By Jenny Lawson
Putnam, $25.95, 224 pages
Jenny Lawson writes the enormously popular blog “The Bloggess”. She’s now taken the life experiences that have made her blog entertaining and turned them into a memoir that is both frighteningly bizarre and uproariously funny – not two traits you expect to find in the same book. The subtitle for Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is “A Mostly True Memoir” and this reviewer clung to that fact as certain episodes are so fantastical they can only be the work of an imaginative (and slightly deranged) mind. Phenomena like a dead squirrel used as a hand puppet, chupacabra, a killer pug, the zombie apocalypse and agoraphobia are all parts of Lawson’s life she’s happy to relate for your entertainment. And you will be entertained.
While this memoir is utterly unique in its style it can also get exhausting to read. Lawson’s mind appears to work at warp speed and is often fueled by extreme anxiety and OCD. It is her self-deprecating humor that keeps the reader engaged. That, and the fact that you can’t believe all of this could have happened to one person. The law of averages makes it highly unlikely but this reviewer is not going to call her on it. One, because it made for good reading and two, I’m a little afraid of her. Disclaimer: Lawson loves the ‘f’ word. That and frequent use of explicit anatomical language. If either of those are a problem you should avoid this book like a tetanus shot. If not, read and prepare to laugh out loud in public places even if you’re alone.