Sunday 18 November 2012
CBR4 Book 96: "Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)" by Jenny Lawson, the Bloggess
Rating: 5 stars
Date begun: October 18th, 2012
Date finished: October 19th, 2012
I'm ashamed to say that I'd not really heard of the Bloggess, Jenny Lawson, before I read this book. I'd also seen it reviewed in this year's Cannonball a bunch of times (I just counted - 11 people have already reviewed it), but never really paid any attention (or read the reviews - I'm sorry, guys), mainly because I saw the mouse on the cover and assumed it was a children's book or something. I did, however, read the review featured on Pajiba, and that's what finally made me realize that I had to get a copy for myself. I have since gone back and read all the other reviews - so many good writers on this blog this year!
I don't think I have laughed as loudly or as much, or annoyed my husband with insisting on reading bits out loud to him when he was busy doing something, with any book this year, or for as long as I can remember. Jenny Lawson's writing is hysterically funny, and several times I had to put the book down because I was wheezing for breath.
Jenny Lawson writes honestly and tragi-comically about her childhood in rural Texas, about her slightly scary taxidermist dad, about the poverty she grew up with, about her anxiety attacks, meeting her husband and their subsequent marriage, her difficulty conceiving, her many different and difficult health issues, and I'm now an avid follower of her blog, still reading my way backward through the bits I've missed.
While the book made me laugh, it also made me so glad that this woman is out there, sharing her life and her experiences in this way. It also made me deeply sympathetic for her husband, and I now feel so much better about my husband's "funny little ways", because even at his worst, it's nothing like some of the stuff I read about in this book. Unlike several of the comic celebrity biographies I've read, this affected me more, because Lawson is a regular person, who just happens to have a gift at writing about her life.
I'm sorry I didn't discover the book sooner, so I could join in the general chorus of acclaim for this book. I will from now on do my very best to obnoxiously pimp it to all my friends, to ensure that Lawson gets another book deal and will keep writing.