Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life Library Binding – 4 Oct 2008
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" Superb writing advice... hilarious, helpful and provocative." -- "New York Times Book Review,"
" A warm, generous and hilarious guide through the writer's world and its treacherous swamps." -- "Los Angeles Times,"
" A gift to all of us mortals who write or ever wanted to write... sidesplittingly funny, patiently wise and alternately cranky and kind -- a reveille to get off our duffs and start writing "now," while we still can." -- "Seattle Times,"
"Superb writing advice... hilarious, helpful and provocative." -- "New York Times Book Review."
"A warm, generous and hilarious guide through the writer's world and its treacherous swamps." -- "Los Angeles Times."
"A gift to all of us mortals who write or ever wanted to write... sidesplittingly funny, patiently wise and alternately cranky and kind -- a reveille to get off our duffs and start writing "now," while we still can." -- "Seattle Times."
"Superb writing advice... hilarious, helpful andprovocative." -- "New York Times BookReview."
"A warm, generous andhilarious guide through the writer's world and itstreacherous swamps." -- "Los AngelesTimes."
"A gift to all ofus mortals who write or ever wanted to write...sidesplittingly funny, patiently wise and alternatelycranky and kind -- a reveille to get off our duffsand start writing "now," while westill can." -- "SeattleTimes."" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The subtitle, "Some Instructions on Writing and Life", ought to have been a warning. But I was overwhelmed by delight in the title itself: Lamott's young brother had, in a single evening, to complete a school project on birds which he should have been writing over the previous three months. "Just take it bird by bird, buddy," was the sensible advice offered by their father.
Lamott herself, however, takes a different line: "just do it my way, buddy". She (presumably; like so many people who write books about how to write novels, I've never even seen one of her novels in a book shop) writes character-driven novels. Therefore, so should we all: don't worry about plot, or settings or anything else, just let your characters do their thing. This is doubtless very good advice for those who also write character-driven fiction, but if you're like me, and begin with a plot and then wonder what sort of people would get into such a ridiculous situation, Ms Lamott is not going to help you much.
I could have dealt with the book and found some useful insights in it were it not for the second problem: "... and Life". Lamott believes in God. Very much. There is far too much stuff here about what God wants for each of us and what each of us wants from God, for this to work for me, or anyone else who doesn't not share or wish to share Lamott's faith. If I wanted a book about fluffy Christianity, I would not have bought a writing book.
I too am always at switch off point when God is mentioned but he is here in a 'and my Mum says' type way.....never forced into the readers face.
This woman is someone you'd meet in starbucks and you'd get talking to her and then inspired by her thoughts on writing.....lovely
down with a close friend who shares all of your idiosyncracies and insanities, as well as
your warped sense of humor. Bird by Bird gives Lamott's view of the writing life and
confronts all of the little details and major crises faced by anyone who's ever wanted to
write. Filled with warm and witty anecdotes from her own writing career and from the
classes she teaches, Lamott takes you gently by the hand and then proceeds to push, pull,
or drag you to the pencil or the keyboard because you suddenly feel that you have to write
something, right now! This is a book to keep next to the bed or the computer,
or wherever else you're likely to be when you need a nudge to keep going and a major
dose of inspiration. Read this book with a highlighter grasped tightly in your sweaty palm,
because you're going to want to come back to certain lines over and over again. Highly
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a writer by profession, I am currently seeking inspiration for a personal project I am working on and this came along at the right time. Humorous, light and easy to read. Read morePublished 10 days ago by SU
This book made me laugh out loud, it made me cry, it made me very grateful for the wisdom found within. I found myself reading sections to friends out loud, it's that good. Read morePublished 17 days ago by J. Morgan
This is one of my all time favorite books. Wise and comforting words to be read as needed.Published 2 months ago by Georgina Sands
I have found this book inspirational. I loved the way she gave some very good tips about getting to grips with writing. She is very kind and generous in sharing so many ideas.Published 2 months ago by sal
This is a brilliant resource for new and experienced writers. It contains fascinating insights and quite a few sections I would return to for inspiration again and again. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Heather Hill, Author
Useful book, beautifully written but could have been more concise.Published 5 months ago by Jessica Tinsley
I have many books on writing and this is the first time I have felt compelled to write a negative review. Read morePublished 5 months ago by AMS