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Short Takes: Dusk Night Dawn

I was a little embarrassed to realize that a new Anne Lamott book, Dusk Night Dawn, was coming out and wasn’t even on my radar. But what a treat to add to my TBR pile for March! And the subtitle, “On Revival and Courage”, felt like just what I needed, coming out of winter into the first tentative days of spring. Even the cover is lovely. Diving into Lamott’s essays one evening, I was immediately reminded of why I am so fond of her. She writes so movingly about the day to day of life, how we are all affected by the events of our country and the world, but keeps bringing her focus back to what is possible to do on the individual level. She acknowledges how helpless we can all feel, yet is able to find the small places where we do have power and agency. And in the midst of all of that, she continually lays bare her own insecurities and the ways in which she is, daily, simply an imperfect human being, trying to do her best, failing sometimes and succeeding at others. She asks for help, sometimes as a last resort. She keeps hoping, even when it seems to be foolish. Experiencing Lamott’s humanity on the page gives me permission to be honest with myself. I laugh with her, and feel like I’m not alone. Each essay is loosely connected to the next, in her trademark style. This is one of those books that would benefit from a slow reading, one section at a time. I couldn’t stop myself the first time through, but I look forward to a second reading, with more time to think over what each essay brings up for me.

We still have signed copies available. Stop by and pick one up!

— Lori