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Almost Everything: Notes on Hope

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From Anne Lamott, the New York Times-bestselling author of Help, Thanks, Wow, comes the book we need from her now: How to bring hope back into our lives. "I am stockpiling antibiotics for the Apocalypse, even as I await the blossoming of paperwhites on the windowsill in the kitchen," Anne Lamott admits at the beginning of Almost Everything. Despair and uncertainty sur From Anne Lamott, the New York Times-bestselling author of Help, Thanks, Wow, comes the book we need from her now: How to bring hope back into our lives. "I am stockpiling antibiotics for the Apocalypse, even as I await the blossoming of paperwhites on the windowsill in the kitchen," Anne Lamott admits at the beginning of Almost Everything. Despair and uncertainty surround us: in the news, in our families, and in ourselves. But even when life is at its bleakest--when we are, as she puts it, "doomed, stunned, exhausted, and over-caffeinated"--the seeds of rejuvenation are at hand. "All truth is paradox," Lamott writes, "and this turns out to be a reason for hope. If you arrive at a place in life that is miserable, it will change." That is the time when we must pledge not to give up but "to do what Wendell Berry wrote: 'Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.'" In this profound and funny book, Lamott calls for each of us to rediscover the nuggets of hope and wisdom that are buried within us that can make life sweeter than we ever imagined. Divided into short chapters that explore life's essential truths, Almost Everything pinpoints these moments of insight as it shines an encouraging light forward. Candid and caring, insightful and sometimes hilarious, Almost Everything is the book we need and that only Anne Lamott can write.


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From Anne Lamott, the New York Times-bestselling author of Help, Thanks, Wow, comes the book we need from her now: How to bring hope back into our lives. "I am stockpiling antibiotics for the Apocalypse, even as I await the blossoming of paperwhites on the windowsill in the kitchen," Anne Lamott admits at the beginning of Almost Everything. Despair and uncertainty sur From Anne Lamott, the New York Times-bestselling author of Help, Thanks, Wow, comes the book we need from her now: How to bring hope back into our lives. "I am stockpiling antibiotics for the Apocalypse, even as I await the blossoming of paperwhites on the windowsill in the kitchen," Anne Lamott admits at the beginning of Almost Everything. Despair and uncertainty surround us: in the news, in our families, and in ourselves. But even when life is at its bleakest--when we are, as she puts it, "doomed, stunned, exhausted, and over-caffeinated"--the seeds of rejuvenation are at hand. "All truth is paradox," Lamott writes, "and this turns out to be a reason for hope. If you arrive at a place in life that is miserable, it will change." That is the time when we must pledge not to give up but "to do what Wendell Berry wrote: 'Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.'" In this profound and funny book, Lamott calls for each of us to rediscover the nuggets of hope and wisdom that are buried within us that can make life sweeter than we ever imagined. Divided into short chapters that explore life's essential truths, Almost Everything pinpoints these moments of insight as it shines an encouraging light forward. Candid and caring, insightful and sometimes hilarious, Almost Everything is the book we need and that only Anne Lamott can write.

