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Bird by Bird

$15.95

 Product Description

Some Instructions on Writing and Life
by Anne Lamott

FROM THE MONDAY MORNING MEMO OF THE WIZARD:
4/19/04

When one of my business partners, Michele Miller, mentioned that she’d just read a good book about writing called Bird by Bird, I quietly found the title at amazon.com and clicked the button that would rocket a copy toward me. The book arrived just as I sat down to write this memo.

Now I’ll subject Bird by Bird to my secret, bizarre method of measuring Literary Worthiness:

(1.) Open a page at random and quickly read a short paragraph.

(2.) Do this two more times, then

(3.) Decide whether or not to actually read the book.

My theory is that any book worth reading should be able to capture your interest in at least one of those three random paragraphs. Give me a minute. I’ll be right back.

Okay, I’m done. These are the paragraphs I scanned in Bird by Bird: (Remember, it’s a book about writing.)

p. 45– “You are going to love some of your characters, because they are you or some facet of you, and you are going to hate some of your characters for the same reason. But no matter what, you are probably going to have to let bad things happen to some of the characters you love or you won’t have much of a story.”

p. 112– “Remember the scene in Cat Ballou where a very drunk Lee Marvin goes from unconscious to ranting to triumphant to roaring to weeping defeat, and then finally passes out? One of the men watching him says, ‘I never seen a man get through a day so fast.’ Don’t let this be you.”

p. 192 – (speaking of her little boy) “After we left that morning, I took Sam to the local bowling lanes. It was another big first for him. It was all so ridiculous and real that it felt sort of sacred. We bowled in the kids’ lane for an hour. ‘You took him where?’ asked my relatives. And I couldn’t really explain why. It had something to do with wanting to shake off the solemnity, with wanting to complete the cycle of life and death. Bowling is life at its most immediate – you fling a ball and the pins fall down, sometimes. And I also wanted to show Sam that the holy goes on, no matter how many balls you fling at it.”

I know nothing about this book other than what I’ve told you, but I’m really looking forward to reading it. Want to read it with me?

Get yourself a copy.

Roy H. Williams

239 pages
Softcover

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