Jul 8, 2010

Imperfect Books

Anne Lamott's Imperfect BirdsI quit reading a book today. It’s not something I usually do: I’m usually much too stubborn.
Or, if not stubborn, than too involved in the characters or the language or something. But I really hate this book. It’s taken me a week to get 33 pages in, and each page is a little grosser than the last. There’s only so much I can take. I should have listened to those commenters who told me to skip it when I asked for book recs. I’ve learned my lesson.

So, this is all the review of Anne Lamott’s Imperfect Birds I’m going to write.
Read if:

  • You want a lenghty description of every bodily function known to man, save sneezing.
  • You really enjoyed after-school specials.
  • All the other books died.

K, I might be a little over-dramatic, and I only got 31 pages in, but wow, I really didn’t enjoy a single one of those pages. I guess it’s really a matter of personal opinion, you like what you like, blah blah blah. But this book made me crabby, and it’s my blog. I can crotchet if I want to.

What’s the last book you put down, mid-sentence? Or just couldn’t bear to pick back up again?



  • Poor Jesse. We did try to tell you so.

  • I once quit reading “The Orchid Theif” by Susan Orlean. I wanted to read it because one of my favorite movies, Adaptation, is about adapting the book into a movie. I literally fell asleep reading it several times.

  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle was boring, but Iafe it halfway before giving up. Last week I started
    Five Days Apart by Chris Binchy, and only made it 12 pages. It was so bland, like a book spider had stabbed it and sucked all of its colorful guts out…

  • I too have only ever stopped reading a “few” books. I didn’t stop on James Michener’s Hawaii but it took me MONTHS to get thru it in college…….never picked up another of his again. But, (random aside…but I’m old now so I get to do this) I later worked with a wonderful woman whose husband was a linguist at Columbia in NY and they knew JM. She talked about what a wonderful man he was….she knew lots of amazing people/authors. Just a sidenote…..

  • So sad that this wasn’t a great book. Anne Lamott can do great books. Bird by Bird is one of my all time favorites. I also really like her Traveling, Plan B and Grace books, though they aren’t quite up to par with Bird.

    I met her once after a lecture. Her face looked like a road map–a million lines. Sometimes lines make you look old and used, but on her it seemed appropriate, very wise and very beautiful.
    She really shouldn’t write gross books. It could bring out the ugly in the lines.

  • Steinbeck. I hated Grapes and Of Mice and Men. The man glories in the common depravities of humankind. It’s one thing to be an honest observer, but he gets satisfaction from it like a kid foolish enough to eat his mud pie. Wordy and tedious, he takes his time with every bite. You just think, but it’s dirt. That being said…he had one redeeming book: The Very Short Reign of Pippin IV. Jesse recommended it to me, actually. A funny political satire worth digging your teeth into.

  • Sorry to hear that you didn’t make it through Lamott’s book. I do have to say it was a difficult book to get through, but I appreciated it because it didn’t try to sanitize things. I think Lamott captured well the struggle that Elizabeth had with alcohol abuse and wanting to be accepted by her daughter, as well as the clashes between mother and daughter, husband and wife. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I enjoyed reading it, but as I said in my review, I think it is an important work for parents and those who work with teens to consider reading, since, amongst other things, it addresses the issues of boundaries and the results of setting or not setting them.

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