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Publisher's Summary

In Some Assembly Required, Anne Lamott enters a new and unexpected chapter of her own life: grandmotherhood.

Stunned to learn that her son, Sam, is about to become a father at 19, Lamott begins a journal about the first year of her grandson, Jax's, life.

In careful and often hilarious detail, Lamott and Sam - about whom she first wrote so movingly in Operating Instructions - struggle to balance their changing roles with the demands of college and work, as they both forge new relationships with Jax's mother, who has her own ideas about how to raise a child. Lamott writes about the complex feelings that Jax fosters in her, recalling her own experiences with Sam when she was a single mother. Over the course of the year, the rhythms of life, death, family, and friends unfold in surprising and joyful ways.

By turns poignant and funny, honest and touching, Some Assembly Required is the true story of how the birth of a baby changes a family - as this book will change everyone who listens to it.

©2012 Anne Lamott, Sam Lamott (P)2012 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"[Lamott’s] crisp writing and self-deprecating honesty ring charmingly true.”—People

"[Some Assembly Required is] full of Lamott’s trademark neurotic spirituality, and it’s one Lamott’s fans will want." (The Washington Post

"Wonderful...[with] Lamott’s trademark sharp wit and self-deprecating humor.... Like so many of Lamott’s books, [Some Assembly Required] leaves readers with new insights." (The Associated Press)

What listeners say about Some Assembly Required

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not her best work

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I'm a huge Anne Lamott fan, loved

What could Anne Lamott and Sam Lamott have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

There just wasn't much to the story. Her son got a woman pregnant, they fought all the time, Anne loved the baby so much and worries all the time. And, she is so very involved in her church. And, she goes on vacation, which sounds like filler for the book. It would have been more interesting to have some short stories, each of which focused on one topic, like the trip to India, or the baby's birth, or her son becoming a father, allowing for more story development.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Anne Lamott and Sam Lamott ?

Sam was a pretty good narrator, but Anne was not. She simply sounded like she was reading from a text.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I did come to care about Amy, Sam, and Jax, and wished there had been an epilog to tell me what happened next. Did they stay together? I also found the words and advice of her spiritual leaders delightful to hear.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Charming

I'm so glad I bought this book. Lamott does it again and her son, Sam's contribution was delightful. very human and honest report of the agony and ecstasy of welcome a baby into this world.

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funny and wise

very entertaining and thought provoking.
i have read most of her books over the years

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Listened straight through.

I get the criticism and in some cases, I see where everyone is coming from, but this is who Anne LaMott is. The comment that read "someone should get a job" and "all the navel gazing" and nobody is doing anything, yes I see what you are saying. But number one, the dad stuck around, which isn't always the case, and he stayed in school, knowing his talent would support him later, and Amy taking care of Jax ... isn't that what all babies deserve and need? Wow, I mean, when I had a baby when I was unprepared for it, none of my family was there for me. I wish someone would have bought me groceries, paid my rent and tuition and babysat and helped me with laundry ... I get the quirks and everything everyone is saying, but I thought she balanced her insights with journaling the baby's development. And maybe she went on the trips as part of her job, or maybe to give the parents some space. As for naps, raise your hand if you never take naps.
Also, I was that young woman with the overbearing mother-in-law figure and she was bossy and manipulative, but at least she helped me (the dad did not- at all) AND dealing with that grandma and learning to speak for myself was a big part of my growth process, even though I didn't know it then.
As for Anne LaMott not working, writing is her work. And it is hard work. I actually really loved this book.

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So different and really touching

I love Anne Lamott and this was such a great study of her changing relationship with her son. Loved it!

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Anne speaks to moms, grandmothers, and dads alike.

Honest, funny, poignant, sad, and always a tiny control issue or two: Anne speaks what we all feel but are afraid often to admit.

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Lowest rating I've ever given on Audible!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Better story and different narrator. So basically, this would have had to be a totally different book :)

What could Anne Lamott and Sam Lamott have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

For starters I thought the material was terrible. Anne and Sam sure are self righteous! I didn't "like" any of the people in the book and I thought they all thought too highly of themselves. Even the self-deprecation was like "humble-bragging." Not appealing.
Sorry Anne but you are a terrible narrator. Flat and emotionless. Maybe a different narrator would have made this more palatable... but I doubt it.

Would you be willing to try another one of Anne Lamott and Sam Lamott ’s performances?

No, never.

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I love this book!

Where does Some Assembly Required rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best books yet. My first Anne Lamott book and I was so glad it was read by her. That makes such a difference. I have a new baby myself (9 months) and loved the account of her sons first son. So many little things I remember and many emotions and thoughts that I also feel. Its great that she actually thought to get it all down. It would be a great gift for a new grandparent or parent anywhere!

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Wonderful follow up to Operating Instructions

If you could sum up Some Assembly Required in three words, what would they be?

Families are complicated.

What other book might you compare Some Assembly Required to and why?

Operating Instructions is very similar in structure - a journal of new parenting - but this book is a sweet follow up with some key differences. Anne is now a grandmother and shares her experiences, struggles, and revelations that come with a necessarily evolving relationship with her son, Sam.

What does Anne Lamott and Sam Lamott bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Their voices. The book is a shared journal and so many of the passages are like conversations between the two.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

This too shall pass.

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Anne Lamott lover

I have held Lamott in high regard as a writer for years, especially her non-fiction and memoirs. This book was not up to her usual standard, and I was very disappointed.

I think religion is one of self-choice, and Anne found Christianity years ago. It has been a part of her books since in a humorous, self-awareness-growth way, but this book I found overly-preachy for me. The story line is thin to non-existent; her choice of doing a diary approach accentuates this problem.

She reads it in pretty much of a monotone, with Sam reading some of his own words.

What a letdown.