Has Wil Wheaton ever tweeted you a picture of himself collating paper? Have you ever surprised your husband with a six foot metal chicken? Has your father ever made a hand puppet out of a dead squirrel?
If not, then I invite you into the world of Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, whose memoir Let’s Pretend This Never Happened will show you just how bizarre—and strangely touching—one woman’s life can be. For anyone not familiar, Lawson is one of the titans in the female blogosphere—a curler-wearing, foul-mouthed and hilarious Texan who writes honestly about everything from sex to illness to dead animals (she collects unique taxidermic artifacts.) Over the last few years, publishing has witnessed the sometimes successful, sometimes awkward transition from web content to book content, and I’ll openly admit that there were times where I could feel the internet-gestated origin in some of the writing (an issue I also had with Heather Armstrong’s memoir.) However, while Lawson may not consistently achieve the depth of Sloane Crosley or Dave Eggers, when she allows herself to, she can spin beautiful passages about the pain of multiple miscarriages or the breathtaking beauty of the wide-open spaces of West Texas.
Plus, she’s funnier than most of those self-serious memoirists, with a greater gift for pulling the genuinely, laugh-out-loud hilarious out of the absurdly painful. I giggled several times reading this book, even when rereading sections I’d already read on her blog. If you don’t care for profanity, you might not enjoy Lawson’s style, but if you do care for humor mixed with heartbreak mixed with stuffed rodents wearing period costume, then Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is probably a book for you.