Thursday, March 7, 2013

Weekend Reading: Let's Pretend This Never Happened

Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Sometimes I feel like I don't understand blogging.  I've been blogging in one way or another since people actually used Myspace.  I started out writing complaints about the stupid job that I had, and then I posted them online.  People found them tragically amusing, and I developed a small (miniscule following).  Then I started new, different blogs, and here I am today yammering on about money stuff.

As the years passed, I became aware that people were getting legitimately famous for writing about their daily shenanigans, and actually producing whole books, which despite majoring in writing, I have yet to do.  So I read one. I read It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown And a Much-Needed Margarita by Heather B. Armstrong of fame.

I hated it.

There were moments it amused me, but overall, it was so over the top in the way she behaved herself and the way people reacted that even though it was supposed to be real life, I found it hard to believe that anyone would want to spend time with her.  She was fun sometimes, but overall, just exhausting.

Which brings us to today's book review of Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson aka The Blogess.  Similar to the Dooce lady's book, The Bloggess is a famous blogger that I had never heard of before this year when a friend mentioned her on facebook and how excited she was for this book to come out.  My curiosity was piqued, again, based equally on my friend's recommendation and also the fact that this is another famous blogger and I want to understand what makes a person a famous blogger.

The only answer I can come up with is that you have to have/ had:
  1. I totally crazy childhood
  2. A completely understanding and willing to go along with almost anything husband
  3. A mental illness that results in manic highs that you then write about
In short, I found this book so irritating that I had a really, really hard time forcing myself to finish it.  It goes (mostly) in a chronological progression starting with the author's childhood and culminating in marriage and parenthood, but it's just a series of episodes that seem based on the funniest/wackiest events that occurred, and it's not particularly funny.  Unlike, say, a David Sedaris book, I didn't really care about anyone involved, and that made it hard to care about what happened to anyone.  The writing was choppy, the book felt disjointed and I'm left even more confused about why she is such a popular blogger.  Either way, now I know, so I can scratch that off the list and pretend this never happened.

I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.


  1. I never did read the book.
    Read this:

  2. I've been reading The Bloggess ever since someone sent me a link to Beyonce, the giant metal chicken. I don't think I've ever laughed that hard in my whole life. I've read the piece probably 10 times and find it just as funny as the first time.

    The thing about bloggers with books is that you have to like that kind of blog. If you've never had PPD or read Dooce, you're probably not going to like her book. If you don't enjoy the crazy insanity The Bloggess brings to the blogosphere, you're probably not going to truly understand or appreciate her book.

    I think the niche bloggers have a bit easier of a time finding an audience outside of their own readership. Trying to find ways to cook cheap meals? Pick up $5 Dinners. Like interior design? Young House Love is probably appealing to you despite having never read their blog.

    I think that if you don't enjoy the kooky sort of bloggers that are all over the place these days (probably hoping to latch on to the success of Dooce, The Bloggess, etc), these sorts of books aren't going to appeal to you. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.