Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
Rating: 4 Stars
Description: 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."
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 more of that? (from Goodreads)
Why I Picked This Book: I've been a follower of Lawson's blog - The Bloggess - for years and I enjoyed her previous book.
My Impression: I'm never quite sure what to expect with Lawson. Sometimes you get total hilarity with rented kangaroos, taxidermied animals with pun-tastic names,or metal chickens. Sometimes you get a brutally honest and poignantly real tale of struggle with mental illness. Sometimes you get a bit of both. Whatever it is I always find it entertaining and interesting and Furiously Happy was no different. For starters I love the whole concept of Furiously Happy which she talks about in this book. Furiously Happy is kind of being aggressively happy. It's figuring out what makes you happy and seizing it and celebrating it. My version of Furiously Happy will probably involve less taxidermy than Lawson's but it's definitely something I think we could use more of.
While I enjoyed this read it lacked the loose structure of Let's Pretend This Never Happened, and at times could feel a little repetitive. This book focuses more on Lawson's struggle with mental illness particularly after her blog and first book have become successful. Lawson does a really wonderful job of speaking about her struggles particularly with depression and anxiety in ways that make it easier for those that don't suffer from those particular demons to understand. Not only that, but she manages to pull all that into discussions of how to fix problems with jerks in airports (I'm definitely for the pinata stick), running after actual kangaroos in Australia while wearing a kangaroo suit, and a visiting bobcat.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely! In fact I'd love to get a copy of this book in audio format.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Definitely! Go check out her blog - The Bloggess - to see what you think. These books work great in print but I think would be fantastic in audio.