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Book Review: Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott

I was introduced to this book through Jamie Tworkowski's To Write Love On Her Arms story and I was curious, just like I was curious about Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz, who I discovered the same way. Admittedly, i've never really sat down and found a place in faith to call my own, so I hoped that this little book might have helped, and it did in some ways.

Lamott has a way of writing which I really identify with. From her words I felt like she'd be a person with a warm heart, an interesting mind and a wonderful energy. Whenever I listen to my grandmother talk about the war and how through all that negativity, there was always a warmth in the family, I feel safe and warm as she must have felt; reading this book made me feel exactly like I was sat with my grandmother listening to another tale of The Blitz.

I've read Traveling Mercies maybe two or three times already, but recently I felt the need to read it again. Every so often my mind screams at me to pick up a book on faith and calm my life down and take in the thoughts of others.

As I said previously, Lamott's writing is something special to me. I really identify with her method of writing. She's honest and very funny and I really connect with personalities like that. There's no veil covering her past and I really admire her for it. Maybe why Tworkowski mentioned the to together (Miller and Lamott) is that they're very similar in that they're very much down to each and don't preach message of superiority in faith, while remembering those who believe that God is there no matter what the situation.

Like me, it's clear she has a huge love for hidden comedy through metaphor. She's hilarious when describing events in her life, for example, here she discusses loosing temperature with her son Sam:

It’s so awful, attacking your child. It is the worst thing I know, to shout loudly at this fifty-pound being with his huge trusting brown eyes. It’s like bitch-slapping E.T.
She will always have a place on my bookshelf, mainly because of how much I connect with her words and how she's exactly the type of writer I want to read, especially when it comes to dealing with faith. The preach it, force it down the throat method has no positive impact to me, it's very archaic in my eyes. It's refreshing to see writers take faith and use it subtly in their work. It shows the world that there's no just one way to be a Christian and we're not all crazy, like those in the Westboro Baptist Church.

Please, if you get the chance to pick up a copy of Traveling Mercies, I would definitely do so. It's a very good book for when you're not currently reading anything and/or want a new outlook on faith.