“Although I do not consider myself a spiritual person and gave up the church of my parents forty years ago, there is a small handful of ‘religious’ writers I consistently read. At the top of this list is Anne Lamott. She is a Christian writer whose thousands of avid fans include many readers who are not.
. . . Ms. Lamott’s new book is a slim but timely volume titled Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers ($17.95, Riverhead Books). Her thesis is that all ‘prayer’—and she defines this term very, very loosely—boils down to one of the three simple words in the title.
. . . These three thoughts (call them prayers if you want) will carry us a long way. It’s the season for all of them. Help is something we all need when we are struggling alone or together with doubt, hardship, loneliness, suffering, or tragedy —and there is too much of that going around lately. Thanks is especially felt at this time of year but applies to every single day of our lives that we have food and shelter. And Wow: I am reminded of Steve Jobs’ last words: Oh Wow. Oh Wow. Oh Wow.
It’s telling that we have a little trouble figuring out where to shelve this book in the store. It doesn’t fit neatly into Christianity or Judaism or Eastern Religions, which are the three distinct sections for religion that a small store such as ours has. Neither does it strictly adhere to the Psychology shelf, or Essays, or Personal Memoir. Right now we are solving the problem by stacking it up on the front table, where we put our favorite new nonfiction. And as fast as we stack it, we sell it. Shall we hold one for you?”—Broadway Books, Portland
Each day until Christmas, the tireless booksellers at Broadway Books will post a recommendation for a great gift book (or seven!) on the store’s blog, Bookbroads. 24 Days of Books posts are written by Sally McPherson, Roberta Dyer and Kate Bennison.