Let's Pretend This Never Happened

A Mostly True Memoir (2012)
Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)

They say you can't judge a book by it's cover, but I'd say sometimes they are wrong. If, for example, the cover is graced by a taxidermied mouse in full Shakespearean garb (right down to the tiny skull of Yorick), a mouse who happens to have the elegant name of "Hamlet von Schnitzel," then as far as I'm concerned you have a pretty good idea about what kind of book it's going to be. And that is a bizarre, funny, ridiculous, funny, over-the-top, funny memoir by Jenny Lawson, better known to her fans as The Bloggess. Those familiar with her blog will know to expect a lot of profanity, self-deprecating humor, candid discussion of mental illness (depression, anxiety, OCD), and situations that are so random and bizarre they seem impossible. And yet . . . truth can indeed be stranger than fiction.

Jenny Lawson grew up in rural Texas (which in and of itself might explain some of her stories), with a long-suffering mother and a (crazy) taxidermist father. A father who thought it was a good idea to wake his daughters in the middle of the night to entertain them with a puppet show. One where the puppet was a recently deceased squirrel (named Stanley the magical squirrel, of course). Her stories range from her childhood to her current life with husband Victor (lucky recipient of a giant metal rooster named Beyonce) and daughter. While mostly laugh-out-loud funny, there are poignant moments as well. Even in her most tragic stories, though, Jenny Lawson somehow manages to find the humor.

Overall, you will either be horrifically offended by this book or will howl in laughter. Or both. And if that's not enough to make you want to read it, I have one word: chupacabras. Oh yes, it even includes chupacabras. What more could you ask for in a book?

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