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Book Club: Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott

  • St. Andrew Episcopal Church 31 Park Avenue Grayslake, IL 60030 USA (map)

BOOK CLUB

Traveling Mercies

By Anne Lamott

Join us this month as we read and discuss the national bestseller Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott. Meetings will be led by the Brisseys.

The first meeting is Wednesday, April 25, 6:30–7:45 pm, and Wednesdays thereafter. Please sign up on the bulletin board.

Six copies of the book will be availabe in the office by March 24. If we run out of copies, the book is available on Amazon.


PRAISE FOR TRAVELING MERCIES

Even at her most serious, she never takes herself or her spirituality too seriously. Lamott is a narrator who has relished and soaked up the details of her existence, equally of mirth and devastation, spirit and grief, and spilled them onto her pages."

—The New York Times Book Review

“In a short autobiography and 24 vignettes that appeared in earlier versions in the online magazine Salon, Ann Lamott blends raw emotional honesty with self-mocking goofiness to show how the faith she has cultivated at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in the poor community of Marin City, Calif., translates into her everyday life and friendships, especially into her relationship with her young son, Sam. Although Lamott's clever style sometimes feels too calculated, the best bits convey the peace that can descend when a sensitive, modern woman accepts the love of God with her own brand of fear and trembling.”

—Publisher’s Weekly


ABOUT TRAVELING MERCIES

 Anne Lamott  Photo: © Sam Lamott

Anne Lamott
Photo: © Sam Lamott

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.

More from the publisher’s website »

Earlier Event: April 8
Souper Sunday
Later Event: May 6
Souper Sunday