9780385496094

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

Lamott, Anne

ISBN 10: 0385496095 / 0-385-49609-5
ISBN 13: 9780385496094
Publisher: Anchor
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
Anne Lamott claims the two best prayers she knows are: "Help me, help me, help me" and "Thank you, thank you, thank you." She has a friend whose morning prayer each day is "Whatever," and whose evening prayer is "Oh, well." Anne thinks of Jesus as "Casper the friendly savior" and describes God as "one crafty mother."

Despite--or because of--her irreverence, faith is a natural subject for Anne Lamott. Since Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird, her fans have been waiting for her to write the book that explained how she came to the big-hearted, grateful, generous faith that she so often alluded to in her two earlier nonfiction books. The people in Anne Lamott's real life are like beloved characters in a favorite series for her readers--her friend Pammy, her son, Sam, and the many funny and wise folks who attend her church are all familiar. And Traveling Mercies is a welcome return to those lives, as well as an introduction to new companions Lamott treats with the same candor, insight, and tenderness.

Lamott's faith isn't about easy answers, which is part of what endears her to believers as well as nonbelievers. Against all odds, she came to believe in God and then, even more miraculously, in herself. As she puts it, "My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers." At once tough, personal, affectionate, wise, and very funny, Traveling Mercies tells in exuberant detail how Anne Lamott learned to shine the light of faith on the darkest part of ordinary life, exposing surprising pockets of meaning and hope.

Review:
For most writers, the greatest challenge of spiritual writing is to keep it grounded in concrete language. The temptation is to wander off into the clouds of ethereal epiphanies, only to lose readers with woo-woo thinking and sacred-laced clichés. Thankfully, Anne Lamott ( Operating Instructions, Crooked Little Heart) knows better. In this collection of essays, Lamott offers her trademark wit and irreverence in describing her reluctant journey into faith. Every epiphany is framed in plainspoken (and, yes, occasionally crassly spoken) real-life, honest-to-God experiences. For example, after having an abortion, Lamott felt the presence of Christ sitting in her bedroom:
This experience spooked me badly, but I thought it was just an apparition born of fear and self-loathing and booze and loss of blood. But then everywhere I went I had the feeling that a little cat was following me, wanting me to reach down and pick it up, wanting me to open the door and let it in. But I knew what would happen: you let a cat in one time, give it a little milk and then it stays forever.
Whether she's writing about airplane turbulence, bulimia, her "feta cheese thighs," or consulting God over how to parent her son, Lamott keeps her spirituality firmly planted in solid scenes and believable metaphors. As a result, this is a richly satisfying armchair-travel experience, highlighting the tender mercies of Lamott's life that nudged her into Christian faith. --Gail Hudson

Review

Review:
"Can Anne Lamott get any better? It hardly seems possible. After three books that have enjoyed both critical and commercial success, she now turns her attention to perhaps her most powerful subject yet, her faith in God. Traveling Mercies is an account of both her conversion experience and her attempts to lead a faithful life. Hilarious and genuinely moving, it is her best book yet. . .The essays in Traveling Mercies address serious and often grim subject matter: making sense of the grave illnesses that have struck several of Lamott's friends; learning to accept suffering; practicing true Christian forgiveness and love. Yet Lamott has a magic toch with this tough material. She can render almost any situation indecently, riotously funny, then turn around on a dime and find the lesson in it, find exactly how God has worked his (or her--Lamott is big on inclusive language) way into every moment of her life, no matter how painful and bleak. Never preachy, often reminding us not to take her too seriously...Lamott's essays could give an atheist pause. . . It is to Lamott's credit that she has taken what may be the last truly "private" subject and written about it with such ease and grace. She shares everything about her faith, from the two best prayers she knows ("Help me, help me, help me" and "Thank you, thank you, thank you") to the time God appeared to her as a physical presence on one of her darkest nights. . . In truth, she uses her books as a means of exploring questions much larger than herself. She has written powerfully on some of life's most important subjects: motherhood, work, faith. One can only wonder what she will write about next--and hope that she will do it very soon."
--Caitlin Flanagan, San Francisco Chronicle

"If you're stuck in an elevator when the Big One hits, you couldn't do much better than be stranded there with Anne Lamott. In a pinch, even her latest book, a collection of funny, warm, and sagacious personal essays. . . could get you through the dark hours. . . How much, and how little, faith can change us is Lamott's real theme. In meditations on her bulimia, her natty hair, her irritation with her aging, much-loved mother, she makes it clear that she is the same old Annie she always was, with the same insecurities and quirks. She doesn't wake up in a pool of sunlight every morning. But her faith provides an outlook on life that is less selfish than the one she would normally resort to. . . What saves Lamott's stories from sentimentality is is her ability to face truly taboo subjects, like envy and maternal competitiveness. Instead of a rose garden, she presents us with a scraggly, half-planted patch of earth--a real garden, with mounds of fresh soil and a steaming compost heap. One senses that Lamott, like most of us, is just working through things. Some flowers will get trampled or blighted, but others will burst into bloom. What remains with the reader are her tenderness and generosity. She gives enormous credit to her friends and family, to the old women at her church, to the authors she has read and to that "someone listening."
-- Regina Marler, Los Angeles Times

"It's like having a coffee with a cranky, funny, chatty hilarious friend... It's a wonderful book."
--Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America

