Monday, May 28, 2012

Book Review: Some Assembly Required

"I remember thinking when Sam was newborn; How can this magical precious being produce such filth? I used to wonder if Sam was doing this out of baby spite, taking my glorious milk and turning it into such a foul product. And how could such voluminous waste come out of such a tiny vessel? It would be as if a newborn kitten shat a whole haggis."

No one can pack a whole world into a paragraph like Anne Lamott can, especially when she's writing about her family. Her latest book, Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son, is a collaboration with her son, Sam Lamott. He was a college student when he found out his girlfriend, Amy, was pregnant and had decided to keep the child, a boy, who they named Jax. The memoir journaling, that readers were first introduced to in Operating Instructions, is back once again, only this time, Lamott is the grandma.

The book takes the reader through the first year of Jax's life and how the whole family, Sam, Amy, and Anne, struggle with the changes thrust upon them. Lamott absolutely adores Jax and states that "all [she] does is wait for another chance to be with [him]." She soaks up his baby scent and love, while trying simultaneously not to nag Sam and Amy to death.

The three adults go through a beautiful array of changes throughout the first year and per Lamott's wonderful writing style, she seemingly crams a universe of feeling into a few well chosen words. Most writers obviously choose words with care, but Lamott has made it an art form. While reading, the reader feels like she has drawn up a chair next to Lamott and is causally chatting.

A must read for any Lamott fans and for new grandparents, new parents, new aunties, new uncles and anyone who wants to read an amazing new memoir.

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