Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith

by Anne Lamott

Hardcover, 2007

Call number

248.4 LAM



Riverhead (2007), Edition: First Edition, 272 pages


Wherever you look, there's trouble and wonder, pain and beauty, restoration and darkness--sometimes all at once. Yet amid the confusion, if you look carefully, in nature or in the kitchen, in ordinariness or in mystery, beyond the emotion muck we all slog through, you'll find it eventually: a path, some light to see by, moments of insight, courage, or buoyancy. In other words, grace. Lamott knows and lives by this belief, most of the time. In these essays, she recounts the missteps, detours, and roadblocks in her walk of faith.--From publisher description.

User reviews

LibraryThing member tymfos
Ah, Anne Lamott. I love her spunk, her honesty, idealism, and faith. Sometimes her political rants/snipes drive me a little crazy, even in those cases when I agree with her. I found more snipes than outright rants in this book. Since her biggest rant in this book involved protesting the closing of
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an entire city's library system, I could hardly fault her this time.

How could I not appreciate someone who helped organize a massive "Emergency READ-IN" to protest the closing of libraries?

Anne's non-fiction writings are always slices of life, filled with children, pets, friends and neighbors, nature, everyday problems, and humor. She never tries to make herself look too good. She always seems to pull some sort of spiritual lesson from her struggles. She offers simple words of wisdom in a complex world:

On protesting the closing of libraries:
"We came together because we started out as children who were saved by stories, stories read to us at night when we were little, stories we read by ourselves, in which we could get lost and thereby found."

On confiding/confessing to a friend:
". . . as I told her my bleak and embarassing story, it felt like dirty clothes. I'd been trying to wash and dry it inside myself, in my embarrassed mind, which doesn't really make much sense, laundry-wise. When you hang things outside, they get air, warmth, light; and you see that even with the stains and frayed collar, the garment has kept you covered and warm for a long time."

And this:
"The best way to change the world is to change your mind, which often requires feeding yourself. It makes for biochemical peace. It's almost like a prayer to be needy, to eat, to taste, to be filled, building up instead of tearing down."

It's sentiments like these that make me enjoy Anne Lamott's writing.
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LibraryThing member readaholic12
I admit, I'm becoming a bit of an Anne Lamott groupie. Reading her stories is like talking to an old friend or family member. She writes so well and so passionately, that I don't mind having heard some of the stories before. I enjoy taking another look, gleaning new details from the major events
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that shaped her unique world view. If she wrote ten stories about losing her father or Pammy, I would gladly read every one. I laugh and cry with her as she navigates the inevitable pitfalls of parenthood and life from her uniquely neurotic perspective. I appreciate her very personal approach to spirituality, and really appreciate that she does not force feed her Christianity on the reader. I like the (Evenually) part of the title and the essays, as we are all still striving for grace.
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LibraryThing member jennyo
I love Lamott's books about her faith, her issues with being kind and loving to her fellow man (especially when one of those men is George W. Bush), and her struggle to raise a teenage son. She's witty and clever, and writes great rants.

However, because she's so adamant about her beliefs, both
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spiritual and political, this is probably not a book for everyone. You might want to read a few of her articles on Salon before deciding whether or not you want to read this one.

p. 9 I felt the way I had felt reading A Wrinkle in Time at eight, The Catcher in the Rye, Catch-22, Virginia Woolf, Vonnegut later on, whenever a book had offered me a box with treasure inside. It was what flooded out in the quiet, intimate relationship between me and the writer, the treasure of me.

p. 33 The music moves you along, you rise and you sit and rise and sing and float, and you open your mouth and let the sound come out. No matter that you may sing poorly, and fumble around with the hymnal, and sing the wrong words, the hymn expands to make room for all the voices, even yours.

p. 154 Reading and books are medicine. Stories are written and told by and for people who have been broken, but who have risen up, or will rise, if attention is paid to them. Those people are you and us. Stories and truth are splints for the soul, and that makes today a sacred gathering. Now we were all saying: Pass it on.

p. 192 You've got to wonder what Jesus was like at seventeen. They don't even talk about it in the Bible, he was apparently so awful.

p. 208 I realize again and again that this is really all you have to offer people most days, a touch, a moment's gladness. It has to do, and it often does.
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LibraryThing member ignatiangroupie
This book is anti-catholic and anti-life. I have no problem, with people who hold differing views then I do, but when an author is blatantly snide about those who disagree with her I have a problem.