"Hilarious... Anne Lamott has got the sort of heart that takes the chill out of the winter air. Like the rising tide, it floats all boats. This writer is tough. Tough on the world, tough on herself as well. Faith, for me, is not a place I've landed. It's a cliff I run off. You get the whole journey here. Lamott falls off the cliff, comes back brilliant, generous and funny. This is C.S. Lewis in Surprised by Joy. Only better."
--Ben Cheever, San Jose Mercury News

From the Publisher

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Lamott, Anne
ISBN 10: 0385496095
ISBN 13: 9780385496094
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Book Description: Anchor, 2000. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "Even at her most serious, she never takes herself or her spirituality too seriously. Lamott is a narrator who has relished and soaked up the details of her existence, equally of mirth and devastation, spirit and grief, and spilled them onto her pages." --The New York Times Book Review "Life-affirming.Lamott fills her text with remarkable detail and a refreshing sense of humanity that has you guffawing on one page and bawling on the next." --People "You'll loveTraveling Merciesfor Lamott's unblinking confrontation with God's love, and you'll buy copies for all your friends struggling with faith." --USA Today "Exuberant and captivating. shifts from laugh-out-loud wisecracks to heart-wrenching poignancy. At one point she seems a reincarnation of Erma Bombeck; at others, she could be Annie Dillard or Kathleen Norris." --Chicago Tribune "Compares with the witty and moving Christian apologetics of C. S. Lewis. Lamott is a fine writer who combines theology with humor, compassion, and practicality." --The Atlanta Journal-Constitution "Applies passion, wisdom, and intensity to a scorchingly personal look at the road from spiritual apathy to ardent belief.Traveling Mercies, like Ms. Lamott herself, is a consistent delight." --Dallas Morning News "Lamott has developed an entirely new genre of religious writing. Gritty, stark, and humorous, she catches the reader by surprise when she points her pen heavenward. Anne Lamott [is] the patron saint of struggling sinners, a woman who loves God enough to be divinely human."--Religion News Service "Anne Lamott is walking proof that a person can be both reverent and irreverent in the same lifetime. Sometimes even in the same breath."San Francisco Chronicle. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0385496095

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Book Description: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Anchor Books ed. 203 x 130 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Anne Lamott claims the two best prayers she knows are: quot;Help me, help me, help mequot; and quot;Thank you, thank you, thank you.quot; She has a friend whose morning prayer each day is quot;Whatever,quot; and whose evening prayer is quot;Oh, well.quot; Anne thinks of Jesus as quot;Casper the friendly saviorquot; and describes God as quot;one crafty mother.quot; Despite--or because of--her irreverence, faith is a natural subject for Anne Lamott. Since Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird, her fans have been waiting for her to write the book that explained how she came to the big-hearted, grateful, generous faith that she so often alluded to in her two earlier nonfiction books. The people in Anne Lamott s real life are like beloved characters in a favorite series for her readers--her friend Pammy, her son, Sam, and the many funny and wise folks who attend her church are all familiar. And Traveling Mercies is a welcome return to those lives, as well as an introduction to new companions Lamott treats with the same candor, insight, and tenderness. Lamott s faith isn t about easy answers, which is part of what endears her to believers as well as nonbelievers. Against all odds, she came to believe in God and then, even more miraculously, in herself. As she puts it, quot;My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers.quot; At once tough, personal, affectionate, wise, and very funny, Traveling Mercies tells in exuberant detail how Anne Lamott learned to shine the light of faith on the darkest part of ordinary life, exposing surprising pockets of meaning and hope. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780385496094

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Book Description: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Anchor Books ed. 203 x 130 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Anne Lamott claims the two best prayers she knows are: quot;Help me, help me, help mequot; and quot;Thank you, thank you, thank you.quot; She has a friend whose morning prayer each day is quot;Whatever,quot; and whose evening prayer is quot;Oh, well.quot; Anne thinks of Jesus as quot;Casper the friendly saviorquot; and describes God as quot;one crafty mother.quot; Despite--or because of--her irreverence, faith is a natural subject for Anne Lamott. Since Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird, her fans have been waiting for her to write the book that explained how she came to the big-hearted, grateful, generous faith that she so often alluded to in her two earlier nonfiction books. The people in Anne Lamott s real life are like beloved characters in a favorite series for her readers--her friend Pammy, her son, Sam, and the many funny and wise folks who attend her church are all familiar. And Traveling Mercies is a welcome return to those lives, as well as an introduction to new companions Lamott treats with the same candor, insight, and tenderness. Lamott s faith isn t about easy answers, which is part of what endears her to believers as well as nonbelievers. Against all odds, she came to believe in God and then, even more miraculously, in herself. As she puts it, quot;My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers.quot; At once tough, personal, affectionate, wise, and very funny, Traveling Mercies tells in exuberant detail how Anne Lamott learned to shine the light of faith on the darkest part of ordinary life, exposing surprising pockets of meaning and hope. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780385496094

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Book Description: Anchor. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0385496095 Combining elements of spiritual study and memoir, the author of Bird by Bird and Crooked Little Heart describes her odyssey of faith, drawing on her own sometimes troubled past to explore the many ways in which faith sustains and guides one's daily life. Reprint. 125,000 first printing. Bookseller Inventory # 4313389

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