Best Anne Lamott books

Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy

Anne Lamott

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New York Times Bestseller

“Anne Lamott is my Oprah.” —Chicago Tribune

From the author of Help, Thanks, Wow and Bird by Bird, a powerful exploration of mercy and how we can embrace it.


"Mercy is radical kindness," Anne Lamott writes in her enthralling and heartening book, Hallelujah Anyway. It's the permission you give others—and yourself—to forgive a debt, to absolve the unabsolvable, to let go of the judgment and pain that make life so difficult.

In Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy Lamott ventures to explore where to find meaning in life. We should begin, she suggests, by "facing a great big mess, especially the great big mess of ourselves." It's up to each of us to recognize the presence and importance of mercy everywhere—"within us and outside us, all around us"—and to use it to forge a deeper understanding of ourselves and more honest connections with each other. While that can be difficult to do, Lamott argues that it's crucial, as "kindness towards others, beginning with myself, buys us a shot at a warm and generous heart, the greatest prize of all." 

Full of Lamott’s trademark honesty, humor and forthrightness, Hallelujah Anyway is profound and caring, funny and wise—a hopeful book of hands-on spirituality.

Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers

Anne Lamott

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New York Times 
Bestseller

Author Anne Lamott writes about the three simple prayers essential to coming through tough times, difficult days and the hardships of daily life.

Readers of all ages have followed and cherished Anne Lamott’s funny and perceptive writing about her own faith through decades of trial and error. And in her new book, Help, Thanks, Wow, she has coalesced everything she knows about prayer to these fundamentals.

It is these three prayers – asking for assistance from a higher power, appreciating what we have that is good, and feeling awe at the world around us – that can get us through the day and can show us the way forward. In Help, Thanks, Wow, Lamott recounts how she came to these insights, explains what they mean to her and how they have helped, and explores how others have embraced these same ideas.

Insightful and honest as only Anne Lamott can be, Help, Thanks, Wow is the everyday faith book that new Lamott readers will love and longtime Lamott fans will treasure.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Anne Lamott

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"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my  brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy.  Just take it bird by bird.'"

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

Anne Lamott

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Anne Lamott claims the two best prayers she knows are: "Help me, help me, help me" and "Thank you, thank you, thank you." She has a friend whose morning prayer each day is "Whatever," and whose evening prayer is "Oh, well." Anne thinks of Jesus as "Casper the friendly savior" and describes God as "one crafty mother."

Despite--or because of--her irreverence, faith is a natural subject for Anne Lamott. Since Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird, her fans have been waiting for her to write the book that explained how she came to the big-hearted, grateful, generous faith that she so often alluded to in her two earlier nonfiction books. The people in Anne Lamott's real life are like beloved characters in a favorite series for her readers--her friend Pammy, her son, Sam, and the many funny and wise folks who attend her church are all familiar. And Traveling Mercies is a welcome return to those lives, as well as an introduction to new companions Lamott treats with the same candor, insight, and tenderness.

Lamott's faith isn't about easy answers, which is part of what endears her to believers as well as nonbelievers. Against all odds, she came to believe in God and then, even more miraculously, in herself. As she puts it, "My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers." At once tough, personal, affectionate, wise, and very funny, Traveling Mercies tells in exuberant detail how Anne Lamott learned to shine the light of faith on the darkest part of ordinary life, exposing surprising pockets of meaning and hope.

Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace

Anne Lamott

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New York Times Bestseller

From the bestselling author of Help, Thanks, Wow and Hallelujah Anyway comes her long-awaited collection of new and selected essays on hope, joy, and grace.


Anne Lamott writes about faith, family, and community in essays that are both wise and irreverent. It’s an approach that has become her trademark. Now in Small Victories, Lamott offers a new message of hope that celebrates the triumph of light over the darkness in our lives. Our victories over hardship and pain may seem small, she writes, but they change us—our perceptions, our perspectives, and our lives. Lamott writes of forgiveness, restoration, and transformation, how we can turn toward love even in the most hopeless situations, how we find the joy in getting lost and our amazement in finally being found.

