Study Guide

Bird by Bird Tough-o-Meter

By Anne Lamott


(4) Base Camp

This is basically a how-to book, with some personal storytelling thrown in as a cherry on top. Translation: this baby's not terribly tough. Lamott lays it all out in a clear structure, she explains writing along the way, and she tells us stories about her 10-year-old brother procrastinating on his report about birds for three whole months. It's pretty relatable and easy to follow.

On the other hand, Anne Lamott sure does like words, and she sometimes throws around complex ones like "ineffable" or "transcendence." She's also big on metaphors, which mostly makes the reader's life easier. But occasionally, she uses a tricky one and doesn't explain because she wants us to think it through on our own.

But overall, this book isn't too hard. It's mostly clear, funny, and really, actually designed to make your life easier when you're writing.

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