Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, 2012
Nonfiction; 336 pgs
I cannot remember who first introduced me to Jenny Lawson's blog, The Bloggess. I do remember the story I read though. It involved her husband, her promise not to buy towels, and a large metal chicken named Beyonce. I thought it was hilarious and so shared with my husband. He didn't laugh. I'm pretty sure he rolled his eyes. I forgot about Jenny and her chicken. Until, that is, I came across another blog post of hers that I couldn't help but share with my husband. Soon I was a faithful follower of Jenny's blog, her posts never failing to make me smile, and more often than not, laugh out loud.
Still, I wasn't sure I wanted to read her book. I'm not a huge memoir fan, particularly of celebrities. And while not a huge celebrity, Jenny is one just the same. My husband decided for me. He got the book via Audible.com and told me I had to listen to it. And so I did. I love Jenny. She is crazy and witty and insightful. She is funny and smart and oh so human. I laughed, I cried, and I can't recommend the audio version of the book enough. And in some ways, I could relate to her.
There is no better narrator for her own story than Jenny herself. I admit to being curious about the paper version of the book in part because it really felt like she was talking to me, the reader, with all the asides and tangents. I can't help but wonder how that looks in book format, if it translates quite as well. In the book, Jenny shares stories from her life, from childhood to adulthood. She grew up poor but happy, her father a taxidermist who often brought his work home with him, and a mother who was a cafeteria worker. Jenny talks about the the time she got her arm stuck in a cow's vagina, about working in the Human Resources department, her miscarriage, her struggle with mental health issues, her dog's death, and her daughter's birth. She shares how she met her husband and about her father's eccentricities. Jenny uses humor a lot, including to offset some of the more serious issues she discusses. She curses, she jumps from subject to subject, following a train of thought that may raise your eyebrows, and she opens herself up for the readers, laying herself bare. Even despite her social anxiety disorder. There's something to be said for that.
I liked the book quite a bit and can highly recommend it. I suppose it wouldn't be for everyone, but I hope you'll give it a try if you haven't already. At least take a look at her blog and get a feel for what she's like to see if her book would be for you or not.
Source: My husband bought a copy of the audio book and shared it with me.
© 2012, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.