The author seems to have published her journal, there is no consistency between chapters or portions
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of her story, she jumps around from time frame to time frame. If anyone wants this bloody thing let me know, all you have to do is pay for postage.

All in all, good title, crappy book.
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LibraryThing member hammockqueen
outstanding. I've read this book twice and hearing Ann Lamott read her stories was very enjoyable. Either way, Lamott is my favorite.
LibraryThing member Florinda
It finally happened - I ended up with two copies of this one. But apparently I never entered the first one in here. I think someone's going to end up with a brand-new used book.
LibraryThing member adge73
Not the best Anne Lamott, but I loved it even so.
LibraryThing member clparson
I was given this book as a gift because I really enjoyed "Bird by Bird." However, I was a little disappointed in this book. The writing appeared sloppy to me. It seems like she was writing whatever came to mind, sometimes leaving the reader behind in her rantings. I did not see much "Grace" in the
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book. It seemed more like she was justifying her behavior than changing it. This book only took me a week to read, which was good. If I had spent any more time reading it, I would have been pissed. Another thing that rubbed me the wrong way was all the Bush bashing. I thought the book was suppose to be about Lamott, not Bush. And no, Bush is not to blame for all of your problems. Unless you are a huge Lamott fanatic and can follow her senseless strings of sentences, don't bother with this book.
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LibraryThing member debnance
I seem to have forgotten to add this book to my book log, probably because as soon as I finished it, I started reading it again. I can’t write rationally about Lamott anyway; it’s like trying to write logically about your first junior high crush when you are thirteen. Here’s my truth about
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her: I try to get her books on the day they come out…I read them once and then I read them again…I try to find them on audio and listen to them again…I force other people to read her books, even agnostic friends who have taken to rolling their eyes when I say the word Lamott…I drive into Houston and pay lots of money to hear her speak at a benefit and I don’t even care…I dare to bring my Author Tablecloth to the benefit and boldly ask Lamott to autograph it…And, probably the most amazing of all, I even trudge through her fiction, wondering and wondering how someone who writes such lovely nonfiction can write such tedious fiction…Yes, I’m one of those awful creatures: a raving fan.
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LibraryThing member nissaday
I thought the book was okay and had a few funny parts and an occasional interesting way of looking at things, but it didn't seem to flow well. She also included slams against George W. Bush and his administration as often as possible, which didn't seem to really be necessary or fit the topic at
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LibraryThing member pdxburley
I will, or I should say have, purchased everything Anne has published and have given several as gifts.

More essays on the lessons life provides and the role faith plays in dealing with them.

I love the voice she writes with, the vulnerability, neurosis, and ever present hope her faith provides her.
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I know most of my Christian friends would cringe at her theology, but I find her sincerity and love of God very refreshing.

I hope God continues to bless her and allow her to write for a long time to come.
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LibraryThing member ldybug
Anne Lamott, is a straight forward tell it like it is. Sharing her struggles with family, friends, and her early life she is able to connect with a diversity of people. Her points on keeping in mind that she should react in a christian manner while dealing with others, but ends up reacting in a
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totally different way, yet has compassion, afterward and apologizes to the person whom she had reacted badly to. I enjoyed reading this book it has a way of showing our character flaws in a raw , but humerous manner.
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LibraryThing member julie10reads
This is the one Anne Lamott book I recommend to everyone. You don't have to be Christian to enjoy her self-deprecating humour and to recognize yourself in her raw honesty. My eye-opening favourite quote:
"My best teachers were mess, failure, death, mistakes, and the people I hated, including
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These words introduced me to the ecology of experience: that is, things that happen, whether we judge them good or bad, will provide an opportunity for growth and freedom.
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LibraryThing member auntieknickers
I enjoyed reading this book, but I get the feeling Ms Lamott is beginning to repeat herself a little. I didn't find as much new insight in it as I would have liked.
LibraryThing member kaulsu
I normally really enjoy first-person narratives read in, well, the first person. Lamott does not have a good reading voice nor a good reading style, so was put off by that for more than half of the tape. But slowly the authenticity of what she was writing began to ring through and I began to
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believe her...believe in her.

