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Almost Everything: Notes on Hope

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  938 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 16th 2018 by Riverhead Books
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Diane S ☔
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Stacey Camp
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
**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
Diane Barnes
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
"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
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
"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
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.)
Kelly Hager
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Sue Dix
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
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 ...more
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Rebecca Renner
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read my interview with Lamott here:

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
Tena Edlin
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 02, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
Excerpt here.
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 27, 2018 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Barbara M
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Rebecca Heneghan
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
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.
Kris Springer
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
Audiobook version.
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
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...
Nancy Baumgardner
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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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Anne Lamott is an author of several novels and works of non-fiction. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, her non-fiction works are largely autobiographical, with strong doses of self-deprecating humor and covering such subjects as alcoholism, single motherhood, and Christianity. She appeals to her fans because of her sense of humor, her deeply felt insights, and her outspoken views on topics such ...more
“The medieval German mystic Meister Eckhart said that if the soul could have known God without the world, God never would have created the world.” 1 likes
“Help is the sunny side of control.” 0 likes
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