Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

Rate this book
From the New York Times bestselling author of Hallelujah Anyway and Help, Thanks, Wow, a spiritual antidote to anxiety and despair in increasingly fraught times.

As Anne Lamott knows, the world is a dangerous place. Terrorism and war have become the new normal. Environmental devastation looms even closer. And there are personal demands on her faith as well: getting older; her mother's Alzheimer's; her son's adolescence; and the passing of friends and time.

Fortunately for those of us who are anxious 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 that we’re not alone 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 is further evidence that, as The New Yorker has written, "Anne Lamott is a cause for celebration."

320 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2004

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Anne Lamott

101 books8,727 followers
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 as her left-of-center politics and her unconventional Christian faith. She is a graduate of Drew College Preparatory School in San Francisco, California. Her father, Kenneth Lamott, was also a writer and was the basis of her first novel Hard Laughter.

Lamott's life is documented in Freida Lee Mock's 1999 documentary Bird by Bird: A Film Portrait of Writer Anne Lamott.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
7,536 (36%)
4 stars
8,120 (39%)
3 stars
3,958 (19%)
2 stars
861 (4%)
1 star
343 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,007 reviews
Profile Image for Jen.
247 reviews149 followers
March 12, 2010
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 teenager.

There are authors who I would really love to listen to but hate to meet over dinner. Anne Lamott is one of these writers. She is too much like me, I'm afraid. There would be firestarting, fireworks, loud arguments. But her prose is near and present for me, making me feel better about my struggles about a lack of faith or the problematic practice of it. And I will read this book again for a third time. Maybe by that time I'll have gathered a small pile of stones designated for throwing at a rebellious and ass-y teen. If so, I know just how to handle things.

Profile Image for Melinda.
957 reviews
July 15, 2007
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 side at the table in heaven, my spirit perked up. Lamott writes about being a Christian and loving Jesus in a seriously funny way. I especially liked the chapter on the changes her fifth decade has brought (more self kindness, for one thing), and the opening essay, "Ham of God." The commencement speech is good, too. Warning: if you're an indiscriminate fan of the Bush adminstration or you are easily offended by colorful language, you probably won't like this book.
Profile Image for Judith.
Author 5 books17 followers
March 26, 2007
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 my moussed and perhaps pointed head.

She comments in the book that her son is entering adolescence as she enters menopause, often walking into the shower while wearing her glasses. I have done this so often and then just shrug, well, "at least I'll clean my glasses too." Anne laments (sorry for the weakened watered down pun, just coming from the shower) that this is why people should have children while they are young, so that at least some of the time there is one sane person in the house.

My Olivia is turning 11 in less than a month. She wants me to see each and every change she thinks her still-childlike body is making; which is way more information than I need or want at this juncture, and I would have taken 2 million dollars rather than show my changing body to my mother, of all the people on the planet. Which may qualify me to editorialize on LaMott's writing, as she has still not forgiven her mother's ashes some years after her death.... or may equivocally disqualify me.

See? She has to take a walk with me along the rugged beach she loves and describes so well.

Judith Ann Hillard
author of:

The Other Woman at the Well
Profile Image for Sarah.
128 reviews10 followers
May 30, 2012
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 get off the phone now! No, not in five minutes"? Or to a friend, "Get over here, right this second! The longer you make me wait, the worse it's going to be for you." Or to a salesman at Sears who happens to pick up a ringing phone, "Don't you dare answer the phone when I'm talking to you.""

