This is my second Jenny Lawson book and as long as she keeps writing them, it won’t be my last.
I’ve previously posted a review about Jenny’s first book “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – an almost true memoir” – a hilarious look at her dysfunctional/delightful childhood.
Her second book “Furiously Happy” which delivers on Jenny’s antics since the last novel, is equally as funny but touches on the truth behind (her) mental health issues and helps those of us fortunate enough not to suffer from depression and anxiety a glimpse of its trappings.
In Furiously Happy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea.
But terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.
As Jenny says:
Furiously Happy is about “taking those moments when things are fine and making them amazing, because those moments are what make us who we are, and they’re the same moments we take into battle with us when our brains declare war on our very existence. It’s the difference between “surviving life” and “living life”. It’s the difference between “taking a shower” and “teaching your monkey butler how to shampoo your hair.” It’s the difference between being “sane” and being “furiously happy.”
Lawson is beloved around the world for her inimitable humor and honesty, and in Furiously Happy, she is at her snort-inducing funniest. This is a book about embracing everything that makes us who we are – the beautiful and the flawed – and then using it to find joy in fantastic and outrageous ways. Because as Jenny’s mom says, “Maybe ‘crazy’ isn’t so bad after all.” Sometimes crazy is just right.
I found the book was paced well – a series of short stories about insane antics were interspersed with the symptoms of her insanity. Her candor in both scenarios was honest, self-deprecating and utterly irresistible.
In a therapy session with her psychiatrist Jenny brings up random imaginations, that quite frankly are valid like:
“Is it normal to regret not making a sex tape back when you were younger and your boobs still pointed vaguely at the ceiling when you were lying on your back? Because I feel like no one ever talks about that”.
“Everyone is born with extra fingers. God expects you to cut a few off during your journey, otherwise he wouldn’t have made power tools so awesome.”
When I was in junior high most of the girls in my class were focused on the Three P’s: popular, pretty and petite. It was obvious I had no chance at succeeding at any of these so I considered creating my own Three P’s. I’d inadvertently cornered the market on “peculiar” but I couldn’t think of any other good “P”words. My Mom suggested “papillose,”which means “possessing nipples”, but I thought she was aiming rather low, even for me.”
We’ve all been there – to some degree or another – and while “possessing nipples” isn’t as exclusive a clique as pretty, petite and popular, it would serve us all well to follow her lead.
If you are looking for a relatable and /or entertaining read this Spring, I highly recommend “Furiously Happy”, it is funny, it is poignant and best of all – it is real.
Two thumbs up from the cheap seats (while I still have them and the power tools haven’t taken them as sacrificial offerings).
Have a great one!
- Between Naps on the Porch
- Skip to my Lou