"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 ov...
|Title||:||Almost Everything: Notes on Hope|
|Number of Pages||:||208 pages|
Almost Everything: Notes on Hope Reviews
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 ...more
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.
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 ...more
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 ...more
I guess I'm just not a big fan of Anne Lamott's warmed over AA self-help. I gave Traveling Mercies three stars a number of years ago, and I gave four stars to Bird by Bird, though I didn't write a review and don't remember what it was I liked - probably some advice on writing. This one is a letter to her grandson, picking up on the strategies of James Baldwin, or Ta Nehesi-Coates, with none of the gravitas or urgency.
At her best she's witty (some would say snarky,) insightful, and acerbic (some ...more
I loved this. I recommend getting the audiobook version, read by Anne herself.
“The opposite of love is the bathroom scale.
Putting away the scale is important for all but a few people. If you are one of those people who weigh themselves every day for some healthy reason - other than scaring or shaming yourself, congratulating yourself, or reassuring yourself that you are a good person because you’ve kept your weight down - then weigh away. Otherwise, can you put the scale away for a week? How ab ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more