52 books in 52 weeks: Bird by Bird

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 12.

What can I say about Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott?

I’ve seen this book raved over by writers far and wide, and by some with whom I’ve been friends for a long time and whose opinions I trust.

And so I waited and waited for the book to be released on Kindle … and it never was. In the end I asked for the paperback as a birthday present.

It’s a lovely little book. It sums up exactly what the life of a writer is truly like – or at least many writers I know (including yours truly). Granted, we aren’t all single parents, or battling depression or substance addiction. But the rest of it?

I literally laughed out loud at some of the asides the author made, while others made me pause for thought.

The author does indulge in stories of her own depression and she comes across as quite religious, so if either of these things are likely to turn you off, then walk away. This seems to be the main gripe with other negative reviews. Otherwise, it’s a nice little read.

There are no exercises. This is not a how-to-write book. It’s an insight into the life of a writer. And this book will be staying on my bookshelf, and not just because it was a birthday gift. It’s a nice, feel-good book to pick up and re-read as and when the urge arises.

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott is only available in paperback for a slightly pricey £15.59 (or $6.77).