I've decided I'd like to keep track of the books I read this year, both for quantity and to remember whether or not I like them. The ol' blog seems like a good place to do it, so here goes.
I thought about setting a goal, like trying to read 30 books this year, but that seems silly since I could read 30 short, easy books and it wouldn't really be that impressive. So no goals here, just reviews and counting. Sounds exciting, huh?
Book #1: Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
I downloaded this book because it was a $1.99 Kindle download one day over Christmas break, and I was looking for something light and funny. Amazon billed the books as something that fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris would enjoy, and while I've never read anything by either of them (no Sedaris. for real. I may have to remedy that this year.) they both seem like people who would entertain me.
The book is a "mostly true memoir" of Lawson's life in rural Texas. She grew up in Wall, Texas, which is probably a little larger than my hometown from what I can tell. Her father is a taxidermist, so there are many tales of dead animals and their carcasses, and I must admit I found these pretty darn hilarious.
Here's an excerpt from the first chapter that had me rolling (it's not about dead animals, and it may be rated PG-13):
...I'd just run into my gynecologist at Starbucks and she totally looked right past me like she didn't even know me. And so I stood there wondering whether that's something she does on purpose to make her clients feel less uncomfortable, or whether she just genuinely didn't recognize me without my vagina. Either way, it's very disconcerting when people who've been inside your vagina don't acknowledge your existence. Also, I want to clarify that I don't mean "without my vagina" like I didn't have it with me at the time. I just meant that I wasn't, you know...displaying it while I was at Starbucks. That's probably understood, but I thought I should clarify, since it's the first chapter and you don't know that much about me. So just to clarify, I always have my vagina with me. It's like my American Express card. (In that I don't leave home without it. Not that I use it to buy stuff with.)
So now you have an idea about the voice of the book, very colloquial and with no topic off limits.
My favorite chapter is probably "If You Need an Arm Condom, It Might Be Time to Reevaluate Some of Your Life Choices." It's about artificially inseminating a cow, and Trey can attest that I laughed out loud a lot during that one. She also writes about annoying her husband, being a terrible housewife, and her time working in human resources, all topics addressed with wit and humor.
The low point of the book is a chapter called "Draw Me a F@#@$ Dog" which discusses the author doing illicit drugs. She writes a note at the beginning of the chapter that her editor encouraged her to leave that chapter out and the reader can just skip it, and I have to say she should have listened to him. Not only do I not find illicit drugs funny, it also just doesn't fit with the rest of the book. It's sort of like that chapter that says, "Look! I'm cool because I did drugs before!" It just isn't necessary.
Overall, the book is a lovingly sarcastic retelling of life in small town Texas. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that most of the reason I liked it is because I "got it." It definitely made me a little nostalgic for my own small town upbringing. There's lots of profanity and no subject is off limits, but if you're not easily offended and want a quick, silly read (and/or if you're from Rice, Blooming Grove, or someplace similar) this will do the trick.