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Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair
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Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  10,318 ratings  ·  1,053 reviews
“Lamott’s …most insightful book yet, Stitches offers plenty of her characteristic witty wisdom…this slim, readable volume [is] a lens on life, widening and narrowing, encouraging each reader to reflect on what it is, after all, that really matters.”—People

What do we do when life lurches out of balance? How can we reconnect to one other and to what’s sustaining, when evil
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Riverhead Books
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  10,318 ratings  ·  1,053 reviews

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Terry Lucas
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I read an Anne Lamott book, I always want to call someone and read it aloud. The writing in this book paints pictures and grabs your heart and shakes it.
Mar 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Gotta see my Kindle notes for this one FIRST:

If you look at Anne’s wonderful story at the 24% point of my excerpts you may be happy to know that this story goes on in the book...

“The girl (sitting next to the young cancer patient Mason, after the Sandy Hook shootings) asked me (Anne)... ‘Why does he talk so funny?’

“Mason didn’t seem to notice. He said, ‘I AM a miracle.’

“Then he raised his arms and fists like Muscleman.”

God bless little Mason.

And yes, Anne’s a wonderful, pithy writer, with an en
Diane S ☔
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Many of us who grew up on the fifties and sixties will find it easy to relate to this book. Told to get over things quickly and that what happens in the family, stays in the family we grew up repressing many of our feelings. Anne, was an emotional child who felt things intensely and was told that she was over emotional. A view she had a hard time living with but one that lead her to books and fostered her love of them.

This is a sort of how to feel book, or an it is okay to feel book. Some of us
Oct 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
Sorry, just couldn't do it. I've heard great things about Anne Lamott, but by page 4 I was gritting my teeth.

I think the thing that killed it for me is the sense that the tragedies of the world are happening to her. Katrina, 9/11: happening to her. Tragedies that her children endure: happening to her.

And then I hit this sentence on Page 5: "But what if your perfect child becomes sick, obese, an addict or a homeless adult?" I think my mother thinks my fatness is something that happens to her. A
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for Lamott's philosophical musings gently tinged by her Christian faith. She's not shy about it, but is gracious in her acceptance of whatever you the reader might subscribe to. Here she's musing on loss. She offers up no easy answers, no grand epiphanies, just a hand on the shoulder and a nod of recognition. Sometimes you just need a silent witness, not empty platitudes about God's plan. She quotes self-proclaimed Hind-Jew Ram Dass who said ultimately we're all just walking each ot ...more
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Anne Lamott would be my dear friend in another life. Or, maybe she is... Even if we have yet to formally meet.
She writes about the pain of losing friends; hyperventilating over children (over imagined fears); teaching children via coffee filters and wishing someone had told her that life is hard. Who wouldn't want to take a long walk with her? The next best thing is this: reading her books to remind you that you are not the only crazy person who thinks about deep questions and doesn't know wheth
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another book of wit and wisdom from an author for whom this has become a cottage industry. What Anne Lamott does is, in my experience, quite unique: she bares her soul and invites you to heal along with her. Lamott is a damaged person and does not shy away from revealing just how damaged she is. But her assumption (correct as far as I can see) is that we are all broken, too, and that nothing is more healing than sharing that with one another.

Of course, if one comes to pick nits, they are easy to
debbicat *made of stardust*
I think Anne and I would be good friends. I can kinda see us being kindred spirits. I loved this short book and enjoyed taking a few walks to it. I am now reading Traveling Mercies and it is becoming a favorite. More of a review to follow. I highly recommend it.
Kelly Hager
Sep 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's not surprising that this is a brilliant book. I haven't read anywhere near all of her books yet (I think this is my second nonfiction of hers and I've read one of her novels) but I've been incredibly impressed by everything I have read.

I do wish this book had been longer and that things had been explored a little more. However, anything by Anne Lamott is something to be celebrated and this book is absolutely no exception.

The thing I loved most about this book is the fact that it doesn't res
Sep 12, 2013 rated it liked it
I love Anne Lamott and read all of her non-fiction as soon as it comes out. I was slightly disappointed in this one (although a "not so great" book by Anne Lamott is still much better than most books out there) - I felt like it was kind of all over the place. I love the stories that she tells, and there weren't enough of them in this book. I would definitely recommend her earlier works to someone who hasn't read her before, but perhaps not this one; die-hard fans will still like and appreciate i ...more
Nov 17, 2013 rated it liked it
This reads less like a book and more like the transcript of a talk (one could easily read this entire thing over a cup or two of coffee) and having heard Anne Lamott speak, I appreciated it in that sense. Her writing always seems to find its way into my life at the right time. I’m not sure I’ll pick this up when I want to dip into her writing (that’s what Traveling Mercies is for), but it still contains the essence of what I love about her.
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I love Anne Lamott. I eagerly awaited this one. I was sad that it was so thin. I was sad that it seemed disjointed, not that life itself is nothing if not disjointed. I didn't understand the shirt story, how it fit into the whole thing. At least it didn't fit for me.

There are some good truths in it, good quotes. Except for the one by Augustine - good quote, but I think he was a big misogynist so I think I would have picked a different guy to use. :-)
Oct 06, 2013 rated it liked it
2.5, rounding up to 3

A slim inspirational book with Anne's trademark wit and wisdom but once again, the meanderings and flight of ideas made it a less than satisfying read. This is the second book by Lamott that has been a disappointment, although in all fairness, Traveling Mercies is a hard act to follow.

