Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year

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Fawcett Columbine, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 251 pages
889 Reviews
"I woke up with a start at 4:00 one morning and realized that I was very, very pregnant." So begins novelist Aniie Lamott's journal of the birth of her son, Sam, and their first year together. She must face complicated circumstances of heroic proportions. A single mother who must support herself and her son entirely by her wit and craft, she is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for more than three years. Newly and militantly on her own side, she remains dangerously close to memories of days when she "couldn't take decent care of cats." Fortunately, Lamott is one of the world's funniest people. And she desperately needs her sense of humor as she chronicles her new life with Sam. Plagued by the normal worries of all first-time mothers, she adds her concern that she is "much too self-centered, cynical, and edgy to raise a baby." One false step will turn her sweet, big-eyed boy into an ax murderer. And no matter how well she handles things Sam will still have to get through the seventh grade. Even in exhaustion and despair, she is buoyed up by her deepening religious faith and her somewhat eccentric extended fimily, friends who offer her great love and loyalty and are much-needed replacements for Sam's absent father. But this year of new beginnings suddenly includes the beginning of an end. Lamott's best friend since childhood, her birth coach and a daily companion to her and Sam, is diagnosed as having terminal cancer. As Lamott copes with the vexations of single motherhood, she must also accept this unimaginable loss. Facing both joy and grief greater than any she has ever known, she must find within herself the capacity to continue. Her courageous commentary, narrating daysbarely balanced between angst and strength, fills this journal of a year when "sometimes it feels like God has reached down and touched me, blessed me a thousand times over, and sometimes it al+ feels like a mean joke, like God's advisers are Muammar Qaddafi and Phyllis Schlafly."

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Fantastic insight & a fantastic writer! - Goodreads
This writer is super narcissistic. - Goodreads
I enjoyed Lamott's very honest writing style. - Goodreads
Excellent. Annie Lamott is a wonderful writer. - Goodreads
The ending was weak though. - Goodreads
Operating Instructions is my standard baby shower gift. - Goodreads

Review: Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year

User Review  - Tiffany - Goodreads

I readily admit that I am not in the target audience for this book. I found some of it to be a bit too blunt, and Lamott to definitely be an opinionated woman. Yet, there is something intriguing in ... Read full review

Review: Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year

User Review  - Heila - Goodreads

I still remember a part in this book that made me laugh until my sides hurt - and it's a part about her realistic (minor) failure as a mom with a teeny newborn. This book stood out among other ... Read full review

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About the author (1994)

Anne Lamott is the bestselling author of Bird by Bird and Traveling Mercies and of five novels, including Rosie and Crooked Little Heart. She lives in Fairfax, California, with her son.

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