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Anne Lamott’s writing is funny, ironic, and self-deprecating. Author of the bestselling Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year (New York: Pantheon, 1993) as well as five other novels, Lamott writes about everyday relationships, grief, and the redemption to be found in self-scrutiny and humor. “Word by Word,” her weekly Web column, appears in Salon. Mother Jones asked Lamott what she’d been reading and watching lately. Here’s her take on the movie adaption of Roald Dahl’s well-known children’s novel, James and the Giant Peach:

“I went to see James and the Giant Peach with my roommate. He’s 6-and-a-half years old; I call him my heir. The movie has insight into all of our souls. A lonely kid finds companionship with these odd, eccentric insects. (Susan Sarandon plays the spider with this Greta Garbo accent. She’s so good it makes you want to drown yourself in a toilet without hurting your head.) It reminded me of movies we used to take acid to watch–it’s that stunning visually. Plus the bad guys lose and good guys come together at the end–you can’t beat that.”

Also recommended by Lamott:

First Comes Love, by Marion Winik (New York: Pantheon, 1996), is the memoir of an NPR commentator, her marriage to a gay man who eventually dies of AIDS, and their family. “The storyÉis really about survival,” Lamott says. “It’s very black, and hopeful.”

In Medieval in L.A. (Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, 1996), author Jim Paul tells the story of one man’s weekend trip to Los Angeles. “It’s brilliant,” Lamott says. “Paul is a cross between Nicholson Baker and John McPhee. He writes about minutiae and moments, and sheds light on the bigger issues of love and community.”

Back to Hot!media.

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IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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