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