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Help, Thanks, Wow is a funny, candid, simple approch to spiritual practice. Lamott uses her unique brand of humor and wisdom to tell hilarious and often wrenching tales about situations in her own life that have insprired her own prayers and insprired her to encourage others to pray anywhere, anytime and any how. More than a prayer manual Help, Thanks, Wow is a book about getting through life and will inspire readers to think about notions of gratitude, sprituality and faith--all written in Lamott's own particular brand of intelligence, honesty and comedic timing. Think of it--as one reviewer put it--as Cliff notes for spirituality.
Another author who draws on her own experiences as well as intimate conversations with both ordinary and famous figures is Krista Tippett, author of Speaking of Faith. The popular public radio host of the show On Being (formerly known as Speaking of Faith) has written a book about the conversational journey she has taken on her radio show about religion, meaning, ethics and faith. Readers who have enjoyed Tippett's radio show will be interested in her personal background and her own theological journey. For those who are unfamiliar with Tippet's public radio program this book will introduce the reader to all kinds of people from all walks of religious life including theologians, physicists, nuns, monks and philosophers speaking from a variety of perspectives.
My third read alike is Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life written by Karen Maezen Miller is a "reflection on awareness and finding happiness at the bottom of the laundry basket, the love in the kitchen sink and the peace possible in one's backyard." Beautifully written and simply told this book shares the authors ups and downs including a broken marriage, youthful ambition, self-absorption--then into the steady calm of an "ordinary life." The author is a Zen Buddhist priest but as Miller puts it " I'm not the kind of priest you have pictured in your mind. I'm the kind of priest that looks a lot like you, doing the same things you do every day."
Another book I have enjoyed reading is Beginner's Grace:Bringing Prayer to Life written by Kate Braestrup. More than a handbook of prayers this is a book about how and why praying can open up space in our lives for gratitude, compassion, mindfulness and contentment. The author explains how many people are unsure how to pray, when to pray or what to pray for out of fear of doing it wrong or worried they won't be heard. In this honest and funny narrative the author explains what prayer is and the many ways we can pray. Drawing from her work as a chaplain Braestrup includes many examples of prayer and invites the reader to explore different types of prayers including prayers that extend into the community. Beginner's Grace is for the religious and nonreligious alike in its nonjudgemental approach to spirituality.
My final read alike is Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life written by Shauna Niequist and is another book that celebrates the extraordinary moments that can be found in our ordinary lives. This a book about spirituality, about hope, about life, about boredom, about fear and regret. It is a collection of stories celebrating finding happiness in the normal daily life that all of us lead and recognizing how precious everyday life really is. "Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearl. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies."