Dear Fellow Readers:
This week we are moving into a mixed genre of Autobiography and Humor. I seem to be on quite a roll here with changing genres each week.
Once again like Historical Fiction, which I seem to end up reading a lot of when I don’t mean to, I do not generally read Autobiographies. There isn’t a great reason why I don’t but somehow, they don’t seem to rise to the top of my TBR pile.
BUT… I will always make an exception for Jenny Lawson. I realize it is very possible that you have never heard of Jenny Lawson. Or is it just that I think that no one else’s mind works the same way as mine? Anyway…. I think that I first heard about Jenny Lawson at a convention for bloggers. Yes, there is such a thing, and I went once. Jenny Lawson is The Blogress. (https://thebloggess.com/) and she is funny. Her first book, Let’s Pretend It Never Happened was hysterical. It came out in 2012 and I still remember some of the funny parts. This is saying a lot because I have read many books since 2012.
In Broken, Jenny Lawson blends very funny stories with her own story of depression and anxiety. The book seesaws between laugh out loud funny– I did laugh out loud and would read parts to Silent Sam who didn’t seem to appreciate the humor as much as I did – and parts where you just want to help her through her bad times. She is honest about her bad times and what she has done to try and help herself. She is under a doctor’s care and in the book, you follow her problems with side effects and fighting the insurance company. The book is a look into her world and how debilitating and funny it can be. The stories she tells about herself will make you feel better about every time you have said the wrong thing. (It is a wonder that her husband ever takes a conference call at home.)
The most succinct way I can sum up the book is to say that it will break your heart while you are laughing. Her perspective is her own. She is obviously very intelligent – her mind makes leaps that frequently seem completely different than where my mind would go in a particular instance, but her leaps do make sense when you read them.
At the end of the book, there is a section called “A Note about the Cover”. In it, she talks about how she ran across the artwork of Omar Rayyan. In his artwork, he has
“…strange and whimsical paintings of people carrying their own baffling little monsters, dangerous looking creatures that were wild and untamed and often happily destroying everything around them. I suspect I’m projecting, but I’ve never seen a collection of art that more perfectly encapsulated how I felt about my own battle with depression and anxiety and the monsters in my head…”
She goes on to talk about her personal “beasties” and how they are terrible but there is something about our personal beasts that is wonderful and unique to each of us.
“Embrace your beasties. Love your awkwardness. Enjoy yourself. Celebrate the bizarreness that is you because, I assure you, you are more wondrous than you can possibly imagine… monsters and all.”
And that is her message to all of us. We are all wonderful in our own way. And after reading her story, it is moving that her desire is to build you up while it is such a struggle for her.
Yes, Yes, Yes, I recommend this book. It is not easy and not fun all the way but it is beautiful in its own way. (And I was given a ARC of the book in exchange for my honest review.)
Thanks for reading.