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Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 20. März 2012

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“[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.”
Bust Magazine   

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

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.

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90 von 92 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
As Always, Lamott's Writing Is Authentic and True 21. März 2012
Von Jennifer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I read Anne Lamott's book about her son Sam's first year of life (Operating Instructions) back during my first year of motherhood. So, in some twisted and narcissistic way, I had it in my head that her son Sam was about the same age as my son--as that is when I became aware of him. (It could also have been a persistent "mommy brain" notion that never quite left me.) So it was with a bit of a shock when I saw Lamott's new memoir, Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son. "How could little Sam possibly have a child?" I marveled to myself. Of course, Sam isn't 7 like my son. He is 19. (Still pretty young to be a father but certainly within the realm of believability.) Always wanting to find out "how things turned out" in any story, I eagerly started the book--excited to catch up with Anne and Sam's life since we last spent time together.

Within a few pages, I was reminded of just why I love Anne Lamott. She has a brutal honesty about herself and her life that is both self-depreciating, amusing and authentic. She writes from her heart, and she isn't afraid to show us all aspects of herself--from her neurotic and selfish sides to the spiritual and open searching soul she works on so assiduously. Her writing is never fancy or condescending. Rather, it is heartfelt yet with a sly irreverence and joking tone that always lets you know she is aware of her frailties and flaws. I'd love to have her as a friend.

The subject of her son's first son is fraught with all kinds of emotional minefields that challenge Anne in a myriad of different ways. Not only does she struggle with the idea becoming a grandmother at the age of 55, but her son's complex and volatile relationship with his girlfriend Amy adds a tricky new dimension to Anne's relationship with her grandchild Jax. Anne falls hard and fast for Jax and has clear ideas about how things can and should be for this young couple. Yet Amy is a strong-willed young woman who decided to have Jax regardless of what anyone else felt ... and she has her own ideas about how things will be. Worse yet, Amy's roots are not in the San Francisco area where Anne and Sam are deeply ensconced. As Amy struggles with her identity as a mother and her need to be with her own family, this threat of Jax being "taken away" hangs over Anne's (and Sam's) head like a piano held by the thinnest of threads.

When a young couple who are not established in the world or with each other (Sam is still in art school when Jax is born and Amy is staying with Sam in his tiny apartment; they have a volatile relationship and had broken up several times before Amy became pregnant) decide to have a child together, it isn't easy for a mother (including one who pays many of the bills) to simply step aside and watch them. Throughout the book, Anne struggles with how involved to get, how much she can say, how much support to offer. It is a tricky balancing act that requires all of Anne's spiritual maturity to sort through--and even then she is plagued with moments of needing to control things that overwhelm her and threaten to engulf the precarious new relationships developing between everyone. Yet with her considerable support system, Anne manages to work through her new identity as grandmother and forge a kind of peace with the role.

In addition to getting Anne's point of view (which includes everything that is going on in her life during this year, including a trip to India and a book tour), the book also includes sections written by Sam Lamott about how he is viewing fatherhood at the tender age of 19. It was enlightening and heartening to get a glimpse inside Sam's psyche and his obvious delight and love for Jax. It is very clear that Anne and Sam have a mother-son bond that is solid and tightly woven with strands of love, understanding and respect.

Anne Lamott has led an interesting life (having overcome alcoholism, family dysfunction and taken on single motherhood when she was financially and emotionally unprepared) and managed to come through with grace and good spirit. I love how she is utterly herself (including her trademark dreadlocks) but is so completely relatable that you feel like you know her already. Her writing has a directness and beauty to it that is characteristic of someone who is writing from their authentic self. Besides this book, I'd also recommend Operating Instructions and her excellent writing book, Bird by Bird. Her memoirs on her spiritual journey (although Traveling Mercies is the only one I've read so far) are also well done. Although I've read two of her novels, and found that I prefer her memoirs more.
30 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
"Some Settling May Occur" 23. März 2012
Von AudreyLM - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This is the humble offering of an ardent and longtime Lamott fan for the title of the (hopefully) inevitable memoir of Jax's son's first year. And for the lesson I always learn from Anne in the most delicious, hilarious, brilliant possible way: Life is not perfect. People are not perfect. Most important, WE are not perfect, and we do need to settle for less perfection in life than we had perhaps hoped for. The good news is that we never need to settle when it comes to spiritual connection, a lesson always reinforced for me by Anne Lamott. I loved Operating Instructions (and all of Anne's books) and was thrilled to download this one right away on Audible. It was an absolute joy. Very dear to hear both Anne and Sam's voices and I am filled with gratitude to both of them for sharing their journeys so transparently. And Anne, BLESS YOU for being you, fears and joys and schadenfreude and all, because it goes a long way in helping me to accept being me. Because this book is not really about Jax, and this review isn't really about your book. The book is about you and the review is about me, as everything we write is ultimately about ourselves. But because your "story" is so much like mine (well except for the brilliant successful writer part!) I can read about you and learn about me. Which is also why I love memoir.

So I have three thousand favorite lines from this literally laugh-out-loud funny book but because I listened to it rather than read it I can't go back and repeat them here. Anyway I wouldn't want readers to miss the chance to enjoy each gem yourselves. One very awesome line I do remember is attributed to Anne's friend Tom: "Either you learn to live with paradox and ambiguities or you will be six years old for the rest of your life." Ain't it the truth. I don't always like paradox and ambiguity but I like being my age and hope I live long enough to read the next installment of Lamott History.
31 von 35 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Grandparenting when your 19 year old son becomes a father 20. März 2012
Von Kcorn - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
As both a parent and grandparent- to-be, I couldn't resist ordering this one. To my surprise, it arrived a day earlier than expected and I put everything aside to read it immediately.

