If you've been around the blog or known me for more than a few minutes, you know that I don't usually read or like memoirs or essays. The former (that's the first one, for those of you who get them confused) often feel too whiney and woe-is-me-my-life-has-been-so-hard, and the latter (that's the second part of the pair) annoys me because just when I'm getting involved, they move on to the next topic (same as short stories).
However, this memoir written as a collection of essays offers wonderful humor and a developed character. In Jenny Lawson's book about her anxiety, social anxiety, depression, and overall world view, each essay builds on Lawson's ability to take the difficult and make it both universal (embarrassments and miscommunications) and silly.
The chance that you and/or someone you love struggles with mental illness seems like 100% at this year of post-but-really-not-so-post-pandemic 2023, so I highly recommend reading this book to feel less alone in the arena.
Here are the kinds of basic facts I give for the romance novels I read:
title: Broken (in the best possible way)
author: Jenny Lawson
publisher: Hold Press
publication date: May 3, 2022
peppers: 1 (on this scale) This is not a romance.
warnings: She talks a lot about mental illness and body parts and death, but since she handles everything in the book with humor and light, it's worth reading it even if these issues are hard for you. Making hard things better is the point.
summary: Lawson writes short essays about various misunderstandings and embarrassments and dealings with the medical/insurance industries. She writes about her interactions with friends, family, strangers.
tropes: since it's not fiction, it's hard to think about tropes, but if you want to read about someone who's been through a lot and manages to keep finding the humor and joy, you'll like this one.
what I liked: her voice, her sense of lightness
what I didn’t like: n/s
overall rating: 5 (of 5 stars)