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Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  9,509 ratings  ·  1,147 reviews
“Anne Lamott is my Oprah.” —Chicago Tribune

From the bestselling author of Help, Thanks, Wow and Stitches comes a powerful exploration of mercy, its limitless (if sometimes hidden) presence, why we ignore it, and how we can embrace it

Mercy is radical kindness, Anne Lamott writes in her enthralling and heartening book, Hallelujah Anyway. It's the permission you give others--
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published April 4th 2017 by Riverhead Books
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Popular Answered Questions
Kristen No. I was disappointed in this book.
Mary Beth Yes and no. Yes because it is written with new insights, anecdotes and spiritual references. No, because it is still the same message of unconditional…moreYes and no. Yes because it is written with new insights, anecdotes and spiritual references. No, because it is still the same message of unconditional love, redemption, and learning to forgive ourselves and others that are the themes of any/all of her books.(less)

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Diane S ☔
Apr 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I generally read anything this author writes but even if I didn't the title in this one made it a must read. This world needs more mercy and compassion, it is I feel sorely lacking. Although I found this offering more scattered, less concentrated than her usual works, some of what she talks about just seems like common sense, there are as always phrases and thoughts that amaze.

One of the things that I like about Lamott is that even though she quotes the bible often, she also, admits that it is
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
For me, Anne Lamott's nonfiction books on living in faith (and I don't mean denominational Faith) are not individual volumes but one continuing narrative. I mean this as a compliment. True, some books are slighter than others, either literally or figuratively, but all are needed and welcome. If you're a human being who struggles --with everything from trying to make sense of the current political environment to envying your girlfriend who, unlike you, doesn't have to contend with an arthritic hi ...more

“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
-- Micah 6:8

”I came into this world with mercy for nearly everyone, everywhere, and for all cats and dogs at the pound.”

”Mercy is radical kindness. Mercy means offering or being offered aid in desperate straits. Mercy is not deserved. It involves absolving the unabsolvable, forgiving the unforgiveable. Mercy brings us to the miracle of apology, given and accepted, to unashamed humili
(2.5) I’ve read all of Lamott’s nonfiction, and am quite fond of her rambly theological memoirs. Although this is probably one of her two weakest books, her fans will want to read it anyway. The overall theme is a bit loose and the personal anecdotes seem tired and/or thin on the ground, especially in the early chapters (she argues with her son about an unwise comment she made about a transgender person; she tries to resist buying an expensive sweater), which mostly hold forth on the struggles o ...more
#mystrangereading Hallelujah Anyway by Anne Lamott ⭐️⭐️⭐️ I really enjoyed this exploration of mercy. It felt a little existential and too philosophical at times which made the application pieces a little harder to nail down but I still appreciated her message. It was short sweet and a great audiobook
Diane Barnes
Apr 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Just okay. Maybe me, maybe her, but nothing special about this one.
Kelly Hager
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Every time Anne Lamott releases a book, it is somehow just what I needed to read.

I definitely struggle with forgiving people, and I do fully grasp that the only one hurt by this is me. (People should never be allowed to keep hurting you, and one of the ways they can do that is if you keep dwelling on it, and them.)

One of the things I love most about Anne Lamott is that she seems to struggle with this, too, and she'll have these amazingly witty one-liners, things that are so me and I will totall
I can't speak for what she's like in person but on the page, Anne Lamott has a warm and welcoming persona. Just spending time with her in these pages is restorative. This book is her meditation on mercy; what it is and why we need it, even (or especially) when we most feel we don't deserve it.

