Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Great Quote from Plan B by Anne Lamott

"My parents, and librarians along the way, taught me about the space between words, about the margins, where so many juicy moments of life and spirit and friendship could be found. In a library, you can find small miracles and truth, and you might find something that will make you laugh so hard that you will get shushed, in the friendliest way.
I have found sanctuary in libraries by whole life, and there is sanctuary there now, from the war, from the storms of our families and our own minds. Libraries are like mountains or meadows or creeks. Sacred space." Anne Lamott

AMEN to that, fellow bibliophile.

Plan B, or Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott was another book I wasn't going to read.
I'd read Bird by Bird, Lamott's book on writing that was so popular, and I was disgusted and embarrassed by her immaturity, jealousy, cruelty and lack of morals or integrity. Again, I like my protagonists to be people I can identify with, people whom I aspire to be like, people who are honorable, brilliant, compassionate and loving human beings who can illuminate the dark corners and teach me something important about humanity.
Lamott has more baggage than SeaTac airport on a holiday, and she has this vile habit of telling us, in detail, what an awful person she is, how she'd like to kill her son most days, how immature she is about parenting and relationships, though she's in her 50s, for heavens sake. I found myself wanting to fling Bird by Bird across the room, in hopes that it would make a better door stop than writing guide.
Yet Plan B has moments of sincere beauty, paragraphs that shine with faith, hope and honesty that make you want to embrace the author and read more of what she has to say.
Though she admits she's not quite sane, and that politics make her crazy, Lamott spills less bile than she's capable of, and manages to wrestle with her demons of alcoholism and fury at her mother, now deceased, in a surprisingly decent manner. I lose patience with authors, generally, who use books as a means of garnering pity and who are selfish enough to use books as a means of therapy, letting all their problems out for the reader to deal with. As a reader, I don't want to deal with another persons mental and spiritual baggage, I have enough of my own problems, I don't need your bucket of slugs, too.
But unlike Bird by Bird, Lamott gives the reader some hard-won spiritual insight and wisdom, and doesn't stint on her discussions of triumphs as well as tragedies, though they seem to be few and far between. In other words, I learned something by reading Plan B, and found it worthy of my time. I'd recommend it to anyone who is on a lifelong spiritual quest, and those who are middle aged and wondering why...though those might be the same things.

1 comment:

Dana Blozis, Virtually Yourz said...


I love your reviewing style...it is deep and raw...very revealing. I'm quite impressed. I particularly love the quote you open this blog posting with. Very telling. I, too, believe in the sanctuary of books and libraries. It is a wonderful way to escape the real world into the literary one where anything is possible. Kudos!

Dana Blozis
Virtually Yourz