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."
"Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you'd never guess because we've learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in “The Breakfast Club”, 'We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.' Except go back and cross out the word 'hiding.'"
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 a bit more of that? (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
This book is one that I think would actually be more enjoyable if you read a chapter a night or broke it up over time. Then each time you picked up the book you’d come to it fresh. If you read it straight through, sometimes the ridiculousness can become a bit much. Granted I know that Jenny is pulling out the “highlight reel” as it were, but I can’t always follow the train of thought on decision making. She is someone I would love to be around though because I think she would do a fantastic job encouraging spontaneity and living in the moment.
I don’t suffer from mental illness (at least that I know of or people have pointed out to me) so I found this book extremely interesting in terms of trying to “get in other people’s shoes”. There are certainly many things that I can relate to and particularly can understand the desire to do something “furiously happy”. There are many times in life that I think everyone should get a little furious.
Also, what is it like from Victor’s perspective?
Rating: 5 stars!
Who should read it? Anyone looking for a laugh, suffering from mental illness or just wants to get a better understanding of what goes on in the head of folks who suffer from mental illness.