Woooeeeee we’ve got another first for ivereadthis: a double book review!!!! I figured it made sense to cover both of Jenny Lawson’s (aka The Bloggess) books in one post, because they are quite similar, and if you like one, you’re pretty much guaranteed to like the other.

my lame attempt at my own midnight cat rodeo...you'll have to read her second book for this to make sense to you
my lame attempt at my own midnight cat rodeo…you’ll have to read her second book for this to make sense to you

Her first book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is funny and heart-warming. It’s a memoir, and details her wacky childhood living in rural Texas with a taxidermist father, extremely understanding mother, and perfectly-seeming sister. It then follows Lawson into her college life, where she meets her lovable husband Victor, who seems like the most incredibly understanding and good humoured man on earth. They also have a lovely daughter, although she’s not mentioned very much, which I completely respect, simply because it’s weird when people give too much information to the public about their kids.

Her second book Furiously Happy is really funny, but also really heart-warming because it further explains her mental illness(es), of which she has a few. She’s extremely anxious, has a sleeping disorder, and also fights bouts of crippling depression. Which of course sounds very un-funny when I list them like that, but somehow, Lawson has managed to write a hilarious book about a very difficult topic, which is such a good thing, because it’s something we need to talk about more openly, and more often.

She opens her second book by explaining that she has decided to be furiously happy, to help negate the depressive states she sometimes finds herself in; basically, a way to fully enjoy the times she is not depressed, by living them to the max. For instance, she relates a hilarious adventures wherein she flies to Australia with a fellow friend, dresses up as a koala bear, and tries to hold a koala. Now, you’re not really allowed to hold koalas in many parts of Australia anymore, so she settles on having her picture taken in a koala costume beside a koala, but close enough (literally).

Something even more interesting about Lawson’s story is the fact that she’s quite famous. Her blog gets thousands of hits a day, and there are a ton of videos online of her giving public talks, making conference appearances, etc. She refers to this a bit in her book as well. Shockingly, she doesn’t get nervous taking to large crowds of people, she is more anxious about finding the venue on time, not getting lost, etc. Same with flying: she fears her trip to the airport and getting lost in the terminals, but when she finally settles into her seat, her anxiety disappears.

As a (very minor in comparison) blogger myself, I must admit I was a bit jealous when visiting her site; it’s clear that she’s incredibly good at blogging, and is very successful. To know you have that massive of an audience online must be empowering, but she’s incredibly humble about it, which makes it difficult to resent her success.

So, there you have it, two really funny books about one quirky gal, I recommend buying both at the same time to get the full effect.

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