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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times best-selling author of both fiction and nonfiction, Anne Lamott was also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. As much a guide to writing as an exploration of the emotional challenges of being a writer, Bird by Bird offers a candid and often humorous look at how to tackle these varied obstacles.
©1994 Anne Lamott (P)2013 Recorded Books
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Critic Reviews

“Lamott’s … guidance and reflection should appeal to writers struggling with demons large and slight.”—Publishers Weekly
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Alice on 04-12-15

A funny listen, but no writing samples to speak of

What did you love best about Bird by Bird?

It was funny in many places but it was almost more biographical or like a collection of musings from Facebook or a blog. It wasn't really a book on how to write better. She talked about all the obstacles that a writer runs into, personal experience with her publishing company, jealousy of other writing friends who are publishing more books than her, students from her class that ask (on the first day) how they can get published right away, etc. I enjoyed it but it wasn't what I had originally hoped it would be.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Since this was a non fiction book, there was no memorable "ending."

What about Susan Bennett’s performance did you like?

She was actually wonderful. A clear, witty, funny narrator. I will look her up and see what else she can read.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Musings of a Writer

Any additional comments?

If you want to listen to a lighthearted book about being a writer, get this and and enjoy.

If you want a book on how to actually BE a better writer, I highly recommend:

1). On Writing by Sol Stein. Incredible advice and never a dull moment. The narrator, Christopher Lane, is awesome and keeps your attention throughout the entire book.

2.) On Writing by Stephen King - The first half is autobiographical and then he gets down to business talking about real writing advice.

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58 of 64 people found this review helpful


By Dr. Brian L. Carpenter on 08-17-13

Funny and Instructive

After a friend read Lamott's humorous passage to me about elementary school lunchroom protocols, I had to buy this book. I laughed aloud all the way through it and learned many useful insights for improving my writing (e.g., writing a "shitty first draft" as a way of overcoming the perfectionism that besieges most writers when they sit down to write).

Lamott also opens a window to her own soul, sharing a wide swath of experiences to include how the passing of her father (also an author) affected her development as a writer. These personal sections are refreshingly non-melodramatic. Rather, the reader feels intimately connected with Lamott. The effect is one of trust in who she is and what she says.

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21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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