Book Review

Help, Thanks, Wow Review

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This will be a short informal style review, with “spoilers” as this is a non fiction book.

I don’t talk much about religion because I believe religion is a personal choice and if someone asks I am happy to talk about it, but in general I don’t really feel like pushing my thoughts and beliefs to others (nor do I want them to push theirs to me, thank you very much). However, this review will talk a bit about religion, so feel free to skip it.

Before I bought this book and it arrived I had been in a bit of a rut. I felt sad, kind forgotten and felt like I wanted to believe more, but at the same time, I am not big on churches, so wanted something that would refresh my faith and my brain. I prayed that the next book that I decided to read of non fiction would be the right one.

It was. Help, Thanks, Wow is written by Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird (one of those books that are recommended reading about how to write). And mostly it explains what she calls the 3 essential prayers. You can “sum up” all prayers into one. And I have to say it makes sense. I have never been one to pray a long flowery litany of words out loud. My prayers are full of doubts, questions, anger, pleas and so much more, they are raw. And I kept thinking this was not the best as I couldn’t pray the way others do.

This little book however explains that your prayers can be so simple. A “Help me God/being/universe/whatever, I just can’t cope with the world today” is perfectly fine. It also reminds you that each day is a new day and that things don’t work perfectly, so your prayers aren;t answered the way you want them to. This made me smile, because I hate it when people tell you that your prayer wasn’t answered because you didn’t pray hard enough or something is wrong with you, or things like that.

It can also be a “Thanks for letting something happen (or not)”. Which I tend to do a lot for example I pray “thanks for letting me catch the bus in time”. They are really short, and I do them throughout bthe day (peppered with the Help ones too).

The final prayer is “Wow”. This is are for the breathtaking, for the surprises, for the sunset or sunrise that is just amazing. For that letting out the breath you didn’t realise you were holding…

Reading through it all was refreshing and made me feel like I wasn’t all the wrong and that having questions and challenging beliefs (in my own beliefs) is not a problem or something to be afraid of. Questions, pleas, anger, are good. It means it is a faith that is alive. And I like that. This little book gave me a new breath, a refresh and it was quick and easy and good to read.

I am glad I read it and I have got some more of her books to read once I need a pump of energy and faith.