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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 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.
Lamott (Hallelujah, Anyway) shares wisdom on truth and paradox in this comforting book of reflections inspired by the current social and political climate. "In general, it doesn't feel like the light is making a lot of progress," she writes. Each brief essay explores a theme or topic such as hope, love, or faith with Lamott's customary optimism. In the opening essay, "Puzzles," she sets the stage for the book by considering the physics of light, which is both particle and wave, as an example of how paradox can be the seed of truth. "Almost every facet of my meager maturation and spiritual understanding," she writes, "has sprung from hurt, loss, and disaster." Fans of Lamott will find her deeply personal, honest yet humorous style on full display and those same fans will also recognize some familiar material, such as the "bird by bird" story that she uses to encapsulate the writing life. There is no doubt of Lamott's brilliance, but this collection rings of speed rather than depth, with some of the essays ("Bitter Truth" and "Hands of Time") reading like series of aphorisms and lacking narrative cohesion. Though the book is clearly written to capitalize on the present political moment, its brevity makes it a useful introduction to Lamott's work and philosophy for any interested novitiate.