13 April 2012

Imprint Friday: Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Amy Einhorn Books. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.

You might not recognize the author of today's featured title by her name, Jenny Lawson, but I bet you recognize her online persona: The Bloggess, both the name of her very popular and successful blog and her Twitter handle. I have always loved Lawson's sense of humor, so I knew I had to read her new book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir).

Here's the publisher's summary:

When Jenny Lawson was little, all she ever wanted was to fit in. That dream was cut short by her fantastically unbalanced father (a professional taxidermist who created dead-animal hand puppets) and a childhood of wearing winter shoes made out of used bread sacks. It did, however, open up an opportunity for Lawson to find the humor in the strange shame spiral that is her life, and we are all the better for it.

Lawson's long-suffering husband and sweet daughter are the perfect comedic foils to her absurdities, and help her to uncover the surprising discovery that the most terribly human moments--the ones we want to pretend never happened--are the very same moments that make us the people we are today.

Let's Pretend This Never Happened is a poignantly disturbing, yet darkly hysterical tome for every intellectual misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud. Like laughing at a funeral, this book is both irreverent and impossible to hold back once you get started.
You might be like me: As soon as someone tells me a book or a movie is laugh-out-loud funny, I'm immediately on guard and sure that I'll not be doing any guffawing. Jenny Lawson, however, is the exception. It's difficult for me to believe anyone could get through her memoir without truly laughing.

No matter how insane you think your own life has been, I bet Lawson has you beat. As I said in my review for the SheKnows Book Lounge, "Whether she's scaring the vultures off her half-buried dog, learning throw-cushion etiquette at her mother-in-law's, or arguing with her husband via sticky notes, Lawson's sharp, self-directed wit is contagious." You might be tempted to think (more than once) that there's very little true in the "mostly true" part of the memoir, but Lawson anticipated this reaction and has provided photographic proof, including a snapshot to go along with this:
Half of a squirrel arrived in the mail today. It was the front part, almost down to the belly button, and it was mounted on a tiny wooden plaque.

It was odd. Both because I was not expecting any squirrel parts and because the squirrel was dressed in full cowboy regalia. (p. 289)
There's more to the story, but I'll let you read it yourself.

In more than 30 short chapters, Lawson talks about her childhood, her husband, motherhood, and her work in human resources. Fans of The Bloggess blog need not fear that Lawson is covering old ground; almost all of Let's Pretend This Never Happened contains never-before-revealed (mostly true) events.

Here are some other opinions (click on the links for the full review):
  • Mandy from the Well-Read Wife: "If I were the type of book blog that had a ratings system, I would give her ten million gold stars and one humanely deceased, taxidermied unicorn head mounted on a purple plaque. That’s how much I loved this memoir."
  • Jennifer Miner writing from Moms LA: "You’ll laugh, you’ll snort, you’ll want to write The Bloggess a fan letter. One thing you won’t do is regret buying Jenny’s book. It’s great."
  • Jess from Don't Mind the Mess: "When I read this book, it was like making a good friend. Don’t you love that experience?"
To learn more about Jenny Lawson, start reading The Bloggess, follow her on Twitter, or like her Facebook page. Lawson has given a number of interviews, including one with Booktopia.

Amy Einhorn Books is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For more information about the imprint, please read Amy Einhorn's open letter posted here on January 25, 2010, or click the Amy Einhorn tab below my banner photo. To join the Amy Einhorn Books Reading Challenge, click the link.

Let's Pretend This Never Happened at an Indie

Published by Putnam / Amy Einhorn Books, 2012
ISBN-13: 9780399159015


Julie P. 4/13/12, 7:25 AM  

Just got this one in the mail yesterday and can't wait to read it.

Beth Hoffman 4/13/12, 8:29 AM  

This sounds like a must read for me. Plus, I love the cover!

Sandy Nawrot 4/13/12, 8:36 AM  

I just finished this on audio, and OMG. OMG. I sorta can't wait to sit down and write the review and also I'm scared because how do I communicate how totally bizarre she is, but at the same time totally lovable? I did not realize until the final credits that it is AE. But of course it is.

bermudaonion 4/13/12, 9:27 AM  

I'm so glad to know this one lives up to its hype. I'll be reading it soon and can't wait!

Nise' 4/13/12, 9:45 AM  

As soon I began reading, I thought to myself, "I have to listen to this book". After reading Sandy's comment, I know I must!

Meg @ A Bookish Affair 4/13/12, 10:00 AM  

I love a good laugh out loud book!

Jenn's Bookshelves 4/13/12, 10:43 AM  

Cannot wait to read this one! I need a nice, laugh out loud book!

Zibilee 4/13/12, 11:20 AM  

This does sound totally bizarre and hilarious, and I am off to see how it can be had. I had never even considered that there would be a market for taxidermy finger puppets, and this, along with all that you have said about the book really has me more than intrigued. I love a good weird book, and the fact that it's a memoir is all the better. Wonderful review today. I NEED to read this one!

Sheila (Bookjourney) 4/13/12, 11:45 AM  

I feel out of the loop - how did I not know she was a blogger? This does sounds like a fun read.

Beth S. 4/13/12, 12:34 PM  

I really want to read this one. It sounds hilarious.

Unknown 4/13/12, 1:11 PM  

I've only read her blog sporadically, but nearly always where I had to stop and share with my husband, just too funny. This one is on my list, and I look forward to reading or listening to it.
AE doesn't disappoint.

Dorte H 4/13/12, 2:08 PM  


Beth, I´m seriously tempted. One day when I need a good laugh... :)

chrisa511 4/13/12, 10:48 PM  

For some reason I didn't have any desire to read this book…I didn't even know what it was ABOUT! But now that I do and after reading this review, it sounds fantastic..and like just the kind of read I need…onto the wishlist it goes!

caite 4/14/12, 5:17 AM  

ok, I am not familiar with the Bloggess..why is that?...but this sounds amusing and I love amusing!

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) 4/15/12, 3:02 AM  

I've got this one in audio. I wasn't sure if it was for me, humor can be hit or miss. But ... "Half of a squirrel arrived in the mail today"? Ok, squirrel parts will get my attention.

Shelleyrae 4/21/12, 1:47 AM  

I like the sound of this, I am always up for a laugh :)

Shelleyrae @ Book'd out

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