Book Review: Furiously Happy

What says:

In Furiously Happy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea.

But terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

As Jenny says:

“Some people might think that being ‘furiously happy’ is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he’s never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos.

“Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you’d never guess because we’ve learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, ‘We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.’ Except go back and cross out the word ‘hiding.'”

Furiously Happy is about “taking those moments when things are fine and making them amazing, because those moments are what make us who we are, and they’re the same moments we take into battle with us when our brains declare war on our very existence. It’s the difference between “surviving life” and “living life”. It’s the difference between “taking a shower” and “teaching your monkey butler how to shampoo your hair.” It’s the difference between being “sane” and being “furiously happy.”

Lawson is beloved around the world for her inimitable humor and honesty, and in Furiously Happy, she is at her snort-inducing funniest. This is a book about embracing everything that makes us who we are – the beautiful and the flawed – and then using it to find joy in fantastic and outrageous ways. Because as Jenny’s mom says, “Maybe ‘crazy’ isn’t so bad after all.” Sometimes crazy is just right.

Furiously Happy

What I say: I loved loved her first book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. I read it as part of my 50 Book Challenge in 2013 and adored it. When I found out she had come out with a new book I jumped at the chance to read it and put others on my list on the back burner. I finished the book this past weekend on a road trip and my car mates looked so confused every time I giggled out loud. She’s still just as funny and quirky and awesome. What’s even more amazing about this book is how she dives a little deeper into living with mental illness and anxiety. She has a massive fan following because she’s real, we can all connect with her in some way and she makes it acceptable to talk about mental illness and how it can be immobilizing. I hope you pick this book up to learn empathy for others, to connect with someone similar to you or even just to laugh out loud at the ridiculous that is stuffed raccoons that ride cats as if they are in the rodeo in her kitchen.

We even had the chance to see her live and in person in our office this morning for a Kobo in Conversation. These are interviews that we film and share on our Kobo YouTube channel. I captured it live on my Periscope. Here is the broadcast below.

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