30 review for Almost Everything: Notes on Hope

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    Reading Lamott is a balm to my spirit and my soul. She writes about so many of the things I think about. In this book she writes the things she wants her grandson to know, including the paradoxes of life. "Here is so much going on that flattens us, that is huge, scary, or simply appalling. We're doomed, stunned, exhausted, and over caffeinated. And yet, outside my window, yellow roses bloom, and little kids horse around, making a joyous racket." She writes with humor, with Grace and with a huge am Reading Lamott is a balm to my spirit and my soul. She writes about so many of the things I think about. In this book she writes the things she wants her grandson to know, including the paradoxes of life. "Here is so much going on that flattens us, that is huge, scary, or simply appalling. We're doomed, stunned, exhausted, and over caffeinated. And yet, outside my window, yellow roses bloom, and little kids horse around, making a joyous racket." She writes with humor, with Grace and with a huge amount of understandinganding and common sense. I read her and find myself highlighting so many passages. I always end up buying her books because they always include so many thoughts, so much encouragement about life, fear, hurts, but always also reminders of looking for the positive. Her books are books that one can read over and over and marvel at something newly discovered with each reading. "But all truth really is paradox, and this turns out to be a reason for hope. If you arrive at a place in life that is miserable, it will change ,and something else about it will also be true. So paradox is an invitation to go deeper into life, to see a bigger screen, instead of the nice, safe lower left qundrant where you see work, home and country. Try a wider reality, through curiousity, awareness and beath. Try actually being here. What a concept" She reminds me to look around, cherish what I have, find hope in the darkness, and to realize that I can't control everything, can't change people. They need to do it for themselves, and even in the blackest of times, there is light to be found. ARC from Edelweiss.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stacey Camp

    **5++ Goodreads Stars++ "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you." "Haters want us to hate them, because hate is incapacitating. When we hate, we can't operate from our real selves, which is our strength." Oh Anne Lamott, how do you manage to rip my heart into pieces and then mend it ever so carefully back together? This is what Lamott calls a paradox or conundrum, that life brings both immense joy and heart-wrenching pain, pain that, at times, is unbea **5++ Goodreads Stars++ "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you." "Haters want us to hate them, because hate is incapacitating. When we hate, we can't operate from our real selves, which is our strength." Oh Anne Lamott, how do you manage to rip my heart into pieces and then mend it ever so carefully back together? This is what Lamott calls a paradox or conundrum, that life brings both immense joy and heart-wrenching pain, pain that, at times, is unbearable. Take her discussion of having children: "We are consumed by the most intense love for one another and the joy of living, along with the grief and terror that we and our babies will know unbelievable hurt: broken bones, bad boyfriends, old age...Every day we're in the grip of the impossible conundrum: the truth that it's over in a blink, and we may be near the end, and that we have to live as if it's going to be okay, no matter what." Lamott's Almost Everything: Notes on Hope is meandering and rambling in the most poignant way, a method of writing only Lamott can get away with. It is structured around themes that she wants to share with her grandchild, stories she wants to pass on that she deems critical for one's survival in a brutal world. As with Lamott's other books, I highlighted nearly everything. So many beautiful passages, so much wisdom that has come from the pain that Lamott has known well. This is not a pain she monopolizes. Rather, this book is about how pain is part of the human condition. And because it can happen to any one of us, Lamott believes that we must find peace and happiness every single day. That joy cannot come from a number on a scale or your paystub, though: "Could you say this about yourself right now, that you have immense and intrinsic value, at your current weight and income level, while waiting to hear if you got the job or didn't, or sold your book or didn't? This idea that I had all the value I'd ever needed was concealed from me my whole life. I want a refund." "The opposite of love is the bathroom scale." Lamott argues that happiness is not found in materiality but something that is omnipresent, waiting to be found in the most mundane places. There is also beauty in grief and beauty in tragedy, though she certainly does not argue that there is a rhyme or reason as to who gets saddled with grief in this universe. Grief is not a lesson to learn, forced upon those who have sinned. "We do get a taste of the spheres in birdsong, eclipses, the surf, tangerines. In the dark, we see the stars. In the aftermath of a devastating fire, the sun rose red. To pay close attention to and mostly accept your life, inside and out and around your body, is to be halfway home." How do we cultivate this love of the quotidian? Through play, observing the world around you, through helping others, and, of course, through reading: "Books! To fling myself into a book, to be carried away to another world while being at my most grounded, on my butt or in my bed or favorite chair, is literally how I have survived being here at all. Someone else is doing the living for me, and all I have to do is let their stories, humor, knowledge, and images - some of which I'll never forget - flow through me, even as I forget to turn off the car when I arrive at my destination." As always, Lamott also has some brilliant things to say about writing: "Write because you have to, because the process brings great satisfaction. Write because you have a story to tell, not because you think publishing will make you the person you always wanted to be. There is approximately zero chance of that happening." "We have to cultivate the habits of curiosity and paying attention, which are essential to living rich lives and writing. You raise your eyes out of the pit, which is so miserable and stifling to be in and which tried to grab you and keep you there, until something sneaky hauled you out and changed you." Lamott won't give you easy answers about life in this book, but she will give you a lot to chew on. She challenges you to be reflexive, to examine what's holding you back in life and what you need to move forward - that these things are not a one size fits all sort of solution. We need to dig deep and find that with which we struggle: confront it and learn to live with it the best we can. Above all else, she asks her reader to sit with the world: watch it, learn from it, listen to it, breathe it in. For "God is often in solitude and quiet, through the still, small voice - in the breeze, not the thunder." If you haven't figured it out by now, I loved this book. I love nearly everything Lamott writes ( Bird by Bird is one of my all-time favorite books!). Thank you to Edelweiss, Anne Lamott, and Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House for an advanced reader copy of Almost Everything. For more of my book reviews visit me here: Book Review Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

