Bird by Bird
was assigned reading for a writing class I took, though no sections were ever assigned and few people read the book. I had totally forgotten I had bought it until I was packing up my dorm supplies at the end of the semester. Recently I broke it out and began it to see if I could learn anything from Lamott. While there may be a lot of information in here that could help someone, it's by far the worst book on the craft of writing I've ever started (I gave up around chapter three after spending 2 weeks trying to get through). Lamott wastes no time in telling us that writers drink heavily, smoke marijuana, and are unsuitable for any other jobs. Oh, they also listen to jazz music. The lifestyle is so important to Lamott that you can't help but believe that's the main reason she's in this business.
If you want a book on the craft of writing, please read anything besides this one. Julia Cameron is especially insightful; I'll write more about her works later.