Furiously Happy is hilariously good.
Jenny Lawson’s second book is one of my top reads of the year, and we’re only a third of the way through the calendar. You don’t need to read Let’s pretend this never happened to enjoy this one. It’s not so much a continuation of her life story as it is a “what’s Jenny up to now?”
And here’s what she’s up to: cat rodeos and trips to Australia and taxidermied bears and more arguments with Victor and voodoo vaginas. (Oh my god the chapter on voodoo vaginas…)
Here’s a quick checklist to answer any questions you might have, before you start reading:
Is it as good as Let’s pretend this never happened? Yes.
Will it make you laugh out loud? Yes
Will it make you cry with laughter as you’re laughing out loud? Yes.
Will it make it difficult to read on public transit or in coffee shops because of said crying and laughing? Yes.
Will it make people look at you strangely when they ask what the book is about and you tell them, as you swallow your hysterics and wipe the tears from your face, that it’s about a woman suffering from anxiety and depression? Yes.
Because it’s not all voodoo vaginas and cat rodeos. Lawson is still honest and raw about her mental illness (and there are a couple of pretty raw essays in the book), but she’s working with a new coping mechanism, and it’s called being “furiously happy.”
The comments on Lawson’s blog (The Bloggess) are proof that writing about her illness is helping thousands of other people suffering from depression and anxiety, and her clear, honest account of what she’s going through helps to illuminate the dark corners of mental illness for those who aren’t suffering themselves but who may know someone who is.
This book is about getting through the dark times by being furiously happy in spite of whatever may be getting you down, but it’s also a book of zany adventures and hilarious observations about dermatology, airports, gall bladder surgery and dead cats.
Read it for Lawson’s sense of humour and turn of phrase, her raunchy language and brilliant non sequiturs. Just don’t read it on the bus on your way to a job interview wearing non-waterproof mascara.