Wednesday, October 24, 2018

An Evening with Anne Lamott

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 speak, ten or so years back, stronger, more confident, even...dare I say it?...happy. She has a new book.

"I accidentally wrote this book on hope. It was originally called Doomed," she tells us. We laugh. That's one thing we adore about Anne Lamott: she dares to be honest, and she finds a way to be honest while also making us laugh.

"I'm as scared and angry as everyone else, but one of the blessings of being a little bit older is that being scared and angry doesn't last as long. And you don't always remember why you are scared and angry."

Anne Lamott is here to share what she has learned in this life with us. She has put everything she knows in this little book, Almost Everything, written for her young niece and grandson:

"We are not alone."

"Love gives me hope."

"I spent a lot of years unlearning everything I'd been taught as a child."

"All truth is paradox."

We listen to Anne. We laugh with Anne. She reads a few bits from her book, but mostly she talks, seemingly extemporaneously. A few brave souls pose questions to Anne. One woman tells her that when she was at her lowest, in an abusive relationship, she saw Anne on tv, and she asked herself, "Who is this woman?" and she got Anne's books and she changed her life. "Could you give me a hug?" the woman asks Anne. Anne says yes.

This book is a hug from Anne to the world.

For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

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  1. Does not sound like someone I would read, not my kind of book. Hope you enjoyed the evening

  2. One thing I learned in my life as a librarian is that every book is not for every person.

  3. Lovely recap. It sounds like a nice evening.

  4. I read Bird By Bird thinking it was about writing and discovered a wonderful book about how to be in the world (and some stuff about writing). I love Anne LaMott's work and am looking forward to this new one. The evening sounds wonderful!

  5. Sounds like it was a great evening and wow, that church is beautiful! I've never read any of her books but now I want to check them out.

  6. I think I spend half my time reading your blog in bitter, green jealousy then I think... my friend Deb got to go see Anne Lamott and I am so happy for you.

  7. Looks like you had a beautiful time.
    Thanks for sharing!

    - Lisa

  8. It sounds like something we all need and need a lot.

  9. Deb, I will root for Nathan but not for the Sox. #ladetermined. Very, very cool though!

  10. Annie Lammont is a wonderful author to hear speak, even in a hot church. :-)

  11. First, what a beautiful church and a perfect venue to hear AL speak about HOPE. I've read a few of her books and would like to give this one a try. She can be a bit crass, but I still like her message. How wonderful for you to hear her speak!

  12. What a great event! Lovely thoughts...and I had to check out the book and take a "look inside." Thanks for sharing, and here are MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOTS

  13. Wow, sounds like such an amazing event!! And what an unusual venue for an author talk (though a bit hot, perhaps). I love Anne Lamott and would love to hear her speak - sounds like it was a wonderful evening - lucky you!

    I will have to look for her newest book. Yikes, I think I still have her last one on my shelf - think I will read it for Nonfiction November!


    Book By Book


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