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Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair Hardcover – October 29, 2013
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“Lamott’s pithiest, most insightful book yet, Stitches offers plenty of her characteristic witty wisdom…this slim, readable volume [is] a lens on life, widening and narrowing, encouraging each reader to reflect on what it is, after all, that really matters.”
“Laced with stories, full of faith…a hopeful [book].”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“The wickedly witty and very funny Lamott…makes you laugh at the same time she makes you think. This collection of moments, memories and spiritual insights is one of her best.”
“Like a warming, hearty sip of soup after a day out in the cold or a candid letter from a friend.”
—New York Daily News
“[Stitches] brings the beloved author's trademark compassion, wisdom and tart wit to the question of how to deal with suffering and loss, both public and personal.”
—Tampa Bay Times
“Whirling, fuming, blunt, wise, and funny…Lamott’s larky yet shrewd needle-and-thread spirituality is realistic and renewing.”
“Vintage Lamott: funny, brilliantly self-deprecating, and insightful.”
“Anne’s thoughts on human loss and brokenness are served with slices of quirky humor, wisdom and spiritual insight that pulls readers in and won’t let them go.”
Praise for Help, Thanks, Wow
“Filled with Lamott’s unique brand of humor, wisdom, and profound spiritual insight . . . She has a gift for putting into words what it means to accept and ultimately embrace the beauty, mystery, and pain that is life.”
—San Antonio Express-News
“Prayer is a topic that can quickly turn treacly, but the reader needn’t fear that in Lamott’s irreverent hands.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Practical and poetic advice on prayer.”
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
In "Stitches," Lamott explores how we can piece our lives back together and keep going when life hands us--both as individuals and society--difficult or tragic circumstances. "You have to keep taking the next necessary stitch, and the next one, and the next. Without stitches, you just have rags. And we are not rags," Lamott writes."We live stitch by stitch, when we're lucky. If you fixate on the whole shebang, you miss the stitching."
As is her trademark, Lamott's outlook on life ("Beauty is a miracle of things going together imperfectly") and her sense of humor ("I love ritual and repetition. Without them I would be a balloon with a slow leak) are incredibly refreshing in "Stitches." Her familiar themes of hope, faith, grace, and spirituality run throughout the book, and I love that.
"Help, Thanks, Wow" helped get me through a difficult time in my life (my son's addiction). As "Stitches" arrives, I am going through another challenge involving the loss of my job and a possible career change. I think maybe Anne Lamott knows when I need a new book to help guide me through life. I am so happy "Stitches" has come when it has. This quote in particular resonated with me: "This is who I want to be in the world. This is who I think we are supposed to be, people who help call forth human beings from deep inside hopelessness."
I hope I can be that person. Thank you again, Anne Lamott. Your books are my owner's manuals for life.
Lamott doesn't gloss over hard truths. She acknowledges that life can sometimes be so painful that it seems unbearable. It can be incredibly difficult to search for even a tiny shred of meaning in the midst of emotional and physical chaos. I admire such honesty, the kind that pulls no punches but also sheds light on ways to survive even the hardest times, finding ways back to joy.
I also savored the details about how she - and some of those she knew- struggled to hold the "fabric" of their lives together amid great challenges. Sometimes comfort comes from special possessions. Lamott clings to the shirt of a beloved friend who died, even as it becomes worn and threadbare, afraid that losing the shirt will threaten her memories of their friendship. A friend helps her find an unorthodox way to salvage cherished curtains torn by her dog, leading to new insights about the beauty of imperfection, both in the patched curtains and in life.
I was deeply moved by her description of a couple, married for forty years, being torn apart "like a strip of old cloth" in the wake of the husband's faltering mind. Lamott doesn't shy away from the pain of such moments but also shares moments of hope, comfort, and humor. Her previous book focused primarily on prayer, faith, and gratitude. This time around she has written one which is "intended to be useful on the bad days." For me, it is that and more, with a depth and power that has me convinced I'll be revisiting this one for years to come.
This slim handbook of 98 pages on meaning, hope and repair is a follow-up to Lamott's previous book HELP, THANKS, WOW: The Three Essential Prayers. This book opens with the concept that "life holds beauty, magic and anguish". It tells you what you can do during the anguish. When our life is on track - having love, family, work - it's easier to cope with the anguish Lamott tells us.
But what do we do when our lives are off track, and we stumble upon evil, sadness, illness or death? What do you do on the really bad days during an extended rough time? Lamott sketches out some simple and deep concepts that have worked for her and those she has known. One concept inspired the title of this book and that's to keep stitching, take those next small steps which keep you going. They may be daily rituals like a walk around the neighborhood or a meal with a friend who listens well.
Some of Lamott's writing in this book which jumped off the pages for me - you will enjoy finding your own inspiration:
* "Oh, honey, buckle up, it gets worse."
* "We live stitch by stitch, when we're lucky."
* "My brothers and I were not encouraged to search for God, the obvious source of solace, but we three kids were led to the world of books, which to us was just as good. We found in books the divine plop, the joy of settling down deeply into something, worlds and realities greater than our own troubled minds.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Anne is so honest and encouraging. I could visualize stitching my life back together after a tragedy....impowering image.Published 14 days ago by Aurora
Love all of Anne Lamott's books, and this one was no exception. Very meaningful to me.Published 23 days ago by N. A. P. Coker
I was under the impression that this book was about grief and how to deal with it. I was wrong. It is a collection of quotes divided by small stories about God's love. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Patricia R. Andersen
I recently had my hip replaced and took this book with me to the hospital. I thought that by the title alone, it would be just the spiritual medicine I would need to get me back... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Linda C. Wright
This book reminds us of the goodness in life. Take time to notice all that is around us in this world!Published 2 months ago by Mary M. Sinnett