2010: #5 – Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott)

bird Book #5 was Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. The back of the book reads:

"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’"

Ask anyone who writes what books they would recommend, and this one is sure to be on the list. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed On Writing.  I did think there was some good advice — taking things "bird by bird" and looking at the world through a 1-inch picture frame come to mind — and I appreciated her description of what it’s like to be published, but the rest of it just didn’t speak to me like I expected it to. I still would recommend it to those who want to write, and I’ll keep it on my bookshelf, but I don’t think it is a book I will refer back to over and over again.

Other reviews:

Book Review: *Bird by Bird* by Anne Lamott | She Is Too Fond Of Books

Page count: 239 | Word count: 59,933

2009: Five on a Treasure Island (Enid Blyton)
2008: I Heard That Song Before (Mary Higgins Clark)
2007: Up Island (Anne Rivers Siddons)
2006: The Big Love (Sarah Dunn)
2005: The Reptile Room (Lemony Snicket)

Used in these Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Reading From My Shelves Project; Pages Read Challenge Season 2;

6 thoughts on “2010: #5 – Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott)

  • January 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Sorry this book didn’t work as well for you; thanks for linking to my review. I haven’t yet read ON WRITING (it’s on my wish list, in good company with so many other books!)

    I learned today that Anne Lamott has a new novel, IMPERFECT BIRDS, coming in April. May her fiction will appeal more to you?
    .-= Dawn – She is Too Fond of Books´s last blog ..Book Review: *Very Valentine* by Adriana Trigiani =-.

  • January 26, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Are you an aspiring author? I should probably read some books like this, but I’m afraid I’m probably beyond hopeless. By the way, I discovered a blogger in Blacksburg!
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Review: Lone Star Legend =-.

    • January 26, 2010 at 4:43 pm

      I like to think I’m an aspiring writer! The problem is carving out the time to actually write.

      Another Blacksburg blogger? Neat!

  • January 26, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Sorry you ended up with a dud. I’ve read a book I didn’t like from an egroup book club read a few years ago. It was by Emily Brightwell. I didn’t care for it much. I’m proud to be an aspiring writer or author. My final steps is editing and querying to land an agent and then a publishing contract. Fingers cross for this spring.

  • January 30, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    This is one of my favorite books on writing. I re-read the chapter on shitty first drafts whenever I get totally stuck trying to start in on a paper. I’m sorry it didn’t work for you though!

  • February 18, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Oh, bummer you didn’t love it! I haven’t read On Writing yet…need to get on that. 🙂


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