2019, 189 pages
Almost Everything : Notes on Hope is pure Anne Lamott: Honest, funny, and endearing with an edgy bend toward The Divine. At a new stage in her life, excited for her upcoming marriage and firmly ensconced in happy grandmother-hood, Anne is still her optimistic and slightly sarcastic self. Thank God! I love Anne because of her ability to find the tiny light of hope in a miasma of pain and uncertainty, the practical, pull-your-sleeves-up-and-get-ready faith that never fails to make me feel like loving God is as natural and attainable as washing my face.
In chapter five, “Don’t let them get you to hate them,” Anne writes:’Something that helps is to look at adversaries as people who are helping you do a kind of emotional weight training. Nautilus for your character. They may have been assigned to you, to annoy or exhaust you. They are actually caseworkers.” Getting us to look at even hate from another angle is just one way Ms. Lamott can take the daunting task of living and break it down into manageable steps, changing the perspective so we are able to view our life through a new lens.
As a recovering addict, a mother and a grandmother, a nature-lover and person that has had issues with food, faith, and love, Ms. Lamott gives a fresh perspective because of everything she has been through, not in spite of it. Like all of her non-fiction, this book is stitched together with love and the unshakeable faith that who we are and what we do matters, that picking up trash in your neighborhood and being nice to yourself leads to a better day, and perhaps a better world. It all seems doable and uncomplicated, and this very simplicity is the essence of what Ms. Lamott does an excellent job of conveying. Everything matters, she seems to say. But not too much. We are all so important, but so is everybody else. And there is nothing we can do to “Stop God from adoring us.” What a powerful note on hope.