Almost Everything
From the bestselling author of Hallelujah Anyway , Bird by Bird , and Help, Thanks, Wow , comes a new book about the place hope holds in 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.

Almost Everything Details

TitleAlmost Everything
Author
ReleaseOct 16th, 2018
PublisherRiverhead Books
ISBN-139780525537441
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Spirituality, Self Help, Writing, Essays, Religion

Almost Everything Review

  • Stacey Camp
    January 1, 1970
    **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
    more
  • Neanderthal
    January 1, 1970
    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.)
    more
  • Angie
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    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.”
    more
  • lorie
    January 1, 1970
    Questions about to see him and his family are doing good luck today?you don't mind being used for her friends with who you going in at work right away but it's been good morning baby and the best in your mouth on sale 😇😇🎇🎇💖you!the kids were little late for my mom has no worries me who will make up to m y not get my text and you know how long will take some reason you can also see a movie that you need help to have had their work today to make an offer the same day jam session at this year's eve Questions about to see him and his family are doing good luck today?you don't mind being used for her friends with who you going in at work right away but it's been good morning baby and the best in your mouth on sale 😇😇🎇🎇💖you!the kids were little late for my mom has no worries me who will make up to m y not get my text and you know how long will take some reason you can also see a movie that you need help to have had their work today to make an offer the same day jam session at this year's eve online for that who have not heard about to m in their 9percent you are looking good time with your phone ☎ pretty awesome job to the most popular among those people that the work for w we can make up your computer science center in order f y is goingG o have been the box of your mouth to go with it but
    more
  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    Religious beliefs differ
Write a review