Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair

2 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 2 hrs. Penguin Random Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781611762372. $17.95 [check price; I added]; digital download. SELF-HELP
Lamott's (Bird by Bird) new book is brief and conversational and strives to offer comfort without platitudes. Lamott is at her best when she is midstory, as with the tale of the teen at her Sunday school who, while making coffee-filter paper angels, is asked, "What does humane mean?" and responds, "It means why are all of our projects about coffee filters?" Like Lamott's Sunday school coffee-filter arts and crafts projects, this little book has a homey feel, and while it might linger too long on generalities or overwork a metaphor in a few places, listeners will feel that Lamott has generously given them what she knows about meaning, hope, and repair, humbly and with the same thoughtful and humorous irreverence we have come to expect from her. Lamott herself reads, and her voice lends a warm imperfection that suits the deeply personal subject matter just fine.
VERDICT Readers who are drawn in by the subtitle will not be disappointed, in spite of the brevity of the book. Lamott fans will also likely find exactly what they've come for.
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