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anne Lamott is sort of off her rocker. And I love her so very much for this. Whereas so many Christian writers seem pulled together, even in the worst of times, Lamott is not. She struggles like the rest of us. She cries. She yells. She says things she doesn’t mean (and says mean things she does mean). She has no idea what she’s doing most of the time. Yet she still manages to practice a very real grace to those around her. She loves deeply, and practices real forgiveness. She is self-depricatin ...more
Lisa Allender
May 29, 2009 Lisa Allender rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Bird By Bird" was recommended to me by the fabulously talented Pearl Cleage, when I encountered her after her appearance(to promote her, at-that-time-upcoming book, "What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day") at Agnes Scott's Lit Fest. I believe this was in 1997 or 1998.
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".
Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)
Reading this book made me feel good. It's funny and honest and sprinkled with profanity, but in the end, every essay is life-affirming and love-affirming.

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
Dec 20, 2008 Shauna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was at times funny, engaging, and earnest. I enjoyed the author's honesty and willingness to take on SOME topics - around parenting, for example - that are rarely broached. Over all, however, I found it a self-indulgent, obsessive endeavor on the part of the author.

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
May 26, 2009 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I suppose it's a little strange that I would really like this book given it's spiritual overtones, but Anne Lamott's unique blend of humor, observations on relationships and life in general ("Everyone has been having a hard time with life this year; not with all of it, just the waking hours"), not to mention her caustic comments about Bush even as she struggles to love him because her faith insists on it, should win over just about everyone. She can have you moved to tears as she describes the p ...more
Aug 07, 2010 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anne Lamott captures some powerful truths in this book...I hope I never forget the section below...

"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
Kari Yergin
I listened to this one, too. I like her writing much more than I like her reading. I love her stories and some of her words are so wise, but I got really sick of the her passionate but dated complaints about Bush.

"We figured out that ppl who make farting noises and weapons out of doritos should not determine what we do and don't do in class. There's a lovely hasidic story of a rabbi who always told his ppl that if they studied for the torah they would put scripture on their hearts. One of them
Aug 17, 2015 Ahf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While I'm not Christian I find her faith wonderful and inspiring. She despairs at what I despair at, and rejoices at the same things I rejoice at (often her son and politics for both). I love Anne Lamott as I have since reading Operating Instructions
Dec 31, 2007 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
uber quick read- but entertaining with some nice nuggets of truth thrown in as well. very stream of consciousness style which is easy and enjoyable, and often skim-able.
Mary Helene
I read this while babysitting my grandchildren for a week. Ms. Lamott's eloquent honesty on living with children was balm in the evening of the day. The column format (each chapter, I assume, was a previous column in some online form) was fine for this kind of intermittent reading. There are some hilarious gems on weddings and funerals and patchwork families. I wrote notes to myself of the advice which felt like a girlfriend had emailed me when I was desperate: "Change the way you treat people t ...more
Irreverent, provocative, stream of consciousness essays on life, politics, and faith.
My favorite book of the summer, Plan B is a follow-up to Lamott’s Traveling Mercies, her acclaimed collection of essays about spirituality. Lamott’s faith journey continues in Plan B with her characteristic combination of humor and sincerity as she grapples with her despair about the Iraq war, the Bush administration, and the frailties of middle age.

Unlike some religion writers, Lamott doesn’t portray belief in God as a given, but rather as a daily struggle in the midst of all the other petty f
Jackie Hilaire
Aug 23, 2015 Jackie Hilaire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
"Someday the lion shall lie down with the lamb, but the lamb is not going to get any sleep" Woody Allen

My first book by Anne Lamott proved to be a nice awakening. Anne tells her stories through her own lived experiences, pondering and meditating on the outcome of her choices.

Not giving up the quest through difficult times and embracing what and who is good in her life. She speaks from the heart and has she progresses on her journey she is living her true self, her truth.