  3. 4 out of 5

    Diane Barnes

    "A friend once said that at the end of his drinking, he was deteriorating faster than he could lower his standards, and this began happening to me recently with hate". " I don't know if my last day here will be next Thursday or in twenty years. Whenever that day comes, I want to be living, insofar as possible, in the Wendell Berry words "Be joyful though you have considered all the facts", and I want to have had dessert". " The world is Lucy teeing up the football". I read Anne Lamott because of "A friend once said that at the end of his drinking, he was deteriorating faster than he could lower his standards, and this began happening to me recently with hate". " I don't know if my last day here will be next Thursday or in twenty years. Whenever that day comes, I want to be living, insofar as possible, in the Wendell Berry words "Be joyful though you have considered all the facts", and I want to have had dessert". " The world is Lucy teeing up the football". I read Anne Lamott because of quotes like these, and at least twelve other passages that I highlighted. It's like having lunch with a cynical, crazy friend, who happens to think just like you. She talks about politics (quote #1) books and authors (quote #2) and just surviving the world day by day (quote #3). She writes about dealing with families, food and eating, insecurities, everything that every one of us deal with every single day, and doing it with some measure of hope and joy. Our lunch was a short one, but left me feeling happy to have reconnected with my old friend. Until next time, it'll have to do.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    "Stories teach us what is important about life, why we are here and how it is best to behave, and that inside us we have access to treasure, in memories and observations, in imagination." Before Anne Lamott's 61st birthday, she decided to make a list for her grandson and niece of everything she knows that could apply to almost everyone hoping that it will one day help them in their lives. What we get is a touching and random but poignant look at Lamott's views on everything from life, death, faith "Stories teach us what is important about life, why we are here and how it is best to behave, and that inside us we have access to treasure, in memories and observations, in imagination." Before Anne Lamott's 61st birthday, she decided to make a list for her grandson and niece of everything she knows that could apply to almost everyone hoping that it will one day help them in their lives. What we get is a touching and random but poignant look at Lamott's views on everything from life, death, faith, family, writing and politics (but thankfully not too much because I can only deal with politics in very small doses these days) through personal experience and observation. "I have just always found it extremely hard to be here, on this side of eternity, because of, well, other people; and death." I enjoy when a writer can take the everyday and weave its truth and simplicity into words.  I like reading the random thoughts and observations of others when it is written so beautifully and in a way that seems to include the entire population. "We believe that we are all in this together.  This was the message of childhood, that being together meant connection, like an electrical circuit -- think school recess on the blacktop, summer camp, and all those family holiday gatherings. Ram Dass said that if you think you're enlightened, go spend a week with your family." Insightful, honest, and true to her previous work, Almost Everything is a touching look at life in general with the wisdom Lamott feels is necessary to pass on to the next generation. Thanks to Riverhead Books and Edelweiss for a DRC in exchange for my honest review.  Almost Everything: Notes on Hope is scheduled for release on October 16, 2018. For more full reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  5. 4 out of 5