Written in daily and dated journal form, author Anne Lamott and her son not only write about the transformation a grandchild brings but also reveal the turbulence experienced by very young parents. When grandchild Jax arrived into the world, Lamott's son Sam was 19 and his girlfriend Amy was 20. Their relationship was bumpy even before the baby came.

So of course the bumpiness and stress continues while caring for a new baby, especially since Sam is juggling school and fatherhood and Amy can feel overwhelmed. But there are pleasures as well, watching Jax change and grow. The book is more than just a portrayal of young parents and their challenges

It is also an honest, even painfully honest, admission of the unique feelings that come with grandparenting. Based on Lamott's experiences, these feelings can be profoundly different than parenting one's own child...with some overlap, of course. She becomes upset and even territorial about decisions affecting Jax, including such events as where he will be baptized.

Because I was drawn to this book due to the impending arrival of a grandchild, I don't know if I can be anything close to objective about this memoir. I can step back enough to see how the day to day descriptions of a baby's tiniest changes might not make for enthralling reading by all. But I was swept up by the book.

I was intrigued by a letter Lamott wrote to her grandson on the Secret of Life. On another day she "interviews" her son about his grandmother as well as how his identity has been affected by parenthood.

Those familiar with Lamott's writing may recall that she wrote a book about being a single young mother while raising her son. That book was Operating Instructions. Sam came to love that work, seeing it as a gift.

So naturally he wanted Jax to have his own chronicle of his first year of life. The result is Some Assembly Required and it creates a sense of life coming full circle, from mother to son to grandchild and also from son to child.

The book has inspired me to think about how I can honor my own grandchild's first year and it could do the same for other readers. As in her other works, Lamott weaves her spiritual insights and challenges throughout Some Assembly Required and this could be motivation enough for those familiar with the author's writing to purchase this book.
46 von 54 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Just-a walkin' the dog - Lamott overdose 16. April 2012
Von Timothy J. Bazzett - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I know a lot of people are probably gonna just write me off as a grumpy old man who doesn't like babies, but here goes anyway. What we have here is lots of smarmy, baby-love kinda stuff, peppered with Lamott's usually entertaining and enlightening trademark take on faith and religious beliefs, i.e. Christian doctrine mixed with Eastern beliefs, helped along by semi-sacriligeous statements from her Jesuit pal, Tom, who cooly couches his instruction in casual profanity and vulgarisms. It's not so much that I object to any of this; it's more that she's used it all before. In SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED, a journal of her grandson's first year, Lamott seems to be simply recycling much of what she's already written, particularly in her other "baby book," OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS. She has begun to parody herself, which makes for - Sorry, Anne - a pretty ho-hum, eminently skimmable read. And the e-mails, interviews and monologues contributed by son Sam (and [grand-]baby Jax's mother Amy) do little to relieve the yawns. I've always liked Lamott's essays and musings in the past, but this 'journal' just seems redundant, and then all over the place, as she tells of her trip to India, a book tour, and then another trip to Europe. And okay, Annie - I get it already that walking the dogs is a great way to meditate and sort things out. I do it it too. But you must mention walking the dogs about fifty times in here. I concede there are still a few chuckles and ah-ha moments here and there, but I soon found myself wondering, Is it possible to overdose on an author? Well, yeah, I think it is, because this particular book? I do not like it, Sam I am.
44 von 52 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Lamott Struggles with "First World Problems" 29. Mai 2012
Von SHJ - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This is the first of Lamott's books that I have read and I was very disappointed. Other reviewers have done a good job in their critique of her tone, narcissism and the uninteresting prose. She does a good job of painting herself as a self-centered and controlling person while she plays the role of saint and family matriarch. She positions herself as the benevolent provider for her son's young family while in her inner thoughts she openly criticizes their decisions and resents this role. While her openness may be endearingly "human" to some, the fact that she published all of this in a book with little (or, at least, highly edited) input from the young parents is immediately off-putting. She frequently writes about her son's tumultuous relationship with the mother of the baby, yet she is rarely critical of her son's position and almost always critical of the mother. If I were her "daughter-in-law," I would want to run far away.
Lamott's indulgence in writing about her control issues and anxiety are enough to make this an uncomfortable read, but I would like to point out a few other things that upset me about the book. Early in the narrative, I was struck by how insensitive Lamott is toward baby Jax's mother, Amy. The description of her labor and delivery were graphic and unflattering - it was clear already that Lamott sees this young woman as a threat. She openly criticizes Amy's strong will and decision to have natural chilbirth unaided by pain medication. She undermines Amy by disrespecting her right to make decisions regarding her body and her child. By p. 17 I was outraged at an objectifying description of Amy's changing body and large breasts (which included a jab at her bra size). Amy experiences a great deal of pain when she begins nursing and spends hours shut in her room topless while she feeds the baby. Lamott calls this "National Geographic" time and describes being upset with Amy for her lack of clothing. Some may read this as humor, but I expect more of an author who has a reputation for her outspoken opinions and liberal views. Lamott continues to make comments that are racially insensitive, regarding Amy's Latina identity, Jax's "brown skin," and various other ethnic groups she encounters in the book including Fijian people, Armenians, and Indians. She objectifies these people based on cultural stereotypes, skin color, and body related things such as weight, hair and hygiene.
This memoir makes Anne Lamott seem shallow and manipulative, which is disappointing coming from an author who built her career and reputation on her unconventional life, her faith, and liberal persona. Reading this book was frequently upsetting, but it helped me continue to define my boundaries about motherhood and family input. My new mantra has become: "...Because I'm the Mom."
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