Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son

Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son

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by Anne Lamott, Sam Lamott
     
 

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In Some Assembly Required, Anne Lamott enters a new and unexpected chapter of her own life: grandmotherhood.

Stunned to learn that her son, Sam, is about to become a father at nineteen, Lamott begins a journal about the first year of her grandson Jax's life.

In careful and often hilarious detail, Lamott and Sam-about whom she first wrote so movingly in

Overview

In Some Assembly Required, Anne Lamott enters a new and unexpected chapter of her own life: grandmotherhood.

Stunned to learn that her son, Sam, is about to become a father at nineteen, Lamott begins a journal about the first year of her grandson Jax's life.

In careful and often hilarious detail, Lamott and Sam-about whom she first wrote so movingly in Operating Instructions-struggle to balance their changing roles with the demands of college and work, as they both forge new relationships with Jax's mother, who has her own ideas about how to raise a child. Lamott writes about the complex feelings that Jax fosters in her, recalling her own experiences with Sam when she was a single mother. Over the course of the year, the rhythms of life, death, family, and friends unfold in surprising and joyful ways.

By turns poignant and funny, honest and touching, Some Assembly Required is the true story of how the birth of a baby changes a family-as this book will change everyone who reads it.

Editorial Reviews

Yvonne Zipp
This is a kindly book, full of Lamott's trademark neurotic spirituality, and it's one Lamott's fans will want, because they've watched Sam grow up through her memoirs and her column in Salon.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
In Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year (1993), Lamott humorously and poignantly chronicled the sometimes painful, often joyful ups and downs of raising her son, Sam, as a single mother. Twenty years later, when Sam announces that he is going to become a father, Lamott is stunned, disappointed, overjoyed, and hopeful. Much as she did in her reflections on Sam’s first year, she and Sam chronicle her grandson Jax’s birth and all of the tremendous anxieties and life-altering events that it brings. Throughout this first year of being a grandmother, Lamott lives by two slogans: “‘Figure it out’ is not a good option,” and “Ask and allow—ask God, and allow grace in.” Through e-mails, interviews, and letters, Lamott and Sam sort out the difficulties and pleasures of raising a child, but Lamott devotes the bulk of the journal to sorting out her own feelings of love, anger, bewilderment, and happiness. She observes that her son and his son share deep powers of observation and focus, though as a baby Sam was more edgy in his watchfulness and Jax has a sturdy, calm quality. She learns that her job is simply to help keep Jax safe, support his explorations, and not have a complete collapse all the time from loving someone so deeply. Lamott’s insights into grandmotherhood are hardly profound or startling, but her canny ability to see the extraordinary in the ordinary with wit and irreverence makes for an entertaining ride through Jax’s first year. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
“[Lamott’s] crisp writing and self-deprecating honesty ring charmingly true.”

People

“[Some Assembly Required is] full of Lamott’s trademark neurotic spirituality, and it’s one Lamott’s fans will want.”

The Washington Post

“Wonderful . . . [with] Lamott’s trademark sharp wit and self-deprecating humor . . . Like so many of Lamott’s books, [Some Assembly Required] leaves readers with new insights.”

—The Associated Press

“[Lamott’s] typical combination of astuteness and wit . . . As always, Lamott’s ‘raggedy faith’ is central to her, and whether you share her concerns or not, you appreciate her candor.”

—NPR

“The story of one year in a woman’s life, a year that happens to include the arrival of a blanket-bundled gift for Lamott and her longtime readers.”

San Francisco Chronicle

“[Some Assembly Required] highlights the trademark humor we've come to expect from Lamott, with laugh-out-loud one-liners that are both self-deprecating and wise … a welcome addition in the larger Gospel of Lamott.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Funny, insightful, irreverent…filled with humor and the author's quirky faith…Bound to do for grandmothers what the earlier book did for mothers — bring them insight and sanity in the midst of chaos.”
The Denver Post

“Anne Lamott’s singular gift for bringing readers into the intimate circle of her life flows effortlessly in this new memoir, mixing the absurd and sublime with her usual alchemical genius…you’ll be seduced by the darkly comic tone, self-deprecating wit, and relentless honesty; she somehow makes the bumps and joys of her life intensely relatable. She can capture the bliss and beauty of tiny emotional events in a few perfect words, then skewer her own worst impulses with brutal hilarity.”
Bust Magazine   

