- Publisher: Random House Value Publishing; 1st edition (April 21, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 051713778X
- ISBN-13: 978-0517137789
- Package Dimensions: 15.3 x 7.9 x 4.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 299 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,981,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Operating Instructions Hardcover – April 21, 1997
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The most honest, wildly enjoyable book written about motherhood is surely Anne Lamott's account of her son Sam's first year. A gifted writer and teacher, Lamott (Crooked Little Heart) is a single mother and ex-alcoholic with a pleasingly warped social circle and a remarkably tolerant religion to lean on. She responds to the changes, exhaustion, and love Sam brings with aplomb or outright insanity. The book rocks from hilarious to unbearably poignant when Sam's burgeoning life is played out against a very close friend's illness. No saccharine paean to becoming a parent, this touches on the rage and befuddlement that dog sweeter emotions during this sea change in one's life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Magazine columnist and novelist Lamott ( All New People ) captures both the poignancy and comedy of her first year as a single mother in this wonderfully candid diary. Her quirky humor steadily draws the reader into her unconventional world as she describes her friends and neighbors in northern California, her participation in a local church, her experiences as a recovering alcoholic and--best of all--her infant son, Sam, born in 1989. She covers maternal emotions from rapturous bliss to bare fury ("In the middle of the colic death marches, I end up looking at the baby with those hooded eyes that were in the old ads for The Boston Strangler "). Throughout, she airs her strong political and religious beliefs. And when her best friend, Pammy, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Lamott conveys her anguish with the same depth of feeling and sense of the absurd that characterize her observations about her son, God, recovery, writing, Republicans, men and life as usual. Even non-parents will enjoy this glowing work.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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She is a woman of profound faith but doesn't seem to fully realize it- which makes it so alarmingly sincere. This is not a book for the sled right and morally pure. This describes on woman's journey to make sense out out of faith through birth and death. Through addictions and stability. That faith grows not merely in the pure, but like a lotus flower it blooms in the mud. The mud of living a human life. The mud of imperfection.
This book was also like a mirror for me and I am sure others will agree if they challenge themselves. Much of what I disliked about her I can see in myself. That we are all deeply flawed characters; especially when viewing from a position of detachment.
Also, I, like Ms. Lamott, was as left of center without being a communist. I was like that for years. There was a time I said probably the same things against a Bush. But now that I am less political I cringed when reading her political diatribes. To be frank they were utterly superfluous and completely unnecessary. The story would have been more fluid and universal.
Lastly some critics have been outraged over her violent fantasies about her baby. To those people: I would suggest that you've never been a parent. She was simply vomiting out what nearly all parents have felt at one point or another. When you've had 4 hours of sleep in tow days while working and it's 3 in the morning and you have a child who sounds like a slaughtered pig, you think strange things.
I commend Ms. Lamott' courage in writing this book.
I look forward to reading another of her books.
for Anne Lamott. Thanks for telling your story in such a honest way!
I'm looking forward to reading about her experiences as a grandmother!
(Also my book arrived quickly and in immaculate condition from CTBookFinder. I would buy from them again.)
I have appreciated her honest and sometimes gut wrenching sharing in her non-fiction. Recently, I prepared a lesson for a women's group at my church based on Traveling Mercies. Anne was quoted from this book in our last Horizon's bible study of the season about family and the household in biblical times and today. The roles we play, traditional or non-traditional are important. But as Lamott progresses on her spiritual journey we also discover the importance of forgiveness and redemption. Try her, you will like her.