Diane Barnes
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a typical Anne Lamott book, giving us an incredible look at the human spirit and what it is capable of.
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A comforting re-read
Dr. Tobias Christian Fischer
May 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
The book questions our existence and searches for the purpose in our life. There might be none but the book describes good alternatives. #blinkist
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't know what took me so long to get around to reading one of Anne Lamott's books. Every reader, feeler, believer, homesteader, and Instagrammer seems to include her on their list of favorite authors. Actually, now that I mention it, I guess that's what took me so long.

I see now why so many love her writing. Anne is self-deprecating, but also confident without apology. She is honest about her flawed nature, but also confident in her strength when she needs it most. She has a quiet yet power
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Impulse by at Northshire with Julie during the visit to Lyle. Granted, I read it in bits over a few weeks, but right from the start it felt perfunctory and repetitive. Ironically enough, I wondered if Lamott was stitching together (ouch) bits from her other books and essays to create a patchwork quilt (again) of a book. I was, frankly, disappointed. It is a far cry from "Help, Thanks, Wow,"--equally short but moving and reflective--or "Traveling Mercies." I'll reread it soon, and maybe see the e ...more
Bob Henry
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Anne's last book, "Help, Thanks, Wow" but this book, "Stitches" has such a beautiful, vulnerable and real way of engaging the reader's heart. In about 100 pages, Anne leaves you wanting more, but wrestling with the reality of life. She has weaved the hope, the challenge to see, and a heartfelt reality throughout. It was just what I needed to read - a balance of "gravity and grace." ...more
Gary Anderson
Dec 17, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm a long-time admirer of Anne Lamott's writing and outlook. While Stitches features her appealing trademarks, it also seems shallower and less insightful than her other recent books in this genre. It pretty much boils down to "Sometimes life is hard. You can get through it though." I can never dislike an Anne Lamott book because I respect her reflective capacity so much, but I like this one a little less. ...more
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Dani Parr
Anne Lamott's outlook on life is funny, charming, uplifting, insightful, thought provoking and .... is a little bit like talking to the friend you have that isn't judgmental at all, and isn't too serious to have fun with - but they can talk about serious matters, and listen to your thoughts even when you haven't said a word.

"Stitches", like last year's "Help, Thanks, Wow" was a fast read, and a great way to start out the year.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was my first Anne Lamott & I truly loved it. Refreshingly frank & honest. I felt like much of it really rings true. My mother died 6 months ago & this book was sent to me by one of her best friends. A great read for someone healing from life's hard blows. ...more
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An easy heartfelt book. She deepens and amplifies any subject. I always want to have tea with her after reading anything she has written.
Oct 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
This was my first book by Anne and I was looking forward to reading it. As humans, we all deal with brokenness to varying degrees. Many of us have been conditioned in our lives to just deal with it by ignoring it or working around it and move on. That doesn't always work. Whether the brokenness is in our lives or in the life of someone we love, it is hard to know what to do. We often focus on the why's and when we don't often get answers we are stuck in the pain and brokenness not knowing how to ...more
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked, but didn't love, this book. The problem was partly mine - I picked it up and read a little, put it down and left it for days at a time, and that's never the best way to absorb what a book can offer. But the central metaphor of the text didn't work for me - I struggled with the idea of patching and stitching and had to reread those paragraphs more than once to grasp the underlying idea. I didn't walk away with a clear sense of "this book is about _____." Instead, I have a vague sense of ...more
Nov 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Anne Lamott draws our attention back to the sacred in the mundane, the ways grief can be a gift, and how we can help one another with mercy and grace. This is a fine volume for personal reflection, but would also be wonderful in an adult spiritual study group approaching the issues of suffering and difficulty and grief, and as part of a spiritual writing group in making and writing sense of our lives.
Karen Ashmore
Nov 07, 2013 rated it liked it
After reading almost all of Lamott's books over the years, I almost feel that I know what examples from her life she is going to use to illustrate her point. But I am always awed anew at her command of language and how she can turn a seemingly innocuous incident into a strangely delightful metaphor that would have never occurred to me. In Stitches, she addresses this with ways to respond to grief and handle life's challenges. It truly is a handbook of meaning, hope and repair. ...more
Becky Roper
Nov 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Anne Lamott writes as one who knows some difficult life situations (drugs, alcohol, etc) and has enough of a dry sense of humor to keep this little (short) book from being maudlin. It has a lot of quotes, and borrows from more than one philosophy to give you some things to consider on the subject. I did like the metaphor of stitches and the idea that life is doing a lot of patching. Favorite quote: We are all just walking each other home.
Sian Lile-Pastore
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
First Anne Lamott! I liked a lot in here but I felt that she wasn't really talking to me y'kno? I felt she was maybe talking to other people who were in their sixties who also felt that tattoos were a bit wild. It sorta felt a bit conservative, but then she'd sneak in a bit about her cocaine days and I'd be like, what? So. That's my thoughts. ...more
Tena Edlin
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book touches my broken places. I tear up when I read any of her books, but I also feel like I'm not alone. :) ...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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