Like most people with brains on the internet (I know some might say we’re a special few), I have been an unabashed fan of Jenny Lawson a.k.a. The Bloggess for years now – I even turned my husband onto her irreverent, quirky sense of humor. Thanks to Jenny, metal chickens and taxidermied animals in Victorian costumes are normal conversation topics in my household and, really, I cannot thank her enough.
When I heard about her memoir, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, I knew immediately that I wanted to read it badly. My husband obviously sensed this and surprised me with the news that he’d preordered me a copy for Christmas. There may have been squealing (I was excited, too). But then I had to wait months for the book to be published. And then when it was published, I had to wait for my copy to ship. I had to hold back my bitterness and resentment when dear friends and bloggy acquaintances got their copies first and began devouring Lawson’s incredibly funny and touching memoir before me. I mean, seriously, what gives? Amiright?
But eventually that fateful day came, and when I checked the mailbox with baited breath I was rewarded with the sight of an Amazon package that contained the book I’d been waiting for for months. It did not disappoint.
Here’s what goodreads.com says about the book in their description:
When Jenny Lawson was little, all she ever wanted was to fit in. That dream was cut short by her fantastically unbalanced father (a professional taxidermist who created dead-animal hand puppets) and a childhood of wearing winter shoes made out of used bread sacks. It did, however, open up an opportunity for Lawson to find the humor in the strange shame spiral that is her life, and we are all the better for it.
Lawson’s long-suffering husband and sweet daughter are the perfect comedic foils to her absurdities, and help her to uncover the surprising discovery that the most terribly human moments-the ones we want to pretend never happened-are the very same moments that make us the people we are today.
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is a poignantly disturbing, yet darkly hysterical tome for every intellectual misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud. Like laughing at a funeral, this book is both irreverent and impossible to hold back once you get started.
I’ve been reading a lot of fun celeb memoirs lately like Tina Fey’s Bossypants or Ellen’s Seriously… I’m Kidding. Jenny Lawson’s book is sort of like that but with more dead animals and wigs. I found myself giggling uncontrollably in the middle of the night while reading this book and occasionally getting teared up and emotional from some of her more serious stories.
Just like in her blog, Lawson does a terrific job of juggling often dark humor with very touching and insightful thoughts. Not only that, but she draws light to the world of mental illness, anxiety disorders and depression in an amazing way, telling anyone who has ever struggled with these issues (or any issues) that they are not alone. That they can get through it and they will be okay. And then there’s more laughing and prepping for the zombie apocalypse.
Jenny’s book truly touched me and will stay with me for a long time. It was one of those books where I finished it and was a little disappointed that there weren’t any more chapters. A book that I had to resist the urge to quote outloud to the hubby who gave me dirty looks and said, “You know I want to read this when you’re done with it – stop spoiling it for me!” A book where I found myself reading the dust jacket, acknowledgement page and about the author page just to soak in every aspect of the book I could before handing it over to said husband. The sign of a brilliant masterpiece surely.
(What are you waiting for? Go buy the book already!)