Adult · Book Reviews · Books · Non-Fiction

Book Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

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My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I didn’t need to buy another book, I really didn’t. However, after finishing Furiously Happy, I had to read Jenny Lawson’s first book. I had to. The universe demanded it. Who am I to say no to the universe like that?

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is a memoir, sharing the mortifying, bizarre, and hilarious things that have happened throughout Lawson’s life. It’s different than Furiously Happy, as in mental health is not the sole focus of each chapter, but it’s still a present topic throughout.

I loved getting to read more about Jenny’s life antics. Even her more serious stories will make you laugh out loud and wonder what the hell you just read. (There were a few evenings in which I laughed out loud while laying in bed reading this book. Boyfriend may or may not have been trying to sleep next to me. He is now most likely questioning why he ever asked me to move in with him.)

The book has more stories about Lawson’s fondness for bad taxidermy, the “joys” of motherhood, the zombie apocalypse, her pets, and the time she overdosed on laxatives during a home invasion…just to name a few highlights.

I swear, this woman is my new hero. I fucking love her.

Books · Non-Fiction

Currently Reading (and 2018 Reading Goals)

Happy New Year, lovely readers! I hope everyone had a safe, happy New Years Eve celebration, whether you were out partying or staying home with family. We had a quiet night at home with the fur babies, beer, and a few episodes of Black Mirror.

Keeping with the Monday tradition, here’s what I am currently reading:

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Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is Jenny Lawson’s first book. Since I loved Furiously Happy I knew I had to read this book and see if it’s nearly as good. (So far it is.) I am also still trudging my way through Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings. It’s taking me a little longer than expected, as it’s super long and a bit slow at times.

Since it’s the start of a brand new year it’s time for new reading goals! I was pretty pleased with how well I did with my reading goals last year, so this year I’m going to aim a little higher. Last year I wanted to read 30 books (I managed 36!). This year’s goal is to read a minimum of 40. I don’t get much more particular than that with my goals. I know some people like to do challenges where they read a certain amount of books from a particular genre or read only new releases. I don’t like to do these kinds of challenges though, as what books I choose to read are largely based on what mood I am in at the time.

Goals

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Did you set any reading goals for yourself? How many books do you think you’ll read in 2018?

Adult · Books · Fantasy · Favorites · Fiction · Non-Fiction · Young Adult

Favorite Reads of 2017

  • Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson – Brilliant. Asolutely fucking brilliant. Jenny Lawson may have changed my life with this one.
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – I really enjoyed all of the books in the series, but this one grabbed me the most. The complexity of the relationship between Feyre and Rhysand was awesome. I loved the way they understood each other and learned how to help and lean on each other after going through such traumatic events. Their story was way more than I anticipated.
  • Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – Rothfuss is an amazing storyteller. The detail and history that make up Kvothe’s story are definitely worth a read. I’m still waiting on the last book to come out, but I have no doubt that it’s going to be something epic.
  • Shadow and Seas by Colleen Oakes – I devoured parts 2 and 3 of the Wendy Darling series faster than any other books this year. Oakes managed to improve the beloved tale of Peter Pan and then some. It was a beautiful world and an even more beautiful story, even with it’s sinister twists. I cried a little on the inside when I finished these because I didn’t want them to be over.
Adult · Book Reviews · Books · mental health · Non-Fiction

Mini Book Review: Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Loving Yourself

I dislike self-help books. I’ve mentioned it enough times on my blog now that I won’t make you suffer through that rant again…Seriously though, why are self-help books usually so text-book like? Odds are, if you have a problem you already know what the problem is. You don’t need someone over-explaining anxiety to you. In fact, that in itself is likely to cause more anxiety. OMG, ARE WE GETTING GRADED ON THIS?!?! I DIDN’T STUDY.

