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Merle

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Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things - Jenny Lawson

I enjoyed Lawson’s first book, Let’s Pretend this Never Happened, and occasional visits to her blog have provided some good laughs. This one I didn’t enjoy as much. It is less a memoir than an essay collection, composed of disconnected pieces, most of which seem to be adapted or even taken directly from the blog. She writes frankly about dealing with depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and other ailments, and it is great that her writing has helped many others who are struggling with their own mental illness.

 

Furiously Happy is funny in places, though for me the big laughs were few and far between. Your mileage may vary. My favorites have always been the animal-related stories, and there are fewer of those here than in the previous book. A number of the posts/chapters feel forced or fall flat for me, from the collection of notes the author wrote herself after taking sleeping pills, to the wacky conversations she’s had with her husband and therapists. The wackiness can feel self-conscious, as if she sometimes says or does ridiculous things on purpose to create material for blog posts. I suppose that shouldn’t have been a surprise, since Lawson makes a living out of mining her own life for humor. But I prefer the more genuine stories from the first book, about the author’s life before she became a famous blogger. At any rate, this could be a great find for those who share some of the author’s challenges, but it’s not the first book I’d recommend to others just looking for funny reading.