Books : reviews

Jenny Lawson.
Let's Pretend This Never Happened.
Picador. 2012

rating : 2 : great stuff
review : 3 August 2014

Every teenager wants to fit in and be just like everybody else. So imagine how hard that is when your father runs a taxidermy business out of the family home, your mother runs the student cafeteria, and your sister has just been elected high school mascot, which means she walks the halls in a giant bird costume. But as Jenny Lawson grows up, falls in love, gets engaged – in a way that is as disastrous as it is romantic – and starts a family of her own, she learns that life’s most absurd and humiliating moments, the ones we wish we could pretend had never happened, are the very same moments that make us who we are.

If you already know Jenny Lawson as The Bloggess, then you will know what to expect (mostly). If you don’t, then go and subscribe to her blog immediately!

Terrifying, startling, disturbing, but mainly laugh-out-loud funny, this tells certain incidents in Lawson’s life that many might think implausible, but for which there is significant evidence (we’ve seen the photos of Beyoncé the giant metal chicken, after all). It’s all (mostly) in the same breezy style as her blog, even when the incidents are what most people would think as traumatic. We see more of Jenny’s childhood, and of Victor, than in the blog posts. There’s blood, and romance, and bobcats, and panic attacks, and zombies, and stuffed animals, all rolled into one.

Great stuff.

Jenny Lawson.
Furiously Happy.
Picador. 2015

In Furiously Happy, Jenny Lawson – also known as The Bloggess – explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea.

But terrible ideas are what Jenny Lawson does best…