Or this great insight: "What has helped me lately was to figure out that when we blow up at our kids, we only think we're going from zero to sixty in one second. Our surface and persona are so calm that when a problem beings, we sound in control when we say, "Now honey, stop that," or "That's enough." But it's only an illusion. In fact, all day we've been nursing anger toward the boss or boyfriend or mother, yet since we can't get mad at nonkid people, we stuff it down. When the problem with your kid starts up, you're really beginning at fifty-nine, but you're not moving. You're at high idle already, yet not aware of how vulnerable and disrespected you already feel.
Profile Image for Deb.
474 reviews5 followers
January 9, 2011
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 Christian. It is also refreshing to read the thoughts of a believer whose politics are definitely left of center, and to know that political views don't and shouldn't have any bearing on following Jesus. This book really struck a chord with me. It was poignant in some places and laugh-out-loud funny in others. I am going through her Thoughts on Faith" series backwards, since first I read "Grace Eventually" which was the most recent. I still haven't read the first in the series, "Traveling Mercies." I got started on the series quite by accident when I picked up "Grace Eventually" one night in the book section of Target and starting reading just a bit here and there. After about five minutes, I knew I would either have to purchase the book or stay in the store all night reading it. I've been looking for books by Anne Lamott every since.
Profile Image for Lisa Allender.
19 reviews9 followers
May 30, 2009
"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". I dare you to NOT read this book, after you read the following lines:
"On my forty-ninth birthday, I decided that all of life was hopeless, and I would eat myself to death. These are desert days. Better to go out by your own hand than to endure a slow death by scolding at the hands of the Bush administration."
You'll roar with laughter as Ms. Lamott gives her prescient take on George W.
You'll see yourself in her incredibly irreverent view of what is "sacred". And you'll marvel at her faith--in herself, her family, friends--and an elusive entity she refers to as God.
Give yourself a gift this year: Anne Lamott!!!
6 reviews2 followers
December 20, 2008
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 church is present in her stories. I think the publishers needed a way to tie together the disparate stories, and faith was as good a marketing package as any.

The stories also followed a predictable pattern: she described some situation, created neurotic drama around it, then found beauty. Situation, self-created drama, beauty. Repeat. This became tiresome.
I don't recommend this book.
Profile Image for Eric_W.
1,920 reviews355 followers
May 26, 2009
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 painful death of a friend to howls of laughter describing bumps in the road raising a teenager.

Lamott is unfailingly honest about herself and others. Predictably, some reviewers have complained about an occasional "vulgarity," but to me that just makes her writing more honest and real. After all Jesus, himself, was nothing if not radical and honest. I suggest that anyone offended by this book has no life and little compassion.

Lamott has all these great lines. We were listening to her read her book; I would recommend this as she is such a great raconteur. I was unable to write down all the great lines, but here's a small sample:

"If you insist on having a destination when you enter a library, you're short-changing yourself."
"Someday the lamb is going to lie down with the lion, but the lamb is not going to get any sleep."
"Jesus was soft on crime; he'd never get elected to anything."
"On my forty-ninth birthday, I decided that all of life is hopeless, and I would eat myself to death. These are dessert days."
Profile Image for Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym).
593 reviews55 followers
October 20, 2009
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, then bemoaned the fact that she couldn't convert a Jewish man before he killed himself gruesomely at his office (the cause of death, in her mind, being the lack of Jesus in his life).

True believers like this frighten me, make me yawn, or climb all over my last nerve. They give Christians a bad name.

Anne Lamott gives Christians a good name. She's not perfect, she doesn't rain judgment down on people who aren't like her, and she struggles daily to stay close to God, to keep an open mind, and to be kind to herself and others.

Reading her essays got me wanting to live a more mindful, generous, and helpful life, *especially* when it's inconvenient and difficult to do so.
Profile Image for Trevor.
23 reviews
May 12, 2010
It seems that not even Anne Lamott can write a book as good as Traveling Mercies.

Of course there remains the beautiful nuggets of truth scattered throughout. And it wouldn't be a Lamott book without a very good helping of irreverence; which, surprisingly, can be freeing and comforting.

However, though this book reminded me what I first experienced in Traveling Mercies -- that it's OK to not be OK -- something here felt unfinished, or maybe even forced. Where Travling Mercies said, "Here I am, as I am," Plan B seemed to say, "Here I am again. No, seriously...here I am. Check me out."

