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Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Anne Lamott
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

July 2007 Thorndike Core
The sharp, funny, and heartfelt follow-up to her bestselling Plan B, Anne Lamott's newest collection is a personal exploration of the faith and grace all around us.

In Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Lamott examines the ways we're caught in life's most daunting predicaments: love, mothering, work, politics, and maybe toughest of all, evolving from who we are to who we were meant to be. This is a complicated process for most of us, and Lamott turns her wit and honesty inward to describe her own intimate, bumpy, and unconventional road to grace and faith.

"I wish grace and healing were more abracadabra kinds of things," she writes in one of her essays, "that delicate silver bells would ring to announce grace's arrival. But no, it's clog and slog and scootch, on the floor, in silence, in the dark."

Whether she's writing about her unsuccessful efforts to get her money back from an obstinate carpet salesman, grappling with the tectonic shifts in her relationship with her son as he matures, trying to maintain her faith and humor during politically challenging times, or helping a close friend die with dignity, Lamott seeks out both the divinity and the humanity in herself and everything around her. Throughout these essays, she writes of her struggle to find the essence of her faith, which she uncovers in the unlikeliest places. By turns insightful and hilarious, pointed and poignant, Grace (Eventually) is Anne Lamott at her perceptive and irreverent best.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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From Publishers Weekly

It would be easy to mistake this book for more of the same. Like Lamott's earlier spiritual nonfiction, Traveling Mercies and Plan B, it's a collection of essays, mostly previously published. The three books have strikingly similar covers and nearly identical subtitles. The familiar topics are here—Mom; her son, illness; death; addictions; Jesus; Republicans—as is the zany attitude. Not that repetitiveness matters; Lamott's faithful fans would line up to buy her shopping lists. But these recent essays show a new mellowness: "I don't hate anyone right now, not even George W. Bush. This may seem an impossibility, but it is true, and indicates the presence of grace or dementia, or both." With gentle wisdom refining her signature humor, Lamott explores helpfulness, decency, love and especially forgiveness. She explains the change: "Sometimes I act just as juvenile as I ever did, but as I get older, I do it for shorter periods of time. I find my way back to the path sooner, where there is always one last resort: get a glass of water and call a friend." Here's hoping that grace eventually persuades this older, wiser Lamott that her next nonfiction book should be wholly original. (Mar. 20)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Lamott's third collection of funny, smart, and prayerful essays-to-live-by contains just what readers expect from this nimble and candid writer: the unexpected. Sure, Lamott writes, as she always does, about her son, Sam, now 17. And yes, she continues to shift through the psychic rubble of her bad drinking and drug days, searching for shards of wisdom and bright bits of sustaining humor. But the particulars are always startling and provocative because, like all artists, Lamott can riff inventively on the most commonplace themes. She presents finely crafted homilies about binging and aging, and recounts episodes of despair, craziness, fear, guilt, and grief, followed by out-of-the-blue rescues. An advocate for kindness, reflection, and the ongoing effort to do the right thing, Lamott can be downright rancorous and self-absorbed, just like everyone else. And for all her attachment to her church community, she thinks for herself, and believes deeply in freedom. Consequently, she speaks out for women's reproductive rights, and helps a terminally ill friend die. Irreverently reverent, Lamott is resplendent in "Steinbeck Country," a beacon-in-the-dark essay about the importance of public libraries in which she praises librarians as "healers and magicians." Lamott also performs these essential roles, and readers do feel better for it. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just like it says, Grace Eventually June 3 2009
Format:Paperback
I love Anne Lamott!! Traveling Mercies just may be my all time favorite books on faith. Plan B was a little bitter, even though I agreed with her on most topics. Grace Eventually is wonderful. What happens now??? More grace, I hope!!
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  135 reviews
140 of 150 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 Stars...Goodness, Gracious April 1 2007
By Eric Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Oh, how I adore little Anne. For years, this lady has inspired my writing, made me laugh, and challenged my perceptions. Most of the time I'm right there cheering with her. Occasionally, we disagreee--but I think she would love me anyway.

"Traveling Mercies" (one of my all-time favorite books) was a sprawling, messy, beautiful tale of life and faith and day-to-day struggle. "Plan B" was more of the same, but with political teeth sharpened on the grindstone of Mr. Bush's policies. "Grace (Eventually)" shows a softer side of Anne, a maturing maybe, or an acceptance of the things she cannot change. She talks about her son, her dog, her mother, her church, her city, all with a tone of reconciliation.

