In a publishing season that has been distinguished by political tell-alls and other heavy fare, a book written by a balloon-loving former attorney named Bob Goff has become a best seller. (His business cards list his official title as Chief Balloon Inflator and Recovering Lawyer.)
“Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People,” published in April by Thomas Nelson, has occupied The New York Times Advice best-seller list for 20 weeks straight, moving some 965,000 copies.
Goff, who quit his attorney job because he wanted a new life, started a nonprofit organization that operates schools and promotes justice for children in countries like Uganda, Somalia and Iraq. His 2012 book, “Love Does,” was also a best-seller; Goff used the proceeds from the first book to build schools in those countries.
The secret to latest book’s appeal lies in its simplicity: Goff, who gave a 2014 TEDx talk about being “secretly incredible,” insists that love is the answer — even when (and especially when) the person might seem impossible to love. To this end, Goff, who serves as consul general to Uganda, does not just talk the talk: He once befriended some witch doctors in Uganda.
He’s unafraid to give his cell phone number to strangers who want to talk. “If you want a lifetime of love, you open yourself to constant interruptions!” he happily admits.