This was worth the listen! I think it would be also worth the read.
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LibraryThing member AAM_mommy
It's not fair to give this a 'real' rating because I did not finish it. However, I just couldn't! I tried to ignore her political comments but found them out of place and really annoying. I'm sure I would not have felt that way had I agreed with her. ;-) I also didn't find anything epiphany-worthy
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in what I read. I was hoping for more. I do plan on trying a different title or two of hers, but this was not for me.
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LibraryThing member vnesting
I love listening to Anne Lamott reading her own work. She has a wry tone, offers wonderful insights, and often puts things in perspective for me.
LibraryThing member uufnn
Quoting The San Francisco Chronicle: "While she's making us laugh with her self-drprecating accounts of her failures, near-failures, and tragic missteps, [Lamott's] hanging on by her fingernails, praying for grace, asking for forgiveness, and reminding herself and her readers that God is always
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there, even in one's darkest hours. She is constantly challenged by the macro and micro issues, from world peace to bad hair and wrinkles, and shares stories of incremental personal growth...."
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LibraryThing member Amelia_Smith
I was disappointed by this book. I loved Bird by Bird, Operating Instructions was OK, and this book holds a distant third place to those two. I found it unfocused and really too self-centered. The earlier books seemed more purposeful, where this one jumped all over the place. As a parent, I found
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her reflections on life with a teenager interesting but a lot of the other material fell flat and didn't form a coherent whole, or even chart out much of a path.
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LibraryThing member nancynova
terrible rambling book, couldn't finish, not sure what the point was
LibraryThing member AuntieClio
Anne Lamott’s writing speaks to me. Her complete honesty, no doubt. The way she speaks her truth about her life. The words she strings together to make me understand how she feels. I recognize myself in some of what she writes about.

She makes me think. And then she makes me giggle as I think
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about how I might also panic because my dog ran off out of sight on our walk. Although I think I’d be more worried about the rattlesnakes.

And while I was reading, I was reminded how oddly grace works in my life. How, really, it’s not so bad. How when I’m not paying attention and wallowing around in my own mire, grace comes along and does something unexpected. Then I feel all right and ready to keep going.

Her books have literally been life changing for me. bird by bird taught me about the discipline of writing, of being creative, every day. Whether I want to or not. Grace (Eventually) reminds me to wait patiently for the grace which envelops me and takes care of me. Reading Anne Lamott is like meeting a new, old friend with whom I could share an afternoon talking about the deep things in life, while cracking each other up.
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LibraryThing member JillKB
I may have to reread this book -- Anne Lamott is hysterically funny, provocative, and insightful, and I'd like to ponder her words some more. As much as I like her writing, I definitely liked and related to some of these essays better than others. A lot of her subject matter relates to faith, her
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status as a recovering addict, her complicated relationship with her parents, her relationship with her teenage son, her anger over George W. Bush and his policies, and just navigating the ups and downs of everyday life.
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LibraryThing member Lindsayg
Anne Lamott is one of my very favorite authors, so I ran out and bought this the day it was released. I read it over the course of two days, and it was funny and insightful like most of her stuff is, but I didn't get as excited about it as I have her previous books. A lot of it felt like material
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she's already covered in her two previous books on this topic. Even so I enjoyed it, it's just not my favorite of hers.
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LibraryThing member homeschoolmimzi
Ugh. As a fan of Anne Lamott, I have to say this is not one of Anne's best books. There are WAY too many political rants in this one. It was readable, but I had to skip many chapters b/c it was annoyingly full of political vitriol. And the title thoughts on faith leads one to believe that the
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content will be just that- thoughts on faith. This was more a compilation of anecdotes with some mention of grace. I'm moving on to another book of hers which I hope will be better.
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