If you are looking for, or expecting, the experience you had with her first set of essays, just re-read Mercies. I'm glad I continued down the road, and definitely plan on working through Grace Eventually to finish out the trifecta...but I imagine I'll read page one with less enthusiasm than I did with the first words of Plan B.
Profile Image for Madona.
12 reviews2 followers
April 15, 2010
Anne Lamott is very witty. I'd love to have her as a friend/mentor. While I appreciated many of the insights offered in this book, I was a bit turned off by the politics. She wrote the book during the Bush administration's reign, and she was pissed off and terrified, and so was I...but I don't think it's productive to turn Bush into the scapegoat. Reading this book now, her demonization of Bush feels dated.
With that said, I plan to read more of her works because I think she has the wonderful ability to see beauty and hope and light in the midst of rotten rotten times.
104 reviews13 followers
July 8, 2009
I love Anne Lamott. Traveling Mercies was hilarious, observant, and honest. This has all of these elements as she continues to reflect on little moments in life. This one just didn't quite blow me away the same way. I would still recommend it though. Check it out.
Profile Image for Rachel Vardeman.
51 reviews
February 16, 2023
I love Anne Lamott. For her realness, her wit, her grace with herself and the world, but mostly herself. I grew up in the toxic cesspool of Southern Evangelism and have worked for years to deny anything that breathes mention of similar ideas. Anne reminds me that real faith and prayer are not riddled with fear and damnation but full of grace and peace. That if there is some higher power out there, They're probably smiling down at us. And that's a big if, for me. But regardless of how you feel or where you are, this book offers so much more. I laughed out loud many, many times and like I wanted to sit down with my mom for a long chat about life.
Profile Image for Kate.
318 reviews
September 5, 2009
"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" (66).

"During the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy received two letters from the Kremlin. One was aggressive, the other gentler. And because Kennedy said to his men, 'Let's respond to the saner message,' we did not get blown up, or have to blow up the world. So I tried to respond to the kinder voice" (66).

"Even as we improved as teachers and students, the children continued to have impulse-control problems; the very thing that made them spontaneous and immediate could also make them mean. One day a mouthy eight-year-old said something insulting about my dreadlocks. Rather than hit him over the head with the Wiffle Ball bat, which was my first impulse, I sat beside him and said, 'It's only been in the last ten years that I learned how beautiful my hair and I are, so please don't say critical things about me. It hurts my feelings.' He gaped at me, and said, 'You're freaking me out, Octopus Head'" (70).

"There's a lovely Hasidic story of a rabbi who always told his people that if they studied the Torah, it would put Scripture on their hearts. One of them asked, 'Why on our hearts, and not in them?' The rabbi answered, 'Only God can put Scripture inside. But reading sacred text can put it on your hearts, and then when your hearts break, the holy words fall inside'" (73).

"Your sick, worried mind can't heal your sick worried mind" (130).

"Arrange whatever pieces come your way" (Virginia Woolf quoted on p. 166)

" . . . not only do I get along with me most of the time now, I am militantly and maternally on my own side" (172).

"The eight-year-old flower girl could not be there [at the rehearsal:], and she did not really need to be, because there is no one more capable and helpful than an eight-year-old girl" (248-9).

"I remembered something Father Tom had told me--that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns" (257).

"Rumi wrote, 'Be a well-baked loaf.' Loaves are made to be eaten, to be buttered, and shared. Rumi is saying to be of service, to be delicious and give life" (296)....Reminds me ofSleeping with Bread.

"Rest and laughter are the most spiritual and subversive acts of all" (308).

1st read this book in April 2006. Listened to the audiobook in August 2009.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
3,612 reviews2,581 followers
May 8, 2020
Here’s the more political material I remembered from Lamott. Desperately angry about the impending Iraq War, she struggles to think civilly about Bush. “I wake up some mornings pinned to the bed by centrifugal sadness and frustration.” In the meantime, her difficult mother has died and it takes years to get to a point where she can take the woman’s ashes (with a misspelling on the name label) out of the closet and think of scattering them. Sam is a teenager and there are predictable battles of wills but also touching moments as they rekindle a relationship with his father. Lamott also starts a Sunday School and says goodbye to a dear old dog. A few of the essays (especially “One Hand Clapping”) feel like filler, and there are not all that many memorable lines. “Ham of God,” though, is an absolute classic about the everyday miracle of a free ham she could pass on to a family who needed it.

I’ve been surprised that Lamott hasn’t vented her spleen against Donald Trump in her most recent books – he makes Bush look like a saint, after all. But I think it must be some combination of spiritual maturity and not wanting to alienate a potential fan base (though to most evangelicals she’ll be beyond the pale anyway). Although her response to current events makes this book less timeless than Traveling Mercies, I found some of her words applicable to any troubled period: “These are such rich, ripe times for paranoia and despair that each celebration, each occasion of tribal love and music and overeating glows more brightly … People are helping one another keep their spirits up.”

