I thought this book succeeded best when Lamott was most serious. The stories she tells which slap the reader across the face, or tears their heart out and makes them weep--those are the ones which most motivated me. Too often, however, she resorts to humor and it falls flat. Or it did for me, anyway. The witty remarks, the obscure pop references, and the constant sarcasm made me think of the insecure person at the party who tries to make light of their situation. Which, when you think about it, describes most writers. It was just too much for me. Otherwise, I quite enjoyed Bird by Bird.