Stopped by Copperfield’s Books on Kentucky St. Friday eve to join yet another overflow crowd, this time for Anne Lamott to introduce her new novel, Imperfect Birds, from Rumi’s ““Each has to enter the nest made by the other imperfect bird.” Right. Our parents were just other people; growing up is settling with that and getting on with our own path.

Anne Lamott, fine Marin writer lady, similar background to me in some ways, though I never had to go through rehab. Her wonderful/awful stories each one well worth a read and remember. Bought Blue Shoe, her NYT Best Seller and plan to get the whole Rosie series. It goes Rosie, Crooked Little Heart and now Imperfect Birds, and charts the course of the love between mother and daughter and, of course, others. Rosie, the passionate lovely young troubled girl falling into drugs, her Mom looking out for her in whatever way she can through her own imperfections. Reading her journal, discovering kids are doing cocaine and pot, sometimes falling into despair to the point of suicide. Lamott tells us this reflects the reality of growing up in Tiburon with the rich lost kids. Still going on – what should audience members do?

Realize I’ll end reading every one but for now, Bird by Bird over and over for the encouragement this writer’s manual gives. Lamott makes publishing books sound plausible! Big writing projects actually come to fruition.

Lamott tells us kids these days suffer most from their parents’ prescription drugs, getting hooked on stuff that can cause brain damage. Experimenting is one thing, she says, after 5 or 6 tries, its using. Love her seemingly random comments (though probably rehearsed at other book signings?) “Our lives are pretty ragtag no matter how much we try to stay current at IKEA.” And thought provoking: “An angry woman is about to be kicked out of the tribe.” But go ahead and express yourself; don’t lie in your life, she invokes. She asks us to ask our kids “what do you read?” I agree this is of extreme importance. How can a child dream great dreams without fairy tales? Know of heroic lives without biography? Know fine novelists without books?

Thank you, Copperfield’s for being central to Petaluma. At least Petaluma children have a great resource here – to sit and read on cushions on the floor, to buy Little Golden Books from even their allowance, to go downstairs and maybe get 3 books for the same price! A true treasure and very much appreciated. Check out the children’s books in Jungle Vibes, too. Also play and reading area is free and fun.

My take? Kids don’t suffer so much from drugs if they start with great books – and lots and lots of them! Peer into the lives of others, other times and places, and choose over and over the life you want – not only when you are very young but throughout your life. The library is great, too.

Anne Lamott, Imperfect Birds, Copperfields