    Neanderthal

    Anne Lamott loosely builds ALMOST EVERYTHING around a list she decides to make for her grandson and niece about everything she knows about almost everything, ideas that she thinks apply to almost everyone and that might help them someday, a list that she wishes her father had written for her. She writes humorously and lovingly about topic like serenity, food, hate, God, "famblies," and hope. (I received pre-publication access thanks to Edelweiss.)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Hager

    This isn't going to be a normal review and I think that's OK. You already know if you should read this or not; hopefully you've already read it anyway. I read this book in one day, most of it after learning a man took a gun and murdered at least 10 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. It wasn't a good day, but I trusted that Anne Lamott was what I needed to be reading. For years now, a new Anne Lamott book will emerge at the time I most need to read it and that is definitely true this time, as wel This isn't going to be a normal review and I think that's OK. You already know if you should read this or not; hopefully you've already read it anyway. I read this book in one day, most of it after learning a man took a gun and murdered at least 10 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. It wasn't a good day, but I trusted that Anne Lamott was what I needed to be reading. For years now, a new Anne Lamott book will emerge at the time I most need to read it and that is definitely true this time, as well. It's very easy to sink into fear and distrust and frankly dislike---why don't people care about the things I care about? Why are people posting recipes and stupid videos on Facebook while supporters of someone they voted for are murdering people?---but she reminds me to breathe, stay the course and listen to hope. One of the things that she constantly repeats is that grace bats last. This is an awful and a scary time, but it isn't forever. There are more of us, and we will ultimately win. We will especially win if we don't become the people that we're currently afraid of. This book feels like an incredibly needed conversation with a good friend, and it made me laugh and ugly cry in equal measure. Highly recommended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    Review of the Audible Audio edition. I've been a fan of Anne Lamott's world-weary but hopeful wisdom since her writing memoir "Bird by Bird." Her annual musings have become a standard for me and there are always experiences and observations that come through as starkly true and immediately identifiable that cut right to the bone. I'm giving it a 3 star rating only because on audio it sometimes comes across as a bit too weary and tired whereas I think on the page it would read as more inspirational Review of the Audible Audio edition. I've been a fan of Anne Lamott's world-weary but hopeful wisdom since her writing memoir "Bird by Bird." Her annual musings have become a standard for me and there are always experiences and observations that come through as starkly true and immediately identifiable that cut right to the bone. I'm giving it a 3 star rating only because on audio it sometimes comes across as a bit too weary and tired whereas I think on the page it would read as more inspirational and hopeful. Probably a print edition would get a 4 star rating as seems to be the average from the other Lamott readers here.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    Anne Lamott at her best. By her account, she's compiling what she knows that's worth knowing for her grandson, a collection of observations and advice. It's also a guide to staying sane in a crazy world, which she acknowledges in a sideways manner here and there, but doesn't focus on. It's intensely personal and deeply loving. There are weaknesses here and there; for instance, I don't know that I can recommend her health advice, but it does come from a place of reassurance, and she's trying to g Anne Lamott at her best. By her account, she's compiling what she knows that's worth knowing for her grandson, a collection of observations and advice. It's also a guide to staying sane in a crazy world, which she acknowledges in a sideways manner here and there, but doesn't focus on. It's intensely personal and deeply loving. There are weaknesses here and there; for instance, I don't know that I can recommend her health advice, but it does come from a place of reassurance, and she's trying to get people to relax and not worry so much, so I think she's not doing any harm. She has a lot of experience feeling inadequate and talking herself into living on, so she's able to do the same for her readers. And her writing is beautiful and flowing. I read this as an balm after finishing a rough read (American Prison ), and it worked wonders. I got a copy from the publisher through Edelweiss to review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    An Evening with Anne Lamott October 19, 2018 St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Houston People are fanning themselves in the church. The air isn't on, it's a packed house, and it is a warm October night in Houston. I dare to ask to sit in an open pew less than fifty feet from the pulpit. I am surrounded by people with strong political and spiritual views, and we talk about important things while we wait. And then she arrives. It's Anne Lamott, and she seems different than the last time I heard her s An Evening with Anne Lamott October 19, 2018 St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Houston People are fanning themselves in the church. The air isn't on, it's a packed house, and it is a warm October night in Houston. I dare to ask to sit in an open pew less than fifty feet from the pulpit. I am surrounded by people with strong political and spiritual views, and we talk about important things while we wait. And then she arrives. It's Anne Lamott, and she seems different than the last time I heard her speak, ten or so years back, stronger, more confident, even...dare I say it?...happy. She has a new book. "I accidentally wrote this book on hope. It was originally called Doomed," she tells us. We laugh. That's one thing we adore about Anne Lamott: she dares to be honest, and she finds a way to be honest while also making us laugh. "I'm as scared and angry as everyone else, but one of the blessings of being a little bit older is that being scared and angry doesn't last as long. And you don't always remember why you are scared and angry." Anne Lamott is here to share what she has learned in this life with us. She has put everything she knows in this little book, Almost Everything, written for her young niece and grandson: "We are not alone." "Love gives me hope." "I spent a lot of years unlearning everything I'd been taught as a child." "All truth is paradox." We listen to Anne. We laugh with Anne. She reads a few bits from her book, but mostly she talks, seemingly extemporaneously. A few brave souls pose questions to Anne. One woman tells her that when she was at her lowest, in an abusive relationship, she saw Anne on tv, and she asked herself, "Who is this woman?" and she got Anne's books and she changed her life. "Could you give me a hug?" the woman asks Anne. Anne says yes. This book is a hug from Anne to the world.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sue Dix

