Although, actually, I was happily surprised by Jenny Lawson's first bestselling memoir, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, and I actually like her voice.*
This one is less a memoir than a collection of essays and other writings about living with depression. This is how she herself describes the book:
"So I took to my blog and wrote a post that would change the way that I would look at life from then on:
All things considered, the last six months have been a goddamn Victorian tragedy. Today my husband, Victor, handed me a letter informing me that another friend had unexpectedly died. You might think that this would push me over the edge into an irreversible downward spiral of Xanax and Regina Spektor songs, but no. It's not. I'm fucking done with sadness, and I don't know what's up the ass of the universe lately but I've HAD IT. I AM GOING TO BE FURIOUSLY HAPPY, OUT OF SHEER SPITE." (p. xvi.)
So this is a book about Lawson's "saying yes to anything ridiculous," all in the name of being furiously happy (and perhaps helping keep her depression and anxiety at bay**). And you know what? I salute her. I really do. I can think of worse ways to face your depression than to decide to be furiously happy. But for some reason this week I just didn't have the energy to read this book, or to feel that saying "yes" to everything is any sort of answer. Most days I just try to reach something like a low-level contentment.
Although I almost did reconsider after reading the bit below. It made me laugh out loud:
"You still have to call the vet though when your cat has eaten a toy consisting of a tinkle bell and a feather and a poof ball all tied together with twine. That actually happened once and it was really the worst because the vet told me that I'd have to ply the cat with laxatives to make the toy pass easily through and that I'd need to inspect the poop to make sure the toy passed because otherwise they'd have to do open-cat surgery. And then it finally did start to pass, but just the first part with the tinkle bell, and the cat was freaked out because he was running away from the tinkle bell hanging out of his butthole and when I called the vet he said to definitely NOT pull on the twine because it would pull out his intestines, which would be the grossest pinata ever ever, and so I just ran after the cat with some scissors to cut off the tinkle bell (which, impressively, was still tinkling after seeing things no tinkle bell should ever see). Probably the cat was running away because of the tinkle bell and because I was chasing it with scissors screaming, "LET ME HELP YOU."" (p. 9.)
*She's about a gazillion times funnier than Jen Lancaster, and I can appreciate that.
**It didn't always work, she notes, and I can appreciate the honesty of that too.