Title: Let's Pretend This Never Happened
Author: Jenny Lawson
Published: 2012 Pages: 336
In Short: The Bloggess Jenny Lawson shares her stories that at one time she might have pretended never happened but now realizes these are the stories that have shaped her into who she is.
Why I Read: In part because of the BlogHer Bookclub and in part because I was a teeny tiny bit curious what all the hype was about.
Thoughts in General: Confession – I don't read The Bloggess's website. I've been forwarded a few of her posts in the past and when Google Reader used to allow sharing (bring it back!!!) I read a few then. I thought they were funny but mostly too long to read all the way through. So when the book came out I didn't jump on the bandwagon and when she showed up at my local bookstore for a book signing I skipped it and went to book club instead (it was our first meeting at the store). And then I heard some things about the book signing that turned me off a bit from the book and the author.
But ya'll—it's tough to ignore the fact that this book is touted as one of the funniest memoirs out there.
And funny it is. Let's Pretend This Never Happened is a series of short stories that are strung together with the common theme of crazy. Crazy parents (ok, just her dad), crazy upbringing in a crazy small town (which is about 80 miles from where I lived when I lived out west), sane husband who puts up with all of Jenny's crazy—which I'm pretty sure makes him crazy, crazy life after deciding to quit desk job to become a writer. There were entire chapters where I laughed out loud. The wild maniacal laugh that generates worrisome stares from bystanders (or husbands). No topic is too sacred for Jenny's biting wit and sarcasm and it was probably a good thing that I read this one mostly in the privacy of my bed and my secret reading cube at work.
Though much of the book is ridiculously funny (or just ridiculous), there are moments of a more serious Bloggess where her vulnerability and true self shines through--her chapter about her repeat miscarriages and the subsequent fear while she was pregnant with her daughter had me nearly in tears and I felt like reaching through the book and offering a hug when she explained her extreme social anxiety. I have to admit that I was always glad to get back to the less serious stories, though, and there were some stories where her rambling got the best of her and I might have done a bit of skimming. In the end her editor could have put down a firmer foot (though from all the notes in the book it sounds like Jenny had that editor whipped).
Bottom Line: I'll make it really easy for you by typing out two words I'm pretty sure I've never typed before on this blog. You could make a drinking game out of Jenny's use of vagina and fuck and be quite hammered by the end of the second chapter. If either of these words in excess make you uncomfortable, I'd go ahead and skip this book. However, this is perhaps the funniest book I've ever read--funnier than Tina Fey, funnier than David Sedaris, and I'm sure there was another funny book I once read. So there you go.
Have you read Let's Pretend This Never Happened? I'm curious what your favorite story is except then I'd have to tell you that I found the episiotomy chapter the funniest of the bunch--and that just makes me sound crazy (though I sound even crazier when trying to explain this to my husband). And now you either really want to read the book or more likely don't. I'm sorry....
Seriously, though--thoughts on Let's Pretend This Never Happened?
Disclaimer: This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are entirely my own. To read more discussion about Let's Pretend This Never Happened, visit the BlogHer Book Club page.