This isn't so much a book review, but rather more a post to inform my readers why there is no "official" book review this week and what I have been doing rather than reading and writing a book review.
Yup, that thing we are a living and happens to everyone at times, just got in the way of me doing fun stuff. Basically a big pile of crap fell down and buried me in stress and I just haven't felt like reading at all. Long and short; bureaucratic crap that Michael and I had paid a lawyer to help us navigate so we wouldn't end up buried in crap. Apparently that money would have been better spent if we flushed it down the toilet, maybe it could have made some nice bedding for a sewer rat? In any case, I just haven't felt like reading at all this week, so I'm behind on my book reviewing. I didn't want to disappoint the three readers I have (Hi Mommy!) and not write something, so in the end I've decided to tell you about Jenny Lawson.
Have you heard of her? Jenny Lawson, otherwise known as "The Bloggess," is a blogger and author who writes dark humour about her life, including being brutally honest about about her periods of mental illness. Every post of Lawson's that I read will elicit a genuine chuckle from me.
I've been following her blog for a little while now, having discovered her because of the cover of her second book, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things. I had never heard of this woman before, but the cover features a picture of a raccoon with a maniacal expression and open arms and it was this cover alone that caused me to pick up the book and read the cover.
I have to admit, I didn't buy it right away. I don't usually read autobiographical books, so it just wasn't something that I thought I would enjoy. The cover haunted me. I started seeing it everywhere, in stores, on Amazon, on Goodreads, there is was. Every time I saw it I would click on the link or pick up the book and look at that cover again. Those eyes, they follow you. It was hypnotic. In the end, I bought the book because that raccoon.
If you have ever suffered from any sort of mental illness, known someone who has suffered or just want to get a better understanding of what people who suffer from mental illness go through, this is a must read. I have been lucky enough in life not to suffer from mental illness, but I have a number of close friends who do deal with it on some sort of basis. Reading Furiously Happy, I think, gave me a better understanding of just some of this things those friends deal with on a regular basis. The best part about this book though is the humour. Michael ended up calling it the "giggle book" because every time I read it, I would giggle at things that The Bloggess wrote. Dark humour for sure, but I enjoyed every minute of Lawson's elegant way of describing her suffering.
This brings me to Jenny Lawson's most recent endeavour, You are Here: An Owner's Manual for Dangerous Minds. Full of inspirational prompts, advice, dark humour and illustrations, You are Here is part colouring book, part self-enrichment, and part therapy.
As a way to help ease her anxiety, Lawson would doodle illustrations and she would occasionally share these online. Fans loved them and would even bring printed copies of the doodles and illustrations to book signings and ask Lawson to sign. Eventually, somehow, You are Here was created. A book that I'm confident that only Lawson could create (it say's so on the book jacket and everything)
All of the pages of You are Here are removable, so you can colour them, frame them, burn them...whatever floats your boat. Flipping through these pages during the last stressful week as provided just a little bit a relaxation in the evening. I might have to buy a second copy, just so I can colour and write in it.
It's been a long week, and the stress isn't quite over yet, but in the end, I know everything will be alright. Jenny Lawson say's so.