Thursday, October 20, 2016

Furiously Happy

Furiously Happy
A Funny Book About Horrible Things
Jenny Lawson

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

Genre: Memoir

Summary (from Goodreads): In LET'S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, Jenny Lawson baffled readers with stories about growing up the daughter of a taxidermist. In her new book, FURIOUSLY HAPPY, Jenny explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. And terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

According to Jenny: "Some people might think that being 'furiously happy' is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he's never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos."

"Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you'd never guess because we've learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, 'We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.' Except go back and cross out the word 'hiding.'"

Jenny's first book, LET'S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, was ostensibly about family, but deep down it was about celebrating your own weirdness. FURIOUSLY HAPPY is a book about mental illness, but under the surface it's about embracing joy in fantastic and outrageous ways-and who doesn't need a bit more of that?

Review: It's amazing that someone can write a hilariously funny book about depression and anxiety disorder, but that's exactly what Lawson has done.  She depicts the joys of living a quiet life at home with her family, the frustrations and amusements of disagreeing with her husband, the nervousness and fun of traveling around the world, and the crushing darkness of falling into depression.  What I loved best (besides the delightful bizarreness of her obsession with taxidermied animals) was  when she talked about all the people who commented on her blog because they related to her mental illnesses and were glad to realize that they were not alone.  How amazing that one woman's writing about her life was able to convince 14 people not to commit suicide!

Rating: 5 stars

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