The pages that deal with her experiences were the most alive for me. Her more general comments on the human condition and mercy felt true and healing but were less vivid for me than her true life stories. O
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm sorry to be giving this book such few stars, but it was mostly a miss for me. I love Anne Lamott's writing - she can be funny and biting and tender all at once. But this writing was often rambling and repetitive, with little of her usual humor. There were many times I had to reread a particular passage in order to understand what she was trying to say and to try to figure out how it fit in with the passages before or after it. I've always loved reading snippets of her life as she related the ...more
Kristen Beverly
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I must admit that this is my first book that I've read by her, but I really, really loved it. It was exactly what I needed to her. This world could definitely use more mercy and kindness.
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great to read when you're feeling run down or needing to hear something hopeful. This is your vitamin. Such a cool lady, transparent soul, and the epitome of God's grace & mercy in action. ...more
Kate Johnson
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I woke up early today, Saturday, and knew exactly what I wanted to do. My husband and 2 dogs were still sleeping. I brewed a pot of coffee and began reading this wonderful book which arrived yesterday. Actually, I ordered 3 because they were so inexpensive on Amazon and thought it only fair to Anne Lamott to start with a few copies. I've read several of her other books. This may be my favorite. I took a gardening break as the day was perfect to be outside. Finished the book late this afternoon. ...more
Literary Chic
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This is what I get for rushing to load my Kindle before vacation. I though it said from the author of "THE Help." Oh the power of a tiny article! This author wrote a book called "Help..." not "THE Help."

Anyway, the wordy first person testimony didn't work for me. It came across as condescending. I totally agree that we need to be more merciful. Our society gets entirely too much enjoyment from finding fault in my opinion. However, this book didn't make that point well enough for me to recommend
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book as I have all of Anne Lamott's books. She is so imperfectly perfect! Real Christianity here for us to relate to. This is one I will read over and over.
The only flaw was she never said how she worked out her problems with her son.
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I almost gave up on this tiny book, and it would have been my loss. I didn't know what to make of Lamott's style. Most essays are linear, the sentences little arrows that point at the next sentence and direct you to a conclusion. Lamott's opening essays are disjointed, almost rambling. I was bummed out for her, thinking maybe her best writing days were over. Then I realized that instead of diagramming mercy, she was making a collage- overlapping thoughts, throwing something here and something th ...more
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lamott's books are always hit or miss with me. Even her misses are good for me to read, like plain oatmeal can nourish the body, even if it doesn't do much for the soul, but here, in Hallelujah Anyway, she has hit it out of the park. Her writings on faith tend towards the autobiographical, a memoir of her struggles and failings, and here she is failing in ways that I fail, and the lessons she is learning are ones that God is nudging me to sit with and contemplate and take into my life.

The big le
Laila (BigReadingLife)
Listened to the audio book read by Lamott herself. She's one of my favorite people. She always makes me feel less alone in my crazy. I don't know if I'd have liked this as much as I did if I'd read it in print form. There's something about having an author read their work that enhances it for me. Plus, quite honestly, I'm more forgiving of audio because I'm not 100% paying attention (often driving or cleaning, etc.) Still, this was just lovely. Forgiving those who've wronged you is one of the HA ...more
Cara Meredith
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Love me some Anne Lamott but she's sounding tired. She definitely seemed to dive into the Bible more than ever before, but with it lost much of her snark and humor.
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I gave Anne Lamott a five-star rating mainly because she makes me laugh out loud. And many times. I lover her writing style. I love her personality. I'm not what you might call a progressive Christian. I don't use swear words, a decision I made some time ago because I want my speech to be a blessing to others. Yet, Anne is okay with it and I'm okay with her being okay with it. We're all in the body of Christ and I actually like that she doesn't speak Christianese. She relates Bible stories in a ...more
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
I've never read any of her other books, but she came highly recommended. Plus, the title is excellent. I downloaded it immediately. The problems for me were that I couldn't relate to her, her stories were too quick and unrelated, and I read more anger, judgement, and fear than I did actual mercy. There was hardly any Hallelujah. I kept waiting for something deep and serious about mercy: giving it back to yourself, giving it to others, and how that allows us to live in joy, but it never came. The ...more
Thomas DeWolf
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Anne Lamott's books are so comforting. Even when they're challenging, they are challenging in a comforting way, like a long-time, trusted friend. In the challenging times in which we live, it is comforting to know someone like Anne Lamott struggles with the same stuff I struggle with, that so many of us struggle with... relationships, growing up, deadlines, self-importance, our kids, our parents, you name it. And through it all, receiving and offering mercy helps. When things feel most hopeless, ...more
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Anne Lamott's writing is like a warm hug just when you need it

"Mercy is radical kindness. Mercy means offering or being offered aid in desperate straits. Mercy is not deserved. It involves forgiving the debt, absolving the unabsolvable."