    Every Anne Lamott book that I read has me feeling “oh come on” at the beginning and “oh wow OK yes” at the end. Her books model life’s trajectory: skepticism, belief, repeat. She is at once our best friend and our pragmatic counselor, tough love and lots of hugs and laughter. If you’re not more hopeful by the end of this book, you need to reread it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bonny

    I read Almost Everything: Notes on Hope looking for exactly that, some notes on hope. Anne Lamott has such a unique style of writing that I wonder if the hope may have gotten tangled up somewhere in the extended stream-of-consciousness voice that is this book. I listened to her read it as an audio book, and that made it seem even more like a long conversation with Anne, telling me her story. It's an interesting and difficult story of her struggles, but I found little hope in “almost every facet I read Almost Everything: Notes on Hope looking for exactly that, some notes on hope. Anne Lamott has such a unique style of writing that I wonder if the hope may have gotten tangled up somewhere in the extended stream-of-consciousness voice that is this book. I listened to her read it as an audio book, and that made it seem even more like a long conversation with Anne, telling me her story. It's an interesting and difficult story of her struggles, but I found little hope in “almost every facet of my meager maturation and spiritual understanding has sprung from hurt, loss, and disaster”, and "life just damages people. There is no way around this. Not all the glitter and concealer in the world can cover it up.” These are Anne's truths, and I can't completely disagree with some of it, but I was lost throughout much of the book. I even listened to it twice, but was unable to find much hope at all in her ramblings. Two and a half stars that I just can't round up.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    I really liked her books on raising children. I read them at a point in my life where it clicked. I also loved her book on writing, bird by bird. But the last 3 or 4 have been an irritating stream of consciousness of feel good sayings and some funny quips. They aren’t doing much for me. I think it speaks to a different kind of person. Perhaps these are voices to those in a struggle (and I was when I had babies and when I was writing), but my life thank goodness is free from addiction and daily s I really liked her books on raising children. I read them at a point in my life where it clicked. I also loved her book on writing, bird by bird. But the last 3 or 4 have been an irritating stream of consciousness of feel good sayings and some funny quips. They aren’t doing much for me. I think it speaks to a different kind of person. Perhaps these are voices to those in a struggle (and I was when I had babies and when I was writing), but my life thank goodness is free from addiction and daily strife.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Renner

