Since reading this memoir a few years ago, I have gifted five copies to friends. Although this book came out in 2012, I’ve decided to write about it here – that way I feel like I am gifting it to you. You’re welcome. You deserve a treat.
This book is about growing up in rural Texas with a lunch lady mom and a taxidermist father, but you will find you have more in common with the author than imagined. Rather than try to explain the subject of the book, I tell my friends, “If you don’t laugh when reading the table of contents, then you are probably too high brow for Jenny Lawson’s humor. If you get a couple of giggles, read on.”
Here’s a few sample titles:
- I was a Three-Year-Old Arsonist
- Don’t Tell Your Parents
- Jenkins, You Motherfucker
- If You Need an Arm Condom, It Might Be Time to Reevaluate Some of Your Life Choices
- If You See My Liver, You’ve Gone Too Far
- Hairless Rats: Free for Kids Only
- It Wasn’t Even My Crack
Okay, you get the idea.
Jenny Lawson writes in hilarious, stream of consciousness rants that feel like drunken conversations with old friends. It’s possible she wrote most of the book while drinking wine slushies. At times she touches on heavy subjects like mental illness, infertility or loss, but I never felt as if I was being held captive by someone while they explain how they “persevered against all odds”. Sometimes after gifting this book, I wonder if the recipient might be offended by Lawson’s language or explaining what it means to be “dressing a deer” but Jenny warns us in the beginning:
“That shit is going to happen all the time. I apologize in advance for that, and also for offending you, because you’re going to get halfway through this book and giggle at non sequiturs about Hitler and abortions and poverty, and you’ll feel superior to all the uptight, easily offended people who need to learn how to take a fucking joke, but then somewhere in here you’ll read one random thing that you’re sensitive about, and everyone else will think it’s hysterical, but you’ll think, ‘Oh, that is way over the line.’ I apologize for that one thing. Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking.”
This is my go-to book when I am “in between books,” reading a few chapters while I consider my next tome. Each time I open the book I re-discover a funny quote that I think a friend of mine will enjoy, and then I am off to buy another book to gift.
One of my favorite quotes: “Druggies can be surprisingly judgmental. It’s pretty much the only social circle where the same people you just witnessed shooting horse tranquilizers up one another’s butts will actually look down at you for not being as cool as them.”
Check out Jenny Lawson’s blog: The Bloggess