Anne Lamott

Photo: Mark Richard

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ANNE LAMOTT, Grace (Eventually) and the forthcoming Imperfect Birds
I'd like to get a big esoteric expensive art book that is too expensive to buy for myself and that only extremely hip people know about that I can put on my coffee table, so that everyone who sees it will think I am smarter and more erudite than I am.

As for giving: I often give people Coleman Banks's The Illuminated Rumi, which is staggeringly lovely to look at it, with all my favorite Rumi poems—you can pick a poem each morning as a daily meditation and get drawn into the amazing artwork and feel semi-well for the next 24 hours. I also give Sharon Olds's collected poems, Strike Sparks, or the first volume of Mary Oliver's collected poems. These two books make everyone love me more—because now they know what to give everyone else—and make them feel like they owe me forever, which is the main reason I give presents.