Mary Anne's Reviews > Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
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really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, spirituality, anne-lamott
Recommended to Mary Anne by: Deanna

My thesis advisor/friend gave me this book for a couple of reasons. She's familiar with another work by Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. But given my interest in spirituality and its status in my master's thesis, it seemed quite natural for me to want to read this.

I did really enjoy this book. I found myself identifying so much with the introduction of this book (except my parents were so unlike her parents, and there were no drugs or orgies or any of that). The introduction is something like a personal history leading up to the reflections or "thoughts" that make up the major text.

I wasn't falling all over myself loving this book, but I definitely found it amusing and, oftentimes, inspiring. I appreciate her honesty and thoughtful reflections. She has a lot of unique experiences that demonstrate faith in everyday contexts. I'm doing a bad job describing this book, but I'm so glad that I read it, and I'm sure I'll read it again.
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Quotes Mary Anne Liked

Anne Lamott
“Who was it who said that forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a different past?”
Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

Anne Lamott
“It's so awful, attacking your child. It's the worse thing I know, to shout loudly at this 50 lb. being with his huge trusting brown eyes. It's like bitch-slapping E.T.”
Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

Anne Lamott
“It's funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools - friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty - and said 'do the best you can with these, they will have to do'. And mostly, against all odds, they do.”
Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

Anne Lamott
“I don’t know why life isn’t constructed to be seamless and safe, why we make such glaring mistakes, things fall so short of our expectations, and our hearts get broken and out kids do scary things and our parents get old and don’t always remember to put pants on before they go out for a stroll. I don’t know why it’s not more like it is in the movies, why things don’t come out neatly and lessons can’t be learned when you’re in the mood for learning them, why love and grace often come in such motley packaging.”
Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

Anne Lamott
“There is nothing more touching to me then a family picture where everyone is trying to look his or her best, but you can see what a mess they all really are.”
Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

Anne Lamott
“The thing about light is that it really isn’t yours; it’s what you gather and shine back. And it gets more power from reflectiveness; if you sit still and take it in, it fills your cup, and then you can give it off yourself.”
Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

Anne Lamott
“It is unearned love--the love that goes before, that greets us on the way. It's the help you receive when you have no bright ideas left, when you are empty and desperate and have discovered that your best thinking and most charming charm have failed you. Grace is the light or electricity or juice or breeze that takes you from that isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be there.”
Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith


Reading Progress

February 12, 2012 – Started Reading
February 12, 2012 – Shelved
February 12, 2012 – Shelved as: non-fiction
February 12, 2012 – Shelved as: spirituality
February 17, 2012 –
page 57
20.73%
February 18, 2012 –
page 115
41.82%
February 25, 2012 –
page 169
61.45%
February 27, 2012 – Finished Reading
April 5, 2015 – Shelved as: anne-lamott

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