Thursday, July 5, 2012

Book Review: "Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)"

"Let's Pretend This Never Happened" by Jenny Lawson
First published in 2012
My rating 4.5 out of 5
(image source)

I laughed out loud so many times while reading "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" that the dog and cat stopped bothering to look concernedly at me to assess whether or not I was dying or going crazy.

This memoir, which chronicles the bizarre and hilarious life of Jenny Lawson, "The Bloggess," is full of outlandish, often self-deprecating, usually mostly true anecdotes.

The book begins with Jenny's traumatizing/amazing childhood in the tiny, rural town of Wall, Texas, where her father's hobby of taxidermy eventually turned into a bustling business. Her childhood was filled with all the horrors and wonders one would expect of growing up in rural West Texas with a taxidermist father -- magic talking (dead) squirrels, a bathtub full of (live) baby raccoons, a henhouse made out of filing cabinets, artificially inseminating a cow... Then Jenny meets her future husband, they fight over zombies and towels, they move to Houston, they have a baby, Jenny begins her blogging career, they move back to the country and their home becomes infested with scorpions and "foxen," she obtains a 5-foot-tall metal chicken -- and all of these milestones and more are accompanied by seemingly endless funny stories, often at the author's expense.

But the book also has some poignant, heartfelt, honest moments and a very positive message overall. In one of the last paragraphs of the book, Jenny writes: " are defined not by life's imperfect moments but by your reaction to them. Because there is joy in embracing -- rather than running screaming from -- the utter absurdity of life." This memoir is bursting with imperfect, absurd (mostly hilarious) moments, but they made Jenny the person she is and shaped the great life she has, and she's grateful for that.

To be honest, I'd never heard of The Bloggess before, and I really only picked the book up because I was intrigued by the artwork and the fact that one of the reviews on the back cover contained the f-word. But I got lucky, as the book proved to be a joy to read. I checked out Jenny's blog and, not surprisingly, it seems to be filled with the same witty, funny and insightful writing as her mostly true memoir.

Happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. This book sounds like a good read. I'll out it on my list.


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