In 2017, I read a total of six books. SIX.
That’s like, one book every two months.
As someone who grew up as a “flashlight under the covers” literary addict, I want to make it a point to read a book a month this year- Invest in myself by indulging in one of my favorite hobbies. I also wish to expand in scope: uncover self-help secrets, dabble in humorous scripts, breeze through mysteries and memoirs…
And since writing holds me accountable, I figured that this blog might be a good place to share some of my thoughts on the pages I pursue.
So to begin- My January Read.
“Let’s Pretend That This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir,” by Jenny Lawson, was given to me by my cousin’s husband on a cozy January New England night when I found myself fireside with nothing to read. My go-to genre is rarely comedy, but he assured me that it was laugh-out-loud funny and an extremely easy page-turner.
I will start by saying that it took some time for me to warm up to Jenny. The book is, obviously, about her and several extremely embarrassing recounts of her life, from childhood memories, living in a home with a taxidermist on a “farm” in rural Texas, to her experimental years of young adulthood with drugs, alcohol, and men. She recalls full pastimes in some chapters, welcomes readers into her home and introduces guests such as pajama- wearing raccoons and Daffodil the Duck, while in other chapters, she breezes through, only divulging details of crass conversations between her and her husband or coworkers.
Although Jenny mentions her editor, some parts of the book lack editing and although it might add to the charm, for some, I felt like there were a lot of unnecessary streams of consciousness and vulgar obscenities in very random places. Perhaps I should read something else, like one of Chelsea Handler’s books, to compare styles of humor in print.
However, I was amused by the fact that she did put some very bold ideas out there, things that people think about but would never say aloud. (Think: Parenting Ugly Babies & Poisoning The Food Of Your Spouse) Props to Jenny Larson.
I also found Jenny relatable in some areas of the book, especially when talking about wanting to move back to her childhood town after swearing that she’d never put her daughter through the same type of backdrop that she endured.
“ …I had to admit that I found myself feeling sorry for Hailey. For not being able to go explore the canals, or feed deer in the yard, or have memories of playing with baby racoons in the house.” … “And so that’s when I found myself convincing Victor that we should move to the country with a few acres of land, so Hailey could run, and explore, and experience a little of the fucked up sort of rural life that had made Victor and me able to pretend to be comfortable in many different social circles without ever actually fitting into any of them.”
I rate this book 3.5 out of 5: It’s an easy read, and you don’t have to skim lackluster chapters because they are very short, some just mere conversations. There are some lessons, some laugh out loud moments, a lot of curse words and other obscenities. I found myself rolling my eyes during some instances, I caught my jaw dropped or chuckling, shaking my head in disbelief during other monologues. In short, it didn’t suck.
I’d go on a yoga retreat with Jenny Larson.
FINAL SCORE: 3.5
BEST FOR: Solo Beach Trips & Sunday Mornings Under The Covers
NOT GOOD FOR: Plane Rides, Work Break Room… Anywhere Around People
IF THIS BOOK/ AUTHOR WAS A HIGH SCHOOL STEREOTYPE: Jenny Would Definitely Be The Class Clown. I’d Want Her At My Lunch Table.