By giving the Holy Spirit
Virginia Beam
Anne Lamott's prose is gorgeous and mesmerizing. Her theology, though, is patchy at best. Believe whatever you want to believe, but don't call it Christianity if it directly contradicts the fundamental tenants of Christianity. She says things like "God has very low standards"--really? In fact, God's standard is so high that it is unattainable except through grace. "I secretly believe this makes Jesus love you more"--perhaps not so secretly. Works-based Christianity is not Christianity. Her spiri ...more
Danyele Read
May 07, 2014 Danyele Read rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I fall 'in like' with Anne Lamott each time I begin anything she's written, there is so much promise, so much that is kindred for me in what she writes, then, by the end of whatever it is that I am reading, I have already separated myself from her, as easily as a butterfly separates from a flower, thanking it for the nectar, more than ready to move on. This book gets a 5 because of the writing and the content - an amazing mix of humor, insight, devotion to an inclusive spiritual Christian path, ...more
Jun 30, 2010 Candice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A while ago our home group read Grace Eventually by Anne Lamott and I liked it quite a bit, even though most of our home group didn’t. Anne is a woman after my own heart (and she says Don Miller is after hers as well, so it’s all good!). She writes: “I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything.” My good friend Heidi was thinking about me when she visited the dollar store, saw Plan B on the shelf and bought it. I’m so thankful she did!

Plan B is ac
There's something very liberating and courageous about someone who is not afraid to admit their shortcomings, their fears, their resentments towards others and themselves - exposing the dark side of themselves to the light for all the world to see.
And in admitting and owning up to their vulnerable, pitiful Self, there is healing.
On part of both the speaker and the listener.

By telling our stories of how we hurt, love, grow, falter, rejoice, break down, mess up, clean up, own up, blame, judge, le
Just a few passages that struck me:

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
May 01, 2009 hadashi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i'm biased with my stars, because the book is probably 4 stars, but Annie being Annie makes it a full five. although they'd be sort of odd company, i think of her and Madeleine L'Engle as the two women who have done more for me to embrace my faith and get comfy with it instead of bristle at all the stuff that comes with it that makes me feel squidgy and annoyed. i do love her earthy, authentic words about life & faith intersecting in all its messiness. for this girl who grew up in a very cle ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

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 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

"There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground" (Rumi, quoted on p. 37)

"I could feel something tugging on my inside sleeve, which is the only place I ever hear from God: on the shirtsleeve of my heart" (60).

"Archbishop Carlo Maria Martini of Milan wrote the 'full of grace' is the passive: grace is something Mary has received, and the phrase is in the distant past tense, so it really means something like, 'You have been loved for a very long time'" (63).

"Laughter is carbonated holiness"
Apr 18, 2009 Joan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had avoided this book because I had confused this author with an Anne of another name, whom I did not like. Then, I was driving somewhere and heard an interview with Anne Lamott, thought to myself that there was someone that I would like to listen to more and went looking for books by her. If you think (and wonder) about your relationship with things spiritual, this is a wonderful book. She is Christian, but I don't think that is a necessary condition for readers. The author seems quite honest ...more
Jan 16, 2008 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, here I go with the cheesy reviews, just warning you. It's late at night and I hope i won't be embarrassed I wrote this, but... When I read this book the first time it felt like I had been a dried out cactus and was getting a big drink of water or something. Now when I pick it up and re-read something random from it I'm encouraged and provoked and also a little uneasy and also inspired to trust that providence will help me and help the world's sad state of affairs somehow, someway. See, I c ...more
I like her meanderings and thoughts on being.....a woman,a Christian, a failure,a success...I just like it~!
Aug 24, 2014 Paula rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving Plan B five stars, not because every essay resonated with me, but because the ones that did were perspective changing and deeply helpful. Even the pieces I didn't relate to as well held gems of truth that I'm keeping in my pocket to look at and muse upon later. One of my favorite essays was "Adolescence," about Lamott's struggles parenting a teen. My son turns thirteen in two weeks and reading this was a life preserver that I will cling to throughout his high school years. Here's a sa ...more
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Anne Lamott is an author of several novels and works of non-fiction. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, her non-fiction works are largely autobiographical, with strong doses of self-deprecating humor and covering such subjects as alcoholism, single motherhood, and Christianity. She appeals to her fans because of her sense of humor, her deeply felt insights, and her outspoken views on topics such ...more
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“Hope is not about proving anything. It's about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.” 434 likes
“It's good to do uncomfortable things. It's weight training for life.” 384 likes
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