Tuesday, June 14, 2011

TBR TUESDAY: Bird by Bird

For this To-Be-Read Tuesday, I decided to veer from the YA lit stacking my reading pile and went with a book on writing. I first heard about this book from my fabulous fellow writer/blogger Stina. I immediately picked it up, but have yet to finish it. So I consider it still a part of my TBR pile. It's truly fabulous, though.

Title: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Author: Anne Lamott
Publisher: Anchor
Pages: 239

Synopsis: "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.'"

With this basic instruction always in mind, Anne Lamott returns to offer us a new gift: a step-by-step guide on how to write and on how to manage the writer's life. From "Getting Started,' with "Short Assignments," through "Shitty First Drafts," "Character," "Plot," "Dialogue." all the way from "False Starts" to "How Do You Know When You're Done?" Lamott encourages, instructs, and inspires. She discusses "Writers Block," "Writing Groups," and "Publication." Bracingly honest, she is also one of the funniest people alive.

If you have ever wondered what it takes to be a writer, what it means to be a writer, what the contents of your school lunches said about what your parents were really like, this books for you. From faith, love, and grace to pain, jealousy, and fear, Lamott insists that you keep your eves open, and then shows you how to survive. And always, from the life of the artist she turns to the art of life.

The book is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble


  1. This books wins the all time award, just for being willing to admit to "shitty first drafts."

  2. Stina just recommended Save the Cat to me last week- this one sounds great too. I agree with Matt- I like the honesty of this one.

  3. One of my fave writing guides! Love love love it! I read it over and over.

  4. What Ann says in this book is great - the honest, revealing, tumultuous journey of creating in the form of writing. Even more amazing - the way she says it.


  5. I'm so glad you all agree!!

    @Matt ~ totally irresistible!

  6. This is one of my favorite books on writing. She's so inspiring and makes you feel like you can write anything!


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