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Almost Everything: Notes on Hope

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  3,050 ratings  ·  446 reviews
"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 ...more
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
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, spirituality

”(at St. Mary’s)

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back….may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that”

- - -

Lucille Clifton, “blessing the boats”

Reading Anne Lamott, for me anyway, feels like how I imagine how sitting and listening to her talk, perhaps less to a large audience, but a more intimate, person
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
Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City
Love and goodness and the world’s beauty and humanity are the reasons we have hope. — Anne Lamott, Almost Everything: Notes on Hope
Anne Lamott’s “Almost Everything: Notes on Hope” is a wonderful book to end the year with. My heart is full & hopeful after reading this book. It’s candid, caring, clever, and at times, hilarious; this is a book only Anne Lamott can write. This book is filled with hope, literally. Lamott gets it, life is hard at times, we have difficult conversations, setbacks
Kate Olson
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This little book was just what I needed to start the year off. Incredibly timely, soothing and inspirational. I listened to it on audio from Scribd but I ended up ordering a paper copy for future re-reads and marking.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
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
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
Dec 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology, memoirs
While still not as good as Lamott’s spiritual classics from a decade or two ago, this is a cut above her last couple of books, with quite a few memorable lines. Despite the state of the world – environmental collapse, a volatile leader taking the country ever closer to chaos, everyday family crises and the indignity of aging – she maintains hope in what divine grace and human kindness can achieve. (Borrowed from my sister.)

Some favorite lines:

“Almost every facet of my meager maturation and spiri
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
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
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.)
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
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
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
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
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
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
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, nonfiction
Anne Lamott: still not for me. I have my own form of zen and 'it is what it is,' but somehow hers ('the world is exactly as it should be') rubs me the wrong way. And, hey, it rubs her the wrong way, too, which I appreciate. It just doesn't connect with me and bring hope the way it does for her.
Nov 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
Writings seemed to lack a cohesive flow. Her "subtle" references to politics wore me out.
Oh, how I needed this book at this time...Anne Lamott tells us 'almost' everything she knows about life...and death. And she ends with hope.

So, I read, I highlighted. I sticky-noted. Then, I reread and took notes...the titles of the chapters, and lines that resonated.

What has the look of a quiet meander through stories is actually tightly organized...starting with puzzles and paradoxes of life, ending with hope.

Lamott helps us create that hope by studying and loving our lives.

Hope is within
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you need a few "Notes on Hope," this is your book. Utterly winsome in that Anne Lamott way and I love how she can put together some profound, beautiful statement/sentiment and then say "well that sucks" or somehow wind in the word "asshat." I listened to this on audiobook so bonus points for getting to hear it in her voice. A few things were N/A to my life, but it's a slim read/listen and well worth your time. Perfect end-of-year (or New Year!) read.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
As with every Anne Lamott book I read, I just wanted it not to end so quickly. Poignant, insightful, encouraging, hilarious.
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 24, 2018 rated it it was ok

##thanks to Goodreads Giveaway and Riverhead books for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review##

I am glad there are fans of Anne Lamott but sadly, I can't say I am one. Her book Almost Everything: Notes on Hope is a long tedious endless spooling of "everything not hopeful." She talks more about failures and inadequacies than ways we can be more hopeful. I thought it started off well enough as she begins her "letter of thoughts about everything she knows" t
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
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's short, but there's a lot of good stuff in here. Lamott talks a little bit about writing, about not giving into hate, even in our current political environment. There's a lot of wisdom in this little book.
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.
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
Kathy McC
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars-- there were some early sections that were a bit too stream of consciousness for my taste.
But, that said, I loved this book and it was a great one with which to end my reading year. I would really love it if her "notes on hope" give me the hope I need to deal with the disheartening daily events that too often steal my joy. We share so many similar beliefs and concerns that I would love to chat with her over a cup of tea. Plus I would like to thank her, in person, for the way her books
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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
“Help is the sunny side of control.” 2 likes
“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.” 2 likes
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