My secondhand copy has had quite the journey: it has a “The Munich Readery” stamp in the front and has sat text block facing out on a shelf for ages judging by the pattern of yellowing; I picked it up from the Community Furniture Project, a local charity warehouse, last year for a matter of pence.

Some favorite lines:

(on caring for an ageing body) “You celebrate what works and you take tender care of what doesn’t, with lotion, polish and kindness.”

“Rest and laughter are the most spiritual and subversive acts of all. Laugh, rest, slow down.”

Originally published on my blog, Bookish Beck.
Profile Image for Julie.
63 reviews3 followers
August 7, 2010
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 it was all that bad, and then some, and all we could do was talk, pray and stick together. We somehow managed to laugh a lot, the great miracle, and we sought wise counsel -- medical, financial, spiritual. A nurse from the Alzheimer's Association finally entered into the mess with us. We said, "We don't know what we're doing; we don't know if we should put her in a home; we don't even know what's true anymore," and the nurse said gently, "How could you know?"

And so we kept hobbling forward, and all we could do was the next right thing. I kept remembering an old Xeroxed photo of Koko the signing gorilla, with a caption beneath it that read, "The law of the American jungle: Remain calm, share your bananas." That's what we did -- cried, tried to make each other laugh and stay calm, shared our bananas. And when the time came to know what to do, we did. I took the cat out of her arms; we put her in a home. It was a nightmare. It killed something in us, and we came through."
Profile Image for Crystal.
1,362 reviews52 followers
February 26, 2010
mostly I'd have to say this book was disappointing, but I think it was because I suffered under false pretenses to start it. I'd been told it was a Christian book, and made the mistake of expecting a Christian book like others I'd read. definitely not. most of the time, barely Christian. her faith seems a little more new agey/ unitarian than Christian sometimes. I appreciate her embrace of the imperfections of humanity, and her message about grace is always important, but I don't know how much I actually got from reading the book, other than relief she wasn't in my life. chaotic crazy people like her, no matter how nice, give me a headache.
I did enjoy a few pieces, especially towards the end, especially whenever she'd shut up about the Democratic party (despite voting that way often, I don't hold to any one party being better than others, and it annoys me when someone like her is more religious about a political party than about her own faith.). Her message about accepting oneself, warts and all, is always a good one, and I liked her reflections about learning to forgive her mom. But I won't read this book again, and doubt I'd read anything else of hers if I didn't have to.
Profile Image for Kari Yergin.
591 reviews13 followers
June 24, 2014
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 asked, why ON our hearts and not IN them? The rabbi answered, Only God can put scripture inside but reading sacred texts can put it on your hearts and then when your hearts break, the holy words will fall inside."
176 reviews
August 3, 2019
This is not a book about faith. It is more of a loose collection of reflections on the author's life that the editors were determined to cobble together into a book.

Lamott has a mostly new-Age perspective (along the "divine spark is within you" and "God is nature" variety) so not much insight there. She is often downright mean about others, especially her mother and the people on the cruise.

It's just a depressing collection of baggage. A sentiment that is repeated throughout: "These are such rich, ripe times for paranoia and despair...." Just because George Bush is president?? She needs more to worry about.