Don't get me wrong. Anne still wants change. She still says things that will push a lot of buttons--regarding assisted suicide and abortion, for example. She also continues to express a belief in Jesus and His teachings and His example of love and mercy. For those annoyed by the cultural environment, she gives a call to more understanding. For those who disagree with her, she also calls for grace by asking us to accept her as she is in all her authentic imperfection.

I didn't walk away from this book with sublime shock and laughter (as I did with "Traveling Mercies") or with pent-up frustration (as I did with "Plan B"), I walked away with a sense of gentleness and a desire to extend that same grace to others. I guess you could call that a success.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not her best, but still brilliant Aug. 1 2007
By Mathew W. Moran - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
One of the most popular voices in contemporary spirituality, Anne Lamott has a remarkable gift at handling serious and unfunny topics - religion, motherhood, eating disorders, death - in a witty and disarming way.

Lamott's new book, "Grace Eventually: Further Thoughts On Faith," is a collection of essays, many of which Lamott wrote as a columnist for Salon.com. If you haven't read anything by Lamott before, the best places to start would be "Traveling Mercies" (her bestselling memoir), and "Bird by Bird," (one of the best guide to writing anywhere, another bestseller). But the two things you should know before reading Anne Lamott is that 1) she is an incredible prose artist, quirky and profound, with a style that seems all her own. And 2) she is almost completely neurotic.

"Grace Eventually," is a special book in that Lamott's description of ordinary events make them feel sacred. She is a writer with an ability to make the reader pay attention, feel present, and tune in to the story taking place around them. Although she refers to Jesus consistently, there is little that seems orthodox about Lamott's spiritual journey, and perhaps that is one of the reasons she has such a wide readership.

You'd have to be made out of granite not to find something that moves you in this unique collection of essays. You would also need to adhere to Lamott's precise and strident political positions not to find at least one portion of this book infuriating. Either way, "Grace Eventually" is a provocative and unique read, and any avid reader owes it to themselves to become familiar with one of the country's top writers.
69 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy March 30 2007
By Jay K. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Usually I take quite a while to read through books before I buy them. One exception is Anne Lamott's books. If she writes them, I'll read them, because she her writing is honest, caring, good story telling and lots of fun, even with the topics of grace and faith. She has the kind of writing that makes me wish I'd studied harder and knew all the words in the dictionary. (Not because she uses a lot of fancy, big words. Far from it. She just uses them so perfectly, so suited to what she is saying, so originally. I feel like the rest of us are amateurs with the English language and she is a pro.) Lamott doesn't let herself off the hook easily, nor does she softsoap life and its effects. But she does get it.

This book will be a good read because it will make you think--and think better. In this work Lamott shares her life and friends and family and herself. She has child-like feelings and inspired thoughts. I love writing that surprises me with simplicity and originality. That's why I love her work.

If you like this book another one of Lamott's earlier works, Bird by Bird, is an all time favorite of mine. She deals with how to become a writer. And she makes it seem possible--and like she's in your corner.
39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I always love her books but............ June 21 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I always enjoy reading Anne Lamott and this book was going along swell. She has an easy, casual manner that makes it feel like you're having a best-friend discussion sitting at the kitchen counter. But in this book I got SO tired of her blaming EVERYTHING that's wrong in the world on George Bush. It's like we were all basking around here on Heaven-On-Earth until Mr. Meanie screwed it all up. Her writing seems so smart and sensitive yet her political comments were so stupid. Not the most enjoyable read for me.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Gracious and Grievous Read Aug. 17 2009
By Joel S. Frady - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There were parts of this book that were profound and powerful, drawing me into thinking deeply about the goodness of God and the challenges of life. The sections about Lamott's relationship with her son were particularly poignant, as was the chapter on assisted suicide. Lamott's reflections on nature and her own growth as a person (getting sober, coming to terms with her family background) were also helpful and encouraging.
The book was somewhat spoiled for me by rants about right-wingers and George W. Bush and abortion and various other things. Being shrill is not the badge of authentic humanity. Lamott needs to extend some grace to those with whom she disagrees without demonizing them. In fact, if such an approach could be extended to our entire culture we would be better by far.
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