Almost Everything: Notes on Hope is a nurturing read. In this collection of essays, Lamott continues her tradition of speaking to her readers in her optimistic voice which says “I’ve been there, I’ve survived that, and I am still here loving and laughing.”
If you are new to Lamott’s writing, her background includes having raised her son as a single mom, leaning on her faith in God and her church home, having been a recovering alcoholic for many years, being an opinionated woman who is politically liberal, and now being a best-selling author, a wife, and a grandmother.
The thirteen essays in this book are bite-sized bits of wisdom and humor which will make you laugh, cry, and want to read more of her work whether or not your own views resonate with hers. The essays are also short enough that they can be read with that coffee that gets you started in the morning, during nap time for your little one, at the end of a long day, or while you are waiting up for your teenager to get home safely.
Lamott addresses big issues about life, death, love, faith, science, and hope through her essays, balancing big questions with a delightful mix of awe and laugh out loud humor. She meets herself and her readers where they are with complete honesty.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Almost Everything:
“Scientists say we are made of stars, and I believe them, although my upper
arms look like hell.” (From Chapter One: Puzzles)
“Almost every facet of my meager maturation and spiritual understanding
has sprung from hurt, loss, and disaster.” (From Chapter One: Puzzles)
“Don’t let others make you feel unsophisticated if you reach middle age
preferring Hershey’s Kisses. So many of your better people do. Also,
always carry a handful of Kisses in your backpack or purse to give away.
People will like you more.” (From Chapter Seven: Bitter Truth)
If there is one negative that I would share regarding this book, it is that as an avid Anne Lamott fan, I sometimes tire of her re-sharing stories across her books. In chapter six, she included the story about her brother’s homework project that inspired the title of her book, Bird by Bird. Although I find this story inspiring, I believe she has referred to it in two other books. This was a small distraction for me, and other readers might find it endearing.
I recommend brewing a cup of tea, putting your feet up, and reading “Almost Everything: Notes on Hope”. You will be glad that you did.
Rating: 4 ½ stars out of 5
Almost Everything: Notes on Hope
Copyright 2018 by Anne Lamott
ISBN 9780525537441 (hardcover)
Liz is a technical writer by day and a humor writer by night. She lives in Minnesota with her two teenage daughters and their cats, Beau and Phoebe. When Liz is not reading, writing, or searching for new books to review, she can be found practicing yoga or enjoying time with friends and family — usually around a fireplace or a lake. She is savoring the time that she still has with her daughters under her roof, yet she secretly dreams of being an empty nester who can travel more and not have to worry about other people borrowing her socks.