"I can be a hero in my storm, which is where I found a sense of value as a child, as the tense little EMT in a damaged family. Crisis, self-centered fear, and saving people were home for me, with a wet bar serving up adrenaline. The quiet, tranquil room of just
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith
Anne Lamott always feels like a breath of fresh air to me. She polishes the lens through which I view life. This book has the same format and feel of her book Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair, which I also quite enjoyed. This one probably a bit less so, as in some parts her thought process was vague and hard to follow, though this could be due to that post-Christmas pre-New Years haze.
As an aside, the book itself is quite beautiful; thick, creamy white pages with elegant plum p
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had never read any of Ann Lamott's books. But I had seen her quotes, her tweets and comments during this crazy political time and connected with her fully. I was lucky to see her speak and read from this amazing book. Reading this book gave me answers on how to deal with things in my life and what is going on in our world. Including scripture readings and her explanations of finding and giving mercy was so perfectly written. Thank you Ann for soothing my soul.
Luann Ritsema
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I inwardly resist Lamott’s quirky, semi sarcastic spirituality, I am also occasionally moved by it. She knows the broken, crooked pathways and can offer a sturdy footfall. I’m in a world of hurt these days; I will take kindness from every quarter. Hallelujah anyway. Sounds and feels so much better than Fuck Those Assholes.
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Anne Lamott never disappoints...her wit, insight, compassion and reflection are always so deeply appreciated!✨🙏✨ Hallelujah, anyway!🙏☺️🙏
Rosemarie Donzanti
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Life is hard and filled with difficult, disheartening situations. Death, divorce, illness, addiction...Hallelujah Anyway! “Hallelujah that in spite of it all, there is love, there is singing, nature, laughing, mercy”. Each chapter in this book delivers an engaging sermon about life and mercy in a way that only Anne Lamott can. Her wisdom, humor, realism and sarcasm make her messages so relatable and fully human. She embraces her imperfections and in turn encourages us to embrace ours and fully l ...more
Conrad Zero
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
50% poetic writing, 50% A.D.D. list making, 100% challenging to process, Hallelujah Anyway is a casserole of Anne Lamott's personal observations, experiences and brushes with mercy, recovery and Catholicism.

By page three, I found myself less interested in the topic and experiences of the author than the way she laid her thoughts out on the page. To achieve a B.A. in Philosophy, I had to read some pretty 'dense' texts, but nothing like Anne's writing. She doesn't really do a 'train of thought.'
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
I picked up this book on a whim at one of my favorite independent book stores Book Culture. The cover alone makes me happy! Anne Lamont explores mercy in quite some depth and I am thankful for having read her thoughts and think this will be a book to pick up again. I certainly needed a dose of mercy checking and teaching as I navigate my thoughts on our current times. I love her recognition of the remarkable gift of the very small simple things that bring us back to purpose and grounding.
"We di
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Anne Lamott is an author of several novels and works of non-fiction. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, her non-fiction works are largely autobiographical, with strong doses of self-deprecating humor and covering such subjects as alcoholism, single motherhood, and Christianity. She appeals to her fans because of her sense of humor, her deeply felt insights, and her outspoken views on topics such ...more

Articles featuring this book

From Anne Lamott—the bestselling author of Hallelujah Anyway, Bird by Bird, and Traveling Mercies—comes a new book about the...
37 likes · 38 comments
“Everything slows down when we listen and stop trying to fix the unfixable.” 16 likes
“Kindness toward others and radical kindness to ourselves buy us a shot at a warm and generous heart, which is the greatest prize of all. Do you want this, or do you want to be right? Well, can I get back to you on that? I” 9 likes
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