    Read my interview with Lamott here: https://electricliterature.com/anne-l... Here's the intro I wrote for the interview: If the bleak daily news cycle has you grasping for some comfort, you’re not alone. Google searches for “anxiety symptoms” hit an all-time high in October, according to Google Trends. With the swearing-in of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and news that climate disaster is closer than we thought, hope may be the farthest idea from our minds. It’s easy to assume that the only Read my interview with Lamott here: https://electricliterature.com/anne-l... Here's the intro I wrote for the interview: If the bleak daily news cycle has you grasping for some comfort, you’re not alone. Google searches for “anxiety symptoms” hit an all-time high in October, according to Google Trends. With the swearing-in of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and news that climate disaster is closer than we thought, hope may be the farthest idea from our minds. It’s easy to assume that the only people who possess cheery thoughts like hope are those willfully not paying attention. But as Anne Lamott shows us in her essay collection, Almost Everything: Notes on Hope, faith can exist side-by-side with uncertainty, as humor can with doom. Almost Everything, as you might expect from the title, includes a little bit of everything, connected by the central threads of humor and resilience against adversity. The essays in the collection are small morsels, offering tastes of Lamott’s wisdom about enduring themes like faith and family. The rest of Lamott’s oeuvre spans decades and genres. Her first novel, Hard Laughter, was published in 1980. Since then, Lamott has published 18 books, including novels and essay collections. While her welcoming style often uses wit, she has covered topics, like alcoholism and cancer, that many other writers find difficult to render on the page, much less joke about. It’s more important than ever to find humor in the darkness. As many of us stand up to resist ingrained systems of oppression, whether in the voting booth or in our daily lives, with each setback, it becomes easier to see the problems of our time as insurmountable. But if we lose hope, we’ll stop fighting, and our struggle will have been for nothing. Almost Everything offers a dose of levity, but it doesn’t stray from the truth. At a time when many of us, myself included, require that kind of irrepressible wit just to get by, I had the privilege of talking to Lamott about her new book, writing, and staying hopeful in these uncertain times.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tena Edlin

    Anne Lamott's books are always good for my soul. She shares her journey, and it's similar to mine in many ways. Her books are a wake-up call to me, too, to get out of the dumps and take charge of how I'm feeling. It's not easy, but I can help others or go for a walk or snuggle with my husband or dog. I can remember what is good in the world. Some of my favorite quotes from this latest book: "I have known hell, and I have also known love. Love was bigger." "Haters want us to hate them, because hate Anne Lamott's books are always good for my soul. She shares her journey, and it's similar to mine in many ways. Her books are a wake-up call to me, too, to get out of the dumps and take charge of how I'm feeling. It's not easy, but I can help others or go for a walk or snuggle with my husband or dog. I can remember what is good in the world. Some of my favorite quotes from this latest book: "I have known hell, and I have also known love. Love was bigger." "Haters want us to hate them, because hate is incapacitating. When we hate, we can't operate from our real selves, which is our strength... " "Reading and writing help us take the blinders off so we can look around and say 'Wow,' so we can look at life and our lives with care, and curiosity, and attention to detail, which are what will make us happy and less afraid." "The human mind, for all its bad press and worse ideas, is as awe-inspiring as Yosemite, as stars." These days, when "Christian" in our society means so many things that I am not and that scare me, Anne Lamott reminds me that I'm a Christian too... imperfect, doubting, and searching... and that there are a lot of other people like me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I started reading this in the middle of Bob Woodward's book, Fear, and I really needed it as a palate cleanser. But then as I continued through her thoughtful notes, I really did start to feel hopeful. I'm returning my library copy ASAP so others can read it, then I'm purchasing my own copy to have at home so I can return to these little hope notes as needed. Definitely worth reading! 5 stars

