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Light, pretty brainless reading. Good for the beach, but pretty predictable.

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Anne Lamott has a way with a phrase, and she’s used those talents to her advantage in Bird. “People used to tell me I dressed like John Goodman” (page 170). Although this reference may go over the heads of some contemporary teenagers, the material is remarkably fresh despite an initial publication date of fifteen years ago. She instructs on the gracious handling of jealousy, managing expectations on publication dates, escaping libel, and writer’s block, which she refers to in the form of “Radio Station KFKD.” She’s so tender when extinguishing dreams with the greatest of care. The purchase of this book is a much cheaper alternative to enrolling in the writing courses taught by the author. Readers need not be aspiring writers to appreciate the material. Lamott has lived an interesting life and much of it is woven into the stories, and she doesn’t flinch from poking fun at herself when she took life too seriously. Reading the book is reminiscent of going out for tea with the friend who will always give it to you straight, and this reviewer will answer any invitation offered by Lamott in the future. You might also like: a similar treatise from Stephen King, called On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (2003) or On Writing Well: the Classic Guide to Writing Non-Fiction.