Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Let's Pretend This Never Happened - Jenny Lawson

First off, let me apologize for my absence.  It's the Olympics, folks.  They suck me in and I can't do anything but watch them.  So, while two weeks ago when I wrote my last post, I was a week ahead of schedule in my 52 Book Challenge.  However, then the London 2012 Olympics started and I forgot about books and reading and anything that does not involve gold medals or crying gymnasts who apparently bathe in glitter.  What makes these Games of the XXX Olympiad even better (if that is even possible), is that some of my favourite (note the British spelling) people keep popping up: British royals.

Ok, I am completely sidetracked.  But, I kind of did that intentionally in honor of Jenny Lawson, author of my latest read.  Lawson, known online as The Bloggess writes a, you guessed it, blog about her life and all the crazy things that happen to her.  Forewarning: her blog, like her book, will be viewed as highly inappropriate to anyone with an aversion to profanity or socially awkward situations.  If you can get past those things, though, I promise you will find Lawson genuinely hilarious.

As I told Kevin after making him read the chapter about Beyonce, the giant metal chicken, you really could open randomly to nearly any chapter and be laughing within a few paragraphs minimum.  Lawson was born, raised, and has always resided in Texas.  That right there should be enough to let you know that the things that happen to her are guaranteed to make the rest of the world slightly befuddled and definitely entertained.  Lawson grew up in a very poor home in as country as a setting as you can possible get.  Her dad ran a taxidermy business out of their backyard and wild animals were not abnormal in their home.  You can see how this sets someone up for a childhood full of barely believable stories.

And those wild childhood stories are what makes up approximately the first third of the book.  Those are the stories that at times I really found stretching to believe, at least in their entirety.  Surely, her imagination is embellishing this, right?  Maybe, maybe not.  There are a few chapters that are more serious.  Lawson confronts her severe anxiety, her multiple miscarriages before one scary, but successful pregnancy, and her battle with rheumatoid arthritis.  Those chapters aren't as funny, understandably.  But, yet, somehow Lawson is still able to approach them with some dark humor that, frankly, you feel a little badly laughing at but still cannot help yourself.  

The meat of the book, though, is the wild stories.  It is not only the way Lawson retells them, but also the reactions of her husband, Victor.  Lawson reminds me of my friend Sarah in that she is enigmatic and witty, has an endless supply of energy, and is just a little bit crazy.  I wish I could adequately describe for you how entertaining this book is, but you are simply going to have to read it for yourself.  Again, I am issuing a fair warning that there is lots of profanity.  Lots of it.  Lots and lots and lots.  And some of those wild stories are pretty inappropriate for general audiences.  As I said at the start of this post, though, if you are willing to look past those things, Lawson will reward you with lots of laughter and a truly heartwarming story of a normal person who is abnormal only in that she is willing to reveal her embarrassing moments to all of us.

Pages: 336
Date Finished, August 8, 2012

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