Library Journal
A best-selling author of fiction and nonfiction, Lamott again touches affectingly on personal issues, here recounting learning that her 19-year-old son, Sam, would soon become a father and then detailing the first year of grandson Jax. Great for Lamott fans and other gentle souls.
Kirkus Reviews
Being a grandparent is harder than it looks. Such is Lamott's (Imperfect Birds, 2010, etc.) message in this angst-ridden, occasionally neurotic diary of her grandson's first year. After gaining a large audience for Operating Instructions (1993), which chronicled her son Sam's first year of life, the author sets out to do the same after Sam became a father at age 19. Sam and erstwhile girlfriend Amy are parents to a healthy baby boy named Jax. In nearly daily entries, Lamott shares details of her life beginning with Jax's first full day after birth. Filled with a variety of characters--Sam, the young father in over his head; Amy, the beautiful mother whose strength Lamott seems to envy; Jax, the almost-perfect baby; various friends and family--the book is mostly about the author and her seething river of insecurities and anxieties. At nearly every turn, Lamott comes up with some new thing to worry about, a new facet of herself to loathe or a new characteristic of those close to her to deride and belittle. She struggles constantly with boundaries as a grandmother, and she bemoans her lack of control over situations. Another source of near-constant anxiety is the prospect of Amy moving away with Jax. Other fears are less grounded in reality: "I have these morbid, terrifying fantasies--but I had the same ones before Jax was born, that the baby would die and Sam would commit suicide." Eventually readers will grow tired of the author's angst, self-doubt and general negativity. A pale companion piece to Operation Instructions.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594486678
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/02/2013
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
500,407
Product dimensions:
5.18(w) x 8.01(h) x 0.71(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“[Lamott’s] crisp writing and self-deprecating honesty ring charmingly true.”
People

“[Some Assembly Required is] full of Lamott’s trademark neurotic spirituality, and it’s one Lamott’s fans will want.”
The Washington Post

“Wonderful . . . [with] Lamott’s trademark sharp wit and self-deprecating humor . . . Like so many of Lamott’s books, [Some Assembly Required] leaves readers with new insights.”
—The Associated Press

“[Lamott’s] typical combination of astuteness and wit . . . As always, Lamott’s ‘raggedy faith’ is central to her, and whether you share her concerns or not, you appreciate her candor.”
—NPR

“The story of one year in a woman’s life, a year that happens to include the arrival of a blanket-bundled gift for Lamott and her longtime readers.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“[Some Assembly Required] highlights the trademark humor we've come to expect from Lamott, with laugh-out-loud one-liners that are both self-deprecating and wise … a welcome addition in the larger Gospel of Lamott.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Funny, insightful, irreverent…filled with humor and the author's quirky faith…Bound to do for grandmothers what the earlier book did for mothers — bring them insight and sanity in the midst of chaos.”
The Denver Post

“Anne Lamott’s singular gift for bringing readers into the intimate circle of her life flows effortlessly in this new memoir, mixing the absurd and sublime with her usual alchemical genius…you’ll be seduced by the darkly comic tone, self-deprecating wit, and relentless honesty; she somehow makes the bumps and joys of her life intensely relatable. She can capture the bliss and beauty of tiny emotional events in a few perfect words, then skewer her own worst impulses with brutal hilarity.”
Bust Magazine

Meet the Author

Anne Lamott is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Help, Thanks, Wow; Some Assembly Required; Grace (Eventually); Plan B; Traveling Mercies; and Operating Instructions, as well as several novels, including Imperfect Birds, Rosie and Crooked Little Heart. A past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an inductee to the California Hall of Fame, she lives in northern California.

Sam Lamott is an inventor, designer, entrepreneur, and artist who lives in San Francisco.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Fairfax, California
Date of Birth:
1954
Place of Birth:
San Francisco, California
Education:
Attended Goucher College in Maryland before dropping out to write

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Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Dr_Wilson_Trivino More than 1 year ago
- What drew me to this book was the photo of the small baby foot. This book is as sweet as it’s covers and follows the year adventure of author Anne Lamott as she prepares for her first grandson. This book is a joy to read, Lamott shares the highs and lows as a new grandmother as she navigates a fine balance between being close to her grandson and not interfering into her son’s life. Lamott also shares her own odyssey of self discover as she travels to India to find inner peace and divine inspiration. The book is written in a diary form, so the reader feels like it is gaining direct access to the personal thoughts of the writer. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to gain hope and inspiration of the beauty of life and reaffirm the maxim “that children are living messengers to a world we will never see.”
BeeMD More than 1 year ago
After reading snippets of this story in various magazines, I read the whole book. While not altogether a happy saga, it is very satisfying, and almost painfully revealing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some Assembly Required bring out more of the Anne Lamott that you love. Her insecurities and thoughts - those we may all have but not put into writing. Enjoyable because it is so real and rings so true.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some parts quite interesting grandma stuff. Then a very long drawn out story about her trip to India. I am bored to tears by page 90! I was intigued to pay $12.99 after hearing great interview with author! I will borrow from library before purchasing her other books. Dissapointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sweet, beautifully written with humor and love. Ms Lamott writes with such a human touch, I feel like she is talking to me and understanding what my heart is saying. A great instruction manual for grandmothers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another good story. Grandmotherhood is an interesting role and Anne has captured some of the complexities.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book!
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Avid-readerKS More than 1 year ago
If you like Lamott you will enjoy this on going foray into her life as a grandmother. It has tidbits of wisdom, reminders for those already grandparents to let it go, and a warning to those yet to reach grandparenthood, it is grand but there are heart wrenches along the way. A nice read.
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Looks at Darcy. "Ello."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sure. Go ahead. Not that there's many others here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've only skimmed the book.