Anne Lamott admits that she's "ever so slightly more anxious than the average hypochondriac." When faced with a small, irregular mole and a family history of skin cancer, however, she remembers her faith in God and enjoys some peace--despite behaving "a little more like Nathan Lane in The Birdcage
than I would have hoped." Author Lamott reads these wonderfully detailed postcards from her meandering journey to faith. With sharp and bittersweet humor, she recounts a past full of bad relationships with men, with food, with drugs, with alcohol, and worst of all, with herself. She battles her demons thanks to the love of her friends and family and her "lurch of faith" to embrace religion, that "puzzling thing inside me that had begun to tug on my sleeve from time to time, trying to get my attention." Inspiring but not dogmatic, Traveling Mercies
is a treasure. (Running time: 4 hours, 3 cassettes) --C.B. Delaney
From Publishers Weekly
Lamott (Bird by Bird) reads a collection of her autobiographical essays, each a heart-wrenching detailing of a life grown up in a world of obsessions: food, alcohol, drugs and relationships. She tells of her childhood and early adulthood in Tiburon, Calif., where she started drinking and drugging young in a permissive 1960s-era disheveled household. The title essay, "Traveling Mercies," dwells on things "broken," such as her body, when she became a bulimic. Lamott's writing is honest and direct, and in her reading she presents her words with emotional insistence. She recalls episodes from her life with vivid ferocity, noticing how "everything felt so intense and coiled and M?bius strip-like." As she has a son, sobers up, her search for awareness turns spiritual. The sum effect comes across like a hipper version of Melody Beattie's self-help classic, Codependent No More. Simultaneous release with the Pantheon hardcover. (Feb.)
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