Published by Amy Einhorn: Putnam on April 17th 2012
Genres: Nonfiction, Memoir, Humor
Format: Audiobook, Hardcover
Narrator: Jenny Lawson
Source: I Own This, Library
Length: 8 hours 43 minutes
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For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris—Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut. Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives — the ones we’d like to pretend never happened — are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.
I read this book as part of a work book club. It’s definitely a little outside of my comfort zone because I don’t usually read memoirs, even funny ones. I had never read anything by Jenny Lawson prior to picking up this book. I also wasn’t familiar with her blog, The Bloggess. This book is a collection of funny stories from Jenny Lawson’s life – from her childhood through adulthood.
I definitely recommend listening to this on audio! Like most memoirs, the audiobook is read by Jenny Lawson herself. I first started by reading this with the hardback copy and I was having a hard time enjoying it. I was mostly reading before bed, but I would read a few pages and then fall asleep from boredom. I was having a hard time really grasping her humor from just reading the words on the page. I actually didn’t think she was very funny at first – it seemed a little forced and a little over the top to me! Since I was reading this for a book club, I went ahead and got the audiobook from Audible.com. I’m so glad I decided to try the audiobook because once I heard Jenny Lawson telling the stories herself, everything became so much more funny. I actually would recommend listening to the book but still having a physical copy to flip through. This is because the physical book includes real pictures and captions of things from the stories she tells. It’s so fun to flip through and see the pictures as you’re listening!
As bizarre as some of Jenny Lawson’s stories are, I really enjoyed them! Most of them were hilarious and relatable one some level. I grew up in Texas, although not in as rural as an area as she did, and I connected with a lot of the Texas-related stories (not to say that her description of Texas applies to the whole state – definitely does not!). Jenny Lawson also talks a lot about her anxiety and how it affects her life, especially her social life. While my anxiety (mostly social anxiety) isn’t nearly on the same level as hers, I really connected to a lot of her stories relating to this topic. I loved hearing her take on her anxiety and I loved the positive and funny spin she put on it. She also talks about how she started blogging and her blogging community, which is something I also really connected with! She really learns to accept herself for who she is, despite her quirkiness and anxiety and I loved that! I think its something that a lot of introverted people, like readers, would connect with.
I really enjoyed this memoir – Jenny Lawson is hilarious! I now follow her on Twitter and occasionally check out her blog. I connected with many different aspects of her stories, from the Texas setting, to how her anxiety affects her life, to her ties to the blogging community. I definitely would like to read her next memoir because (Furiously Happy), which I think focuses a little more on mental health. If you decide to pick this up, I definitely recommend doing a combination of the audiobook (to really understand her humor) and a physical copy (to see the hilarious pictures!).