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Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith Paperback – March 28, 2006
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Plan B finds Lamott wrestling with mid-life hormones and weight gain while parenting Sam, now a teenager with his own set of raging hormones. Her observations cover everything from starting a Sunday school to grief over the death of her beloved dog, Sadie; lamenting the war to bitterness over her relationship with her now-departed mother.
As she tugs and pokes out the knots in a slender gold chain necklace, it becomes a metaphor for letting go and learning to forgive. "…any willingness to let go inevitably comes from pain; and the desire to change changes you, and jiggles the spirit, gets to it somehow, to the deepest, hardest, most ruined parts." Its her willingness to show us the knotted-up, "ruined parts" of her life that make this collection of sometimes uneven essays so compelling.
"Everything feels crazy," writes Lamott, adding, "But on small patches of earth all over, I can see just as much messy mercy and grace as ever…." Lamotts essays will serve as reminders to readers of the patches of messy mercy and grace in a chaotic world.--Cindy Crosby --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Lamott's personal relationship with Jesus is one she's forged on her own, against all odds, reminding us that faith doesn't always come in an apple-pie/right-wing/Miss-America package. She is a roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-to-work Christian -- a Christian who knows that it isn't enough to sit around quoting the Bible to be a good human being. Admitting her broken-ness and allowing us to laugh with her, we open our hearts to our own humanity. What a relief.
I agreed with almost all Lamott's views in this book---which are mostly political, despite this being subtitled a book about faith. So my mixed feelings about this book are not because of differing political views. Rather, I felt that the tone here was mostly harsh. That's honest---it's nice to read that faith doesn't turn us all into happy clones. But I guess when I read a book about faith, I would like to have some feeling of grace or of being uplifted or at least of happiness. After reading this book, I felt totally depressed about the state of the world.
I also felt often that Lamott was making fun of people she didn't agree with. Especially when I read about her cruise, and her discomfort with all the flag adorned people, it seemed she didn't really try to follow the basic Golden Rule. She seemed to have little regard for those she met, and it seemed as if she was on her own personal cruise---which is fine, but again, not really too uplifting.
It was great to hear more about Sam, at least from my point of view. From HIS point of view, I would guess that he might not want to have it in print that he could be very mean to other kids, that he got drunk a few times, that he doesn't like to go to church...all somewhat normal teenage things, but I always wonder if it's really a parent's place to write about their teenager. There were a few times that she said she wasn't allowed to say more about him, but that didn't always seem to apply.Read more ›
Essentially, the greatest flaw of the work is its mind-numbing repetition. It unfailingly reinterates the same points and covers the same material in each and every essay or article.
Whilst I strongly agree with her endless tirade on George W. Bush and the state of American leadership, it does become slightly dull when repeated in every chapter. Similarly, I realise that she is angry at her mother and the behaviour of her son, but there is only so many times I can read about it. The work comes off as self-indulgent and Lamott herself is less likable in this work than her others.
Despite this, the text is beautifully written and does have a few topical highlights. These are generally the stories she shares about the unflinching beauty of others, such as 'Joice To The World' and 'One Hand Clapping'.
It is for this reason I give the work three stars, although it undoubtedly left a sour and negative taste in my mouth.
It is FANTASTIC. This is coming from an avowed atheist who . I haven't been able to put the book of essays down since I bought it yesterday...she is nurturing whatever burgeoning spirituality I have inside me and making me think about thinks I have avoided thinking about before. That is all you can ask for from a book...that it makes you think.
The top two best things about Anne Lamott are 1) she's both really cool and really uncool at the same time, and 2) she's honest, even at the risk of having judgement passed on her. By 1) I mean that she's totally this Northern California, ex-alcoholic, progressive Bush-hating hippie, but she's also the mother of a teenager and writes about how they fight over him not having good manners.
By 2) I mean that she writes about her deceased mother very, very critically and that's so _refreshing_ for people who don't have nicey-nice, glowing things to say about our moms all the time.
I love her: I just bought 4 of her books off Amazon.
In summation: I feel calm after I read this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderfully written book by Ann Lamott that shares her path of spiritual development with both sincerity and humor. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Paula Davidson
One of my favorite authors - loved the book - my original book was destroyed in a flood.Published 3 months ago by Joan
My first book by Anne Lamott proved to be a nice awakening. Anne tells her stories through her own lived experiences, pondering and meditating on the outcome of her choices. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jackie St. Hilaire
Brilliant writing. Lamott is a true artist. But, the continual bashing of President Bush and a few other personal quirks position this work as simply "okay. Read morePublished 6 months ago by John D. Richardson
Sort of the Meditations of Anne Aurelius. Anne Lamott might be somewhat of an acquired taste, but this 68-yr-old male finds her observations and insights nearly always have that... Read morePublished 8 months ago by James Walker
Love Lamott since I read Bird by Bird, but this isn't my favorite. Some stories get repeated and I feel like she's expressing less of herself and more of her church. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Meg Sumner
One of my very favorite authors! She is funny beyond belief, very thought provoking and honest. I love her writing style. I love how she practices her faith.Published 9 months ago by Kaye B.