Books That Inspire 2003

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Anne Lamott

Several years ago I was stuck working at a dead-end job, unsure about what to do to improve my situation. One day a co-worker shared with me an excerpt from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, and I enjoyed it so much that I bought a copy for myself the next day. Not long after reading the whole book, I quit my job and went back to school full-time to earn a second bachelor’s degree that I really wanted, despite being discouraged from doing so by an academic advisor. One definition of the word inspire is “to breathe life into,” and this book continues to help me renew – breathe life back into – my dreams. Whenever I feel overwhelmed with too much to do or get stuck in a rut, I read it again for encouragement. It is full of wisdom and advice about continuing to move forward “bird by bird” toward anything you need or want to accomplish; it’s not just about writing. One of my favorite quotes from the book is “You can’t fill up when you’re holding your breath.”
Cheryl McCain
Assistant Professor
Acquisitions Librarian
University Libraries