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Excerpt here.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    For more than 3/4 of the book, I was thinking this was a three star endeavor. Then came the penultimate chapter. Come on, it’s called “famblies.” And she says this about children who were raised to be anxious perfectionists: “Praise and cuddling made us soft, distracted us from the scent of the mechanical rabbit.” Wow, my parents went to the same school. The Coda is lovely, and says it all.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    I've read Anne Lamott before so I knew her books are sometimes all over the place. This one disappointed me at times. I'm not quite sure what she wanted the reader to take from it. The chapter about teaching a writing class to young people was really random and then her chapter on weight loss? Hmmm.... The most important thing I took from it was help is the sunny side of control. I get enough of politics on TV, in my newspaper and on social media. I realize a book subtitled Notes on Hope would c I've read Anne Lamott before so I knew her books are sometimes all over the place. This one disappointed me at times. I'm not quite sure what she wanted the reader to take from it. The chapter about teaching a writing class to young people was really random and then her chapter on weight loss? Hmmm.... The most important thing I took from it was help is the sunny side of control. I get enough of politics on TV, in my newspaper and on social media. I realize a book subtitled Notes on Hope would cover it in our stressful times regardless of which side you fall on but I kind of resented her throwing it in as often as she did. It was a quick read but for me not nearly as thoughtful a read as some of her other works.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    Another slam-dunk for Anne Lamott. She makes sense to Christians, died-in-the wool atheists and secular humanists. She holds out hope and grace and love --real stuff in a world that doesn't always allow us to experience much of any of it. Thanks, Anne. You open my heart.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    The title of Lamott’s latest book, Almost Everything, seems apropos, since it addresses a variety of topics as diverse as dieting, death, and teaching elementary school children to write. The author, who says that “almost every facet of my meager maturation and spiritual understanding has sprung from hurt, loss, and disaster,” offers some challenging pronouncements, such as when she confesses that her reaction to hearing about Syrian refugees is to go to Nordstrom and purchase a $200.00 pair of The title of Lamott’s latest book, Almost Everything, seems apropos, since it addresses a variety of topics as diverse as dieting, death, and teaching elementary school children to write. The author, who says that “almost every facet of my meager maturation and spiritual understanding has sprung from hurt, loss, and disaster,” offers some challenging pronouncements, such as when she confesses that her reaction to hearing about Syrian refugees is to go to Nordstrom and purchase a $200.00 pair of jeans. There’s more about politics than in her previous work, but I guess her reader base doesn’t have a whole lot of overlap with Tea Party devotees. She offers the reader some insightful quotes; two I particularly liked were John Lennon’s “Everything with be okay in the end. If it’s not okay it’s not the end,” and one of her own, “I have taken the path of liberation: kindness.”

  21. 5 out of 5

    Price

    This is a beautiful work. I surprise myself in that I have never described any work as "beautiful". It is a deeply personal affirmation of faith. Ms. Lamott shares with us her intimate reflections and loss and love and tragedy experienced in our everyday existence. She acknowledges the sense of fear and foreboding that haunts us 24/7. The world is going to hell in a hand basket and our fears of the horrors of global conflict, political turbulence, coupled with the uneasy sense that almost everythi This is a beautiful work. I surprise myself in that I have never described any work as "beautiful". It is a deeply personal affirmation of faith. Ms. Lamott shares with us her intimate reflections and loss and love and tragedy experienced in our everyday existence. She acknowledges the sense of fear and foreboding that haunts us 24/7. The world is going to hell in a hand basket and our fears of the horrors of global conflict, political turbulence, coupled with the uneasy sense that almost everything is beyond our control haunts us. However, that is not necessarily the case...as there is faith. I am tempted to say that this is her best work ever. That may say more about my state of mind than this book. She relates to me in a way the few authors do. She touches my soul. Perhaps others would beg to differ a state that this or that Lamott work is far superior. No matter. Her observations bring me closer to my God. She teaches and encourages me to behave more responsibly and to contribute more to those in need. For that I am eternally grateful.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Barbara M