Recently, during one of my frustrating visits to the self-help aisle, I picked up this tiny book:

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It’s a compendium of stories and self-revelations submitted to TinyBuddha.com by its readers. If you know me personally you are probably laughing right now, given that this is so not me. I am not the spiritual or enlightened type. I hate dislike yoga and anything that is remotely new-agey. I’ve never even been to TinyBuddha.com and I don’t want my chi cleansed. When I saw the title and cover of this book I almost put it immediately back on the shelf. Given that I was in a messy state that evening, having just lost my cat, I clearly wasn’t thinking properly. I flipped through a few of the stories, expecting them to be spiritual and full of all those things I typically scoff at, but was incorrect. (Funny how things can surprise you when you let go of your preconceived notions for a moment, no?) Enough of what I saw resonated with me that I decided to bite the bullet and just take the tiny little Buddha book home with me…and hide it so that nobody would laugh.

The stories shared in this book all share a common theme: learning to love and accept yourself. They’re about letting go of negativity, embracing your flaws, learning to be comfortable in your own skin, and letting go of the need to seek approval from others. I won’t say that this book changed my life of anything, but some of the stories definitely spoke to me and offered good advice. This is definitely a good tool to refer to when I am having a bad body image day or being hard on myself.

I recommend checking it out if you’re ever in need of a boost.

Adult · Books · Favorites · Non-Fiction

Book Review: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

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My Rating: 10 out of 5 stars

First, I would just like to say one thing: JENNY LAWSON IS AN ABSOLUTE FUCKING DELIGHTI love her. I don’t know her in real life, but I wish I did so I could hug her for writing this book.

Furiously Happy is a book about being just that. Living your life being furiously happy, despite the bane of mental illness following you everywhere you go. Lawson brilliantly illustrates this concept with brilliant anecdotes about overly excited, taxidermied raccoons that are so hilarious they had me laughing out loud in public places. (If you don’t fall in love with her immediately upon reading this story, you should probably just put the book down at that point.)

The book is broken down into individual stories, rather than long chapters, which makes it very accessible. The stories detail some of the outrageous situations Lawson has been in and how her mental health has come into play. She doesn’t sugar coat any of the struggle that comes with depression and anxiety, but finds a way to present it in a more humorous, light-hearted manner instead. There wasn’t a single thing in this book that I haven’t been able to relate to at some point or another. The ups, the downs, the fear, the panic, the irrationality, the horrible shit your brain tells you late at night…it’s all there, but it’s nicely wrapped up in a fuzzy koala suit.

The dialogue between Jenny and her husband, Victor, were absurdly endearing. (This would also be an excellent read for anyone in a relationship with somebody who struggles with mental illness.) Her sense of humor is so out there at times that you can’t help but chuckle.

In addition to humor, there is amazing advice in this book, some of which comes from the author herself and some of which had been handed down to her. I found myself flagging several passages in the book that I already know I will be re-reading again and again.

People have claimed that this book has saved their lives and I can totally see why. While I’ve struggled a good deal this past year, I am not currently standing out on a ledge. As someone who has visited that ledge frequently, however, I know that this book too will also help keep me grounded and will help me during future dark periods.

Whether you struggle with mental health issues or not, read this book. Buy it for everyone you know. Scream it’s praises from the rooftops. And most of all, be furiously fucking happy.

Adult · Books · Non-Fiction

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I finished up Sand by Hugh Howey this weekend. (Review to follow.) I’ve moved on to Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson.

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Don’t you just love the cover? I don’t know much about the book, other than it supposedly talks about living with depression and anxiety in a humorous light.

I could use a good laugh right now. This Monday has been kicking my ass already.

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What are you currently reading? 

Adult · Books · Fiction · Non-Fiction · Sci-Fi

Currently Reading

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I picked this one up a few months ago when we spent the weekend in Raleigh. I didn’t know anything about the book or the author when I bought it,  but I’ve heard really good things about it since. (Check out the blurb on Goodreads. Sounds interesting, no?)

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I’ve also been reading/skimming through Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Loving Yourself. I got this one a few weeks ago during another ill-fated trip to the self-help aisle. Some of it is a little too new-agey for me, but some of the stories are interesting and relevant to my own issues. As I’ve said before, I’m not a big fan of self-help books in general, but I’m trying whatever I can.