Profound and hilarious, honest and unexpected, the stories in Small Victories are proof that the human spirit is irrepressible.

Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair

Anne Lamott

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New York Times
Bestseller

“Lamott’s …most insightful book yet, Stitches offers plenty of her characteristic witty wisdom…this slim, readable volume [is] a lens on life, widening and narrowing, encouraging each reader to reflect on what it is, after all, that really matters.”—People


What do we do when life lurches out of balance? How can we reconnect to one other and to what’s sustaining, when evil and catastrophe seem inescapable?

These questions lie at the heart of Stitches, Lamott’s profound follow-up to her New York Times–bestselling Help, Thanks, Wow. In this book Lamott explores how we find meaning and peace in these loud and frantic times; where we start again after personal and public devastation; how we recapture wholeness after loss; and how we locate our true identities in this frazzled age. We begin, Lamott says, by collecting the ripped shreds of our emotional and spiritual fabric and sewing them back together, one stitch at a time.

It’s in these stitches that the quilt of life begins, and embedded in them are strength, warmth, humor, and humanity.

Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year

Anne Lamott

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With the same brilliant combination of humor and warmth she brought to bestseller Bird by BirdAnne Lamott gives us a smart, funny, and comforting chronicle of single motherhood.

It’s not like she’s the only woman to ever have a baby. At thirty-five. On her own. But Anne Lamott makes it all fresh in her now-classic account of how she and her son and numerous friends and neighbors and some strangers survived and thrived in that all important first year. From finding out that her baby is a boy (and getting used to the idea) to finding out that her best friend and greatest supporter Pam will die of cancer (and not getting used to that idea), with a generous amount of wit and faith (but very little piousness), Lamott narrates the great and small events that make up a woman’s life.

"Lamott has a conversational style that perfectly conveys her friendly, self-depricating humor." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review 

"Lamott is a wonderfully lithe writer .... Anyone who has ever had a hard time facing a perfectly ordinary day will identify." -- Chicago Tribune 

Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith

Anne Lamott

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Look out for Anne's latest book, Hallelujah Anyway, on sale now.

"Lamott has chronicled her wacky and (sometimes) wild adventures in faith in...the wonderful Grace (Eventually)." (Chicago Sun-Times)


In Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, the author of the bestsellers Traveling Mercies and Plan B delivers a poignant, funny, and bittersweet primer of faith, as we come to discover what it means to be fully alive.

Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

Anne Lamott

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Hallelujah Anyway and Help, Thanks, Wow, a spiritual antidote to anxiety and despair in increasingly fraught times.

As Anne Lamott knows, the world is a dangerous place. Terrorism and war have become the new normal. Environmental devastation looms even closer. And there are personal demands on her faith as well: getting older; her mother's Alzheimer's; her son's adolescence; and the passing of friends and time.

Fortunately for those of us who are anxious about the state of the world, whose parents are also aging and dying, whose children are growing harder to recognize as they become teenagers, Plan B offers hope that we’re not alone in the midst of despair. It shares with us Lamott's ability to comfort and to make us laugh despite the grim realities.

Anne Lamott is one of our most beloved writers, and Plan B is a book more necessary now than ever. It is further evidence that, as The New Yorker has written, "Anne Lamott is a cause for celebration."

Hard Laughter: A Novel

Anne Lamott

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Anne Lamott's poignant first novel, reissued in an attractive new edition.

Writer (and sometime housecleaner) Jennifer is twenty-three when her beloved father, Wallace, is diagnosed with a brain tumor. This catastrophic discovery sets off Anne Lamott's unexpectedly sweet and funny first novel, which is made dramatic not so much by Wallace's illness as by the emotional wake it sweeps under Jen and her brothers, self-contained Ben and feckless, lovable Randy. With characteristic affection and accuracy, Lamott sketches this offbeat family and their nearest and dearest as they draw ever closer in the intimacy Jen prizes "among the other estimable things: good music, good hard laughter, good sex, good industry, and good books."