Genre: Memoir, Humor
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: 2015
Length: 8 hours, 20 minutes
Narrated by: Jenny Lawson
From Library Journal:
Lawson (Let’s Pretend This Never Happened) returns with another autobiographical work, this one focused on her experiences living with mental illness. The title comes from a hashtag Lawson started on Twitter after a friend’s death to encourage people living with depression and anxiety to stockpile ridiculous, joyful memories “to take into battle with us when our brains declare war on our very existence.” Her own furiously happy exploits lead to stories about her collection of odd taxidermy, the time she rented a sloth and a wallaby to surprise her husband and daughter, and a trip to Australia, where she donned a kangaroo costume in an effort to get closer to wild kangaroos. As delightful as much of the book is, -Lawson is also candid about her struggles with depression, self-harm, and crippling anxiety, the difficulties of nailing down the right combination of medications to treat her conditions, and her fears about the effects of her illness on her family.
I enjoy reading Jenny Lawson’s blog and I also liked listening to her first book so I was kind or predisposed to like this second book and I did.
I know that Lawson’s writing style is not for everyone and I’m the first to admit that I enjoy her work in small doses. Because I only listen to audiobooks when I’m in the car alone I tend to consume all my audiobooks in small bits and pieces of 10 to 30 minute increments. I think that had a lot to do with why I enjoyed this book.
Lawson is funny but at the same time she touches on serious subjects such as mental illness, chronic medical conditions, and depression.
It’s not all fun and games in this book. For all the times I laughed out loud there were times I nearly cried or nodded my head in understanding.
Here are a few favorite quotes:
I’ve tried many torturous techniques to make my outsides fit the ridiculous standards society has set but it never ends well because my body lives in reality and it’s a reality that has too much cheese in it.
I just told him that I wasn’t a fan of paying money to inject paralyzing poison into my face and that I was actually quite proud of my laugh lines, which I view as a badge that tells people I’m not an asshole.
I don’t have arachnophobia (irrational fear of spiders) because fear of spiders is perfectly rational so I refuse to recognize it as a “disorder”.
Jenny Lawson is not a professional narrator but I cannot imagine anyone else narrating her books. I liked the part where she told about her initial struggles with narrating her first book. A timely text conversation with Neil Gaiman and his advice to “pretend you’re good at it” (which she wrote on her arm) got her over the fear.
The audiobook has a bonus chapter that is not included in the print edition and the first part of if reminded me of myself and my many book blogging friends.
I am a natural introvert and I used to feel quite bad about that because I thought it was weird. But it turns out that there are tons of us but none of us were aware of it because we were all too busy not talking to each other. Then the internet was invented and the introverts united but separately and in our own houses and we realized that there are more of us than them and there are so many of us we could probably take over the world if the world wasn’t so full of people we’d be forced to talk to in person.
3.5/5 for the book
3/5 for the narration