Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Review: Small Victories by Anne Lamott

From Goodreads:
Anne Lamott writes about faith, family, and community in essays that are both wise and irreverent. It’s an approach that has become her trademark. Now in Small Victories, Lamott offers a new message of hope that celebrates the triumph of light over the darkness in our lives. Our victories over hardship and pain may seem small, she writes, but they change us—our perceptions, our perspectives, and our lives. Lamott writes of forgiveness, restoration, and transformation, how we can turn toward love even in the most hopeless situations, how we find the joy in getting lost and our amazement in finally being found.

Profound and hilarious, honest and unexpected, the stories in Small Victories are proof that the human spirit is irrepressible.
Writing
It's Anne Lamott, so I'm not sure that a whole lot needs to be said about the quality of her writing.  Her reputation as a brilliant author is completely deserved.  She's one of a very few who can write about universal truths in a way that feels new and refreshing.  Thoughts that may be cliched when coming from other authors or that aren't entirely original become new and exciting and inspiring when Lamott writes them.

Entertainment Value
Again, the novelty she brings to classic truths and the openness she has about her own life make this an exceptionally fun book to read.  I rarely cry while reading, but this one had me tearing up in a few places, particularly the essays where she talks about forgiveness and how her sibling relationships have changed as an adult.  I couldn't stop reading and devoured it in two sittings, but it would also be a great book to read slowly here and there.

Overall
It's definitely a must-read and I can only imagine it'll have a place on my end of the year best of lists.  Just a delight to read, and, although Lamott is a Christian and many of these thoughts revolve around God and her relationship to Him, I think it's broad enough to encompass a wide range of spiritualities and denominations.  The only thing I can think of that might prevent you from reading is that several of these essays have appeared in other places.  I hadn't read them, so it was all new to me, but if you follow her writing you may have already read some of them.

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