on October 1st 2015
"It's the difference between surviving life and living life. It's the difference between taking a shower and teaching your monkey butler how to shampoo your hair."
Jenny Lawson - aka The Bloggess - returns with the follow-up to her bestselling memoir Let's Pretend This Never Happened, recounting stories from everyday family life in her inimitably frank, hilarious, bizarre and endearing way. She describes her battles with depression and anxiety and her quest to overcome them by saying yes to even the absurdist opportunities and making the good times gloriously good. For as Jenny says: 'You can't experience pain without also experiencing the baffling and ridiculous moments of being fiercely, unapologetically, intensely and (above all) furiously happy...' It's a philosophy that has - quite literally - saved her life.
This is my 500th book. I have read 500 books! I DNFed a bunch but I also reread a bunch so it sort of adds up. FIVE HUNDRED. This was a really good book to set that milestone with. The author is delightfully quirky and also slightly crazy and absurd and I loved every word of it.
“There will be moments when you have to act like a grown-up. Those moments are tricks. Do not fall for them.”
I won’t say too much about Furiously Happy, because I really think the element of surprise is one of the best things about the book. Most of the stories in this book are downright bizarre, and on more than one occasion I thought to myself, “There is no way that actually happened”, and then BOOM, the author provides photographic evidence, and blew my mind once again.
“[…] my friend Laura asked if I’d come with her on a trip sponsored by the People Who Want You to Go to Australia. I said no because I’m the only person in the world who hates to travel, and because I knew that everything in Australia wants to kill you as violently and painfully as possible.”
Not only does the author wonderfully explain what it’s like to live with mental illness, but she also makes you laugh about it, which is something we all need to do – take life a little less seriously. On top of that, you get amazing stories about cuddling koalas in a koala suit, taxidermied raccoons, a shitload of possums, and lots of other things you never thought you’d read.
“As the doctor walked me out he told me to ‘stop worrying so much’ […] and I made a note to tell my shrink the breaking news that the medical world finally found the cure for my severe anxiety disorder and that the prescription is ‘Just stop worrying so much’.
My God, we’ve come so far with science.”
Without a doubt, one of the best books I’ve read this year. Jenny Lawson is a person to watch out for – not only because she’s slightly crazy and lots of weird things happen around her, but also because she is incredibly funny and amazing in every single way. She’s relatable in her social awkwardness and not so relatable in her being stalked by swans, but it’s all part of the magic.
“I am privileged to be able to recognise that the sound of laughter is a blessing and a song, to realise that the bright hours spent with my family and friends are extraordinary treasures to be saved, […]. Those moments are a promise that life is worth fighting for, and that promise is what pulls me through when depression distorts reality and tries to convince me otherwise.”
For the love of Rory the raccoon, pick up this book. You will not regret it.