    Sometimes you read a book and think "Wow, this book is just what I needed to read right now in my life." Anne Lamott has a wonderful way of describing life as messy, complicated and hard (which it is)....but also filled with beautiful moments, hope and joy. She also has a wonderful sense of humor. I have noticed that some reviewers comment that Anne Lamott rambles. Yes, she does ramble at times, in her own "Anne Lamott" sort of way. However, amid the rambling are pearls of wisdom. I re-read some o Sometimes you read a book and think "Wow, this book is just what I needed to read right now in my life." Anne Lamott has a wonderful way of describing life as messy, complicated and hard (which it is)....but also filled with beautiful moments, hope and joy. She also has a wonderful sense of humor. I have noticed that some reviewers comment that Anne Lamott rambles. Yes, she does ramble at times, in her own "Anne Lamott" sort of way. However, amid the rambling are pearls of wisdom. I re-read some of her sentences and thought to myself, "yes, she is right" as she takes something hard and complicated and says something profoundly meaningful. I enjoy Anne Lamott's writing style. Although I don't know her as a person....I feel like I do. I would love to have a cup of coffee with her some day! She is a person who doesn't pretend to be perfect....but she strives to be better and to help others. She is my kind of person.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Heneghan

    There is a lot in this book that I needed to hear at this time. She talks about the current political climate and how it has made her into a person that she is fundamentally not like. This hate is not good for any of us. I love her wit and wisdom and was lucky to hear her speak on this book last week. I always get something out of her books and am glad to have her teachings as part of my journey.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michelegg

    I highlighted pretty much this entire book. It just spoke to my soul. The author and I seem to be kindred spirits, and the thoughts she writes of are the ones that swirl around in my head most days. My biggest takeaway though was how lovely that we can find joy and beauty surrounding us everyday if we will just look. I plan on doing that every day from now on.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Okay, 2 1/2 stars. This book was marginally better than her last one. My favorite parts of Lamott's writing are her stories - about her life, her family, her work, and her church. She used to use those stories to make her points, but now her writing has become (long, rambling) stream-of-conciousness, and that makes it harder to follow.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kris Springer

    Anne Lamott’s books are always funny, self-deprecating, and insightful. In this little chapbook Lamott’s riffing on hope, which is one of my life’s themes, as well as love and the need to stop hating, “at least 40% of the time.” I used this book as a help when I was very recently angry and Lamott reminded me to give it time and see if my mind was better later, that I didn’t have to do or say anything immediately. That was a good reset. I most enjoy reading Lamott because I hear the voice of a fu Anne Lamott’s books are always funny, self-deprecating, and insightful. In this little chapbook Lamott’s riffing on hope, which is one of my life’s themes, as well as love and the need to stop hating, “at least 40% of the time.” I used this book as a help when I was very recently angry and Lamott reminded me to give it time and see if my mind was better later, that I didn’t have to do or say anything immediately. That was a good reset. I most enjoy reading Lamott because I hear the voice of a funny friend who is cheering me, herself, and all of us on.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Margi

    I think everyone should read this book. Anne Lamott has the gift of sharing extraordinary insights without sounding preachy or pompous. Her very real, very funny style brings her observations and and insights to the reader in the most accessible and inspiring way. She knows hope inside out and backwards, from her own chaotic and challenging life. I have huge respect for her; in fact, I think she’s my idol.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    Audiobook version.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    The first half of this was just so-so to me, but I really connected with the chapters in the later half (death, etc.). Maybe it was my mood...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Baumgardner

    I have read many of Anne Lamont’s books, and I was holding off even opening it. Her books are like chocolate to me. Once I open it, I can’t put it down and it’s gone way too fast. Her words and stories help me try to hold the opposing forces of life in each my hands and stay sane, grateful, and joyful.

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