A couple of good quotes:
"...the reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day"
"laughter is carbonated holiness"
Profile Image for Dustin Tramel.
198 reviews6 followers
January 18, 2009
I usually love Anne Lamott's writing but in this book she complains and whines too much about George W. Now, I'm not a fan of G.W. and I'm neither Republican or Democratic, however, Anne constantly vents about how awful he is. In almost every chapter she complains G.W. - it gets old really fast and takes away from an otherwise great book about Christian spirituality.
482 reviews
August 17, 2015
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
Profile Image for Annie Norman.
133 reviews1 follower
April 5, 2019
I engulfed this book in one sitting. I’ve heard so much about Anne Lamott and enjoyed her writing even more than I expected to. She is raw and honest. I laughed out loud, grieved with her, and was inspired to love deeper.
Profile Image for Adam.
98 reviews1 follower
December 31, 2007
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.
Profile Image for Jo.
15 reviews1 follower
January 29, 2014
I like her meanderings and thoughts on being.....a woman,a Christian, a failure,a success...I just like it~!
Profile Image for Rendi Hahn.
248 reviews5 followers
December 26, 2018
I've only read one other book by Anne Lamott (Hallelujah Anyway), which was written more recently, and I liked it very much. I picked this one up at Goodwill - published in 2005, it is planted firmly in the context of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the presidency of George W. Bush. Anne Lamott was not a fan of either. And while in some ways this dated the content, in other ways it paralleled so closely the times we are now living in the post-Obama era. Anne is blunt, irreverent, hilarious, challenging. The chapters and stories are woven together in a tribute to keeping the faith when it doesn't make sense, loving your enemies even when it's really hard, and being part of a community to walk with you in the process. Heads up: some language.

"What a mess we are, I thought. But this is usually where any hope of improvement begins, acknowledging the mess."

"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."

And a good quote to end the review from p. 220: "...{Jesus] is available to everyone. His love and mercy fall equally upon us all. This is so deeply not me. I know the world is loved by God, as are all of its people, but it is much easier to believe that God hates or disapproves of or punishes the same people I do, because these thoughts are what is going on inside me much of the time."
Profile Image for Lisal Kayati Roberts.
360 reviews4 followers
September 4, 2022
This Christian author is my crankiest, most honest friend. Her laugh out loud aphorisms are addictive and enlightening. Love her!
Profile Image for Candice.
124 reviews
June 30, 2010
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 actually the precursor to Grace Eventually, and Traveling Mercies is the precursor to Plan B. Traveling Mercies is next on my list to read. I’m reading a trilogy in reverse, go figure. I’m guess that’s what the plan was, unbeknownst to me.

I thought Plan B was much better than Grace Eventually. For me reading Anne Lamott is like being at home. She writes the way I feel and the way I wish I could express. (“Grace means you’re in a different universe from where you had been stuck, when you had absolutely no way to get there on your own.”) She makes me want to try to express, though. In fact she advises: “You start where you are, and you flail around for a while (writing), and if you keep doing it, every day you get closer to something good.”

When I read what Anne writes I don’t feel so lonely, I realize someone else besides me is an anxious mess. Amidst this Anne tries to motivate herself (and her readers) to pray and to sit still and to listen. I also happen to think Anne’s hilarious. I could start this book over right now but I’ve got too much reading on my “to do” list, so I’ll pass it back to Heidi and hope she enjoys it as much as I did.

I am going to hold back giving this book 5 stars, however, because as much as I loved it Anne wrote a little bit too much about her hatred of George Bush. Not that I don’t respect her right to (admittedly) hate someone as much as she does he (although she’s working on it, see Chapter 17 “Loving your president: Day 2”) it’s just that I could only handle so much.

Anne has some great stories about her friends…She asks Father Tom “How are we going to get through this craziness?” He wisely answers: “Left foot, right foot, left foot, breathe.” She writes lovingly about her animals, her church, and of course her son. In Plan B she also spends a good deal of time discussing her difficult relationship with her (now deceased) mother, which, as she writes about in Grace Eventually, her family gave her quite a bit of flack for doing.

Here’s a few quotes I really liked…

“Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back.”

“You can either practice being right or practice being kind.”

“Maybe this is what grace is, the unseen sounds that make you look up.”

“Learning to love back is the hardest part of being alive.”

“Gratitude, not understanding, is the secret to joy and equanimity.”

And, finally, Anne Lamott reminds me: “Jesus had washed his disciples’ feet, to show that peace was not about power; it was about love and gentleness, and being of service.” I really appreciate her wisdom, and I look forwarding to putting it into practice. My life is better today because I read Plan B, I hope you'll read it too.
Profile Image for Phyllis.
229 reviews31 followers
August 31, 2021
a quick skim. I like her, just not interested in all her topics. I like her thoughts about aging, but she was not that old when she wrote this, much younger than I am now. I like her graduation address, near the end of the book.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,007 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.