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Book Club book club

Published on April 30th, 2013 | by Dan Walsh


May Book Club: Bird by Bird

It’s time for our next book club!

I had a great time discussing our last book, Makers, with everyone who logged in. I can’t wait to do it again with another book.

I’ve been scouring Amazon and harassing friends to tell me what books they love and what books they’d like to read. I narrowed it down to three titles which should have enough broad appeal for everyone and enough depth to create another great discussion. But we can’t read all three of these, so vote for your favorites in the comment section. I’ll tally up all the votes in 7 days (May 8th), and declare a winner.

Book Choices

bird_by_birdBird by Bird, by Anne Lamott


At its core, Bird by Bird is a book about writing. I think most of us want to be better writers. Even if we don’t aspire to be novelists, we still need to write articulate emails, blog posts, Yelp reviews, etc. and sometimes the words just don’t come out. This book has been highly recommended not only for the writing advice, but also as a font of general wisdom for daily living.

Get it on Amazon




The_Art_Of_TravelThe Art of Travel, by Alain de Botton

I have read some of Alain de Botton’s other books and they are excellent. The writing is witty, funny, and wise. Plus, who doesn’t like to travel?

“de Botton considers the pleasures of anticipation; the allure of the exotic, and the value of noticing everything from a seascape in Barbados to the takeoffs at Heathrow.”


Get it on Amazon




CookedCooked, by Michael Pollan

It’s Michael Pollan’s latest book. I can’t write a more compelling description than that!

Ok, I’ll take a crack at it…

This time around Pollan discusses food preparation, something we probably all take for granted. He approaches the subject from the perspective of the four classical elements of fire, water, air, and earth. He learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment cheese and beer.

Get it on Amazon



Win a FREE Copy!

Just like last time, I’m giving away three (3) copies of whichever book gets the most votes. You have three chances to earn a free copy

  1. Vote for the book you want to read in the comments on this page. I’ll chose one at random as the winner, even if the book you voted for didn’t win. Bonus points for wit!
  2. Retweet a link to this page. You can use this one: http://su.pr/1EpNeP or make your own. Don’t worry about hash tags, but do make sure to include me (@dpwalsh) on the tweet so I can count your entry.
  3. Forward a copy of the Tangents & Distractions May email newsletter to at least 5 other friends. Make sure to BCC dan[at]tangentsanddistractions.com so I know to count you. If you haven’t received the T&D newsletter, get on the mailing list by signing up via the form at the top right of this page (black box, blue button).

*Domestic US shipping only. Sorry my international friends.

Contest Winners [Update May 8th]

1. Huey K

2. Lowen

3.  Garrett L

Winners, please email me at dan[at]tangentsanddistractions.com with your mailing address or Kindle email address and I’ll send out your copy faster than Clark Kent can change in phone booth!

Book Club Discussion Details

[Update May 8th] Bird by Bird will be our book for May. Thanks to everyone who voted and retweeted!

I want to give everyone enough time to read the book, so our discussion will actually be in early June.

Date: Saturday, June 8th.

Time: 10am Pacific

Where:  The discussion link will be sent via Twitter on the morning of the 8th. (Make sure to follow me: @dpwalsh)


Image: Jox

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About the Author

I enjoy sharing thought-provoking articles, videos, and tools.

Leave a Comment or Question

18 Responses to May Book Club: Bird by Bird

  1. denise says:

    Bird by Bird please!

  2. Tim says:

    Well, I’ve already read Bird by Bird, so that would be pretty easy to talk about, but I’m also a huge fan of food and tend to interact with it 3+ times a day…I’ll vote for Cooked.

  3. I’m in for Cooked. Can’t think of a better way to spend an hour than talking about food. Except, maybe spending an hour eating food….

  4. Angelica says:

    My #1 choice is Cooked, but I’m also intrigued by Bird by Bird.

  5. Adam says:

    I think The Art of Travel might help explain wanderlust in a way that is pertinent to anyone that wants to go somewhere. And that’s probably a lot of people so it gets my vote.

  6. tito says:

    Bird by bird!

  7. Meredith says:

    I have to go with my gut on this one. I vote for cooked. Get it? :)

  8. Kosmo Kramer says:

    I saw Pollan shilling his book on Colbert so that counts as me reading it. Bird by Bird is my vote.

  9. Justin Barton says:

    I vote for Bird by Bird. I also secretly wish it was the autobiography of Big Bird

  10. Steve M. says:

    Goin against the popular vote here and crossing the border. The Art of Travel.

  11. Mel S. says:

    Bird By Bird :)

  12. Maggie says:

    Cooked has my vote.

  13. That was fun! Was good to hear what people’s favorite parts of the book were. Google Hangout was simple even though I had never used it before.

    I liked Anne Lamott’s perspective, reminded me of Penelope Trunk’s writing:


  14. Angelica says:

    Hey guys, great book club meeting! I mentioned this as a potential next book, but even if it’s not chosen, I HIGHLY recommend reading it: http://www.amazon.com/The-Buddha-Walks-into-Bar/dp/1590309375 Then you can gchat me and we can talk about it. :)

  15. Did I tell you that I ended up buying 3 extra copies of this book to give away? That’s a record for me. I refer to it as “Bird by motherfucking bird” in my head. What a funny book, I laughed aloud a lot.

    The main message that I remember now is: even gurus are crazy, doubtful beings who have no real grasp of where their great ideas come from. Embrace it, deny it, or neither. Guide it a little bit but careful, not too much. I think that helped me get to where I am today.

    In retrospect, the people I sent the book to probably didn’t hear that same “message” that I did. Wonder what they got out of it. My mom thought it was really funny.

    I liked voting for book club books.

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