James Klagge's Reviews > Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son

Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott
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really liked it
bookshelves: humor, memoirs-autobio, religion-spirituality

I was looking on our shelves for something spiritual to read, and I had never read anything by Anne Lamott. Then I remembered she wrote this book about her grandson, and I thought--now I have a grandson too. So it was a perfect fit. The book is a journal of the first year of her grandson, Jax's, life. Since Kent is going on 6 months, there was a lot of overlap and it was fun to read her accounts of things that were familiar.
A lot of the book is about Lamott's own struggle to deal with boundaries and her role in her son's and grandson's life. As a professional writer she has a lot of time on her hands, and thus she spends a lot of time agonizing over boundary issues, which are exacerbated by the precarious situation of Jax's family. While she comes off as rather self-concerned, she balances this with a lot of acknowledgement of that very fact. I appreciated her sharing about difficult boundary issues. While she is an extreme case, they can arise in all parent-child-grandchild situations.
As I think about it, I can't think of thoughtful writing about the role of grandparent that is not just celebratory, so this was good just for that. As it turns out, I have seen Jax! Last summer, when we were in the Bay area visiting Nick and Elise, we decided to go to St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, where Anne Lamott is a member. (This was Kathy's idea, b/c she is a big fan.) And she had brought Jax to church with her that day. (He was about 5 years old by then.) Wish I had read the book by then, so that would have meant more to me. Kathy had.
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Reading Progress

May 25, 2015 – Started Reading
May 25, 2015 – Shelved
May 25, 2015 – Shelved as: humor
May 25, 2015 – Shelved as: memoirs-autobio
May 25, 2015 – Shelved as: religion-spirituality
May 25, 2015 –
page 23
May 25, 2015 –
page 18523
May 25, 2015 –
page 185
May 26, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Derek (new)

Derek I've just read Anne Lamott's book, Bird by Bird. She does focus very much on her own experience, but I agree that there is a self-consciousness of that in her writing. Not to mention, in the book I read, she is incredibly funny. She has a wonderful way of turning a phrase so that one has to laugh out loud.

Do you have any other suggestions for "something spiritual to read"?

James Klagge If you look on my "bookshelf" under Religion-Spiritual you can see things I rated highly and my reviews. I like Nouwen, e.g.

message 3: by Derek (new)

Derek James wrote: "If you look on my "bookshelf" under Religion-Spiritual you can see things I rated highly and my reviews. I like Nouwen, e.g."

Thanks. I'll look there.

message 4: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Anne Lamott's first book, Traveling Mercies, is excellent!

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