Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott

As you know I will periodically share with you what my brief thoughts are on a book that I have been reading other than our book club selection. You can always find this section on the right hand side of the blog. I have just finished up Traveling Mercies, Some thoughts on faith by Anne Lamott. Here is what the book flap states:

With an exuberant mix of passion, insight, and humor, Anne Lamott takes us on a journey through her often troubled past to illuminate her devout but quirky walk of faith. In a narrative spiced with stories and Scripture, with diatribes, laughter, and tears, Lamott tells how, against all odds, she came to believe in God and then, even more miraculously, in herself. She shows us the myriad ways in which this sustains and guides her, shining the light of faith on the darkest part of ordinary life and exposing surprising pockets of meaning and hope. Whether writing about her family or her dreadlocks, sick children or old friends, the most religious women of her church or the men she's dated, Lamott reveals the hard-won wisdom gathered along her path to connectedness and liberation. (end quote)

Each chapter is a new story that she shares about an aspect of her life. Some of them I liked and some I didn't care for so much. She does use cuss words quite a few times in the book, so just a warning in case it bothers you. I enjoyed her stories where she talks about her walk with Christ and opens herself up to share with the reader some of her mis-steps and what she has learned. I also enjoyed the stories about the people in her Presbyterian Church in California and how they supported and have helped her in life. I would have to say one of my favorite quotes of the book is in her Overture titled Lily Pads. She is quoting someone when talking about learning what it means to be saved and says, "I guess it's like discovering you're on the shelf of a pawnshop, dusty and forgotten and maybe not worth very much. But Jesus comes in and tells the pawnbroker, 'I'll take her place on the shelf. Let her go outside again." I always like good analogies that make it easier to put things in perspective. There are several of these in the book. She also has several other books available that are set up similarly with all the different stories. I do not think this is exactly what our book club is looking for at this time, so at this point I don't see us reading it in the future. If you have any other questions feel free to e-mail me at

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