While sitting with friends for coffee, I overheard a friend comment on rereading favorite books. When I reread, I sometimes feel I’m listening in on a conversation that’s really not mine to follow, but I don’t get up to leave, I’ve heard too much already to tear myself away. My rereading is addicting – am I overhearing myself?

Books I’ve heard over and over in my head include Anne Lamott’s. A perpetual single woman for decades, she is a fierce and funny writer, a single mother, grandmother, teacher, friend and deep reflector. I want to make a recurring permanent request to our interlibrary loan program for her most recent books.

My favorites are permanently housed next to my bed. There are many memoirs, spiritual explorations and a few novels. She’s written “Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year”; “Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith”; “Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers”; “Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son,” “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” and many others. I never tire of her uncanny way of rousting out and blatantly uncovering what’s hidden in her and our hearts.

Her unique comparisons, maneuvers through her former addictions to unavailable men, food, alcohol and bulimia, and personal ministry as her friends die, then recovery, are life changing. After she began her recovery, her son was born and a whole new source of material bloomed. Today he’s in recovery and writes and speaks along with her.

Anne met her husband a few years ago after 60-plus years of sorting out her emotional life enough to form a partnership, but she’s very frank about how she’ll always struggle with her many challenges. I aspire to root out and grow a small portion of her wily writing craft.

I’m overtly hooked on this overheard, heard over, read over, but not overread penchant for rereading.

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