Review: Anne Lamott offers wit and wisdom in ‘Almost Everything'

Get the weekly rundown
Sign up to receive THE FUN never stops!, our weekly A&E newsletter

“Almost Everything: Notes on Hope” by Anne Lamott; Riverhead (189 pages, $20)


Just when you need someone to shake you by the shoulders and say, “Snap out of it,” along comes Anne Lamott, bearing the writerly equivalent of a loaf of freshly baked bread — and a sharp knife.

In these unrelentingly anxious days, where “it’s all Four Horsemen now, all the time,” the author of several beloved bestsellers serves up her characteristic wisdom and wit, offering soul food for the weary and motherly advice on how we can all remain calm and keep our proverbial “stuff” together: “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

Weighted by the despair, the anger, the hatred of our times, how to keep hope alive? Let her count the ways: There is still love, and goodness, too, along with the world’s natural beauty, the power of stories, and our ability to embrace an inner peace. And then there’s fear.

Life is nothing if not full of paradoxes, she writes. In the same way that light can both obscure and illuminate, fear too, while unpleasant on its face, can work an unexpected magic in hard times: “Fear, against all odds, leads to community, to bravery and right action, and these give hope.”

The Lamott faithful and new readers alike will find some useful therapy here, though the short book’s scattered nuggets of random truths oftentimes resonate greater than the whole.



Loading comments...
Hide Comments

Stories that may interest you

Big Tickets

Miranda Lambert — Sept. 13, 14 at Mohegan Sun Arena; tickets on sale at 10 a.m. today; $59-$99 The O'Jays, Kool and The Gang — Aug. 17 at Foxwoods' Grand Theater; tickets on sale now; $45-$65 Jill Scott — Aug. 22 at Foxwoods' Grand Theater; tickets on sale...

ECSO, Chorus to present a stellar program in Saturday's season finale at the Garde

What's the saying? "Go out with the Mozart 'Coronation' Mass, not a whimper!" Or something like that. For Saturday's final concert of a most excellent 2018-19 season, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, in conjuntion with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony...

Let the Countess sing: Luann de Lesseps performs at Foxwoods

Place your bets. When Luann de Lesseps does her cabaret act Saturday at Foxwoods, how many “Real Housewives” fans will bellow, “Jovani!!!!!”? Place your bets. When Luann de Lesseps does her cabaret act Saturday at Foxwoods, how many "Real Housewives" fans will...

'NYPD Blue' actor Gordon Clapp stars in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" at Ivoryton

Let’s see. Gordon Clapp played Detective Greg Medavoy in the groundbreaking TV drama “NYPD Blue” and won an Emmy for it in 1998. He portrayed real estate salesman Dave Moss in the Broadway revival of David Mamet’s high-powered “Glengarry Glen Ross” in...