Dead Animals and Sassy Bloggers Are Literary Gold

by Abby on May 4, 2012

Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir), by Jenny Lawson, aka The BloggessI read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir), by Jenny Lawson, aka “The Bloggess,” in 4 days, which is remarkable for someone who’s had the same dusty stack of reading material on her bedside table for months and owes the library a small fortune in overdue fines. Basically, I ignored my children and stopped preparing meals for the better part of a week so I could read this book, because it was THAT funny. I laughed out loud on practically every other page.

But before you rush off to buy, borrow, or steal this book (no, wait – don’t do that), you should know that the first person I thought about recommending it to was my aunt in Kentucky, who favors colorful exclamations like “Christ on a bike!” and “It’s colder than a witch’s tit!” And those are just the ones I can print on a family-friendly blog.

You should also know that the book contains many, MANY references to dead animals, blood, zombies, “lady parts,” cow lady parts, the f-word, the m.f.-word, and other things some people may find objectionable. There’s your disclaimer, Mom. (Who, BTW, would have a coronary if I EVER used the f-word in my writing, which I know because she got mad when I called my husband a “bastard” ironically one time. Although if my book were to reach #2 on the NYT bestseller list like Lawson’s, this might grant me some sort of immunity. I’ll have to check.)

Perhaps surprisingly for a book that devotes so many pages to taxidermy and curse-filled arguments with one’s husband, I found Lawson’s memoir about her unusual childhood in rural Texas to be hilarious, heartfelt, and even endearing. She is a talented writer in the vein of David Sedaris, only female, straight, and Texan. While her blog,, is wildly popular, I had never read it before reading the book. I’m glad, because I had no preconceived notions, and all the stories were new to me. My particular favorites were the one about her daughter’s exploding diaper at the community pool, and the GPS argument with her husband. Oh, and the colon cleanse gone awry.

As a writer and blogger with book-publishing dreams myself, it is hugely encouraging to me that this book not only got published, but by a major publisher, and — as I said — is currently topping the NYT nonfiction bestsellers list. I would love to know how many publishing execs said, “Dead-squirrel stories don’t sell.” Or, “Memoirs involving half-crazed taxidermist fathers aren’t relatable to middle Americans.” Or, “Thanks, but Jessica Simpson’s from Texas — plus she just had a baby — so once we find a ghostwriter willing to work with her we’re gonna have literary GOLD on our hands.”

Until that fateful day, we’ll just have to make do with memoirs like Lawson’s. Thank God.

ASIDE O’ THE DAY: I geeked out a little when I saw that Jenny Lawson thanked Brene Brown and Katherine Center in her acknowledgements. Love them!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Lou Mello May 4, 2012 at 7:40 am

Sounds like a fun read, I’ll have to pull out the Nook and see if I can download. Thanks for sharing.


Ali May 4, 2012 at 9:16 am

Hmmm… maybe I should contact Jessica Simpson and offer to be her ghostwriter. Not that I have any sort of credentials or anything.


Nadine Feldman May 4, 2012 at 11:56 am

Abby, this sounds great! Thanks for the recommendation. I just downloaded it and am looking forward to reading it.


Abby May 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Interesting how many of you are using e-readers. I may have to get me one of those newfangled gizmos!


Corey Feldman May 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I can’t wait to listen to this. I am in the middle of a vary long audiobook and might have to pause to switch to this.


Angie Mizzell May 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I had to click over to be sure! Love the tagline.


Abby May 4, 2012 at 7:51 pm

I just read your bio & saw you work in HR. There is a HILARIOUS chapter about Lawson’s years in HR.


Angie Mizzell May 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm

The Bloggess no doubt has an incredible platform, but she’s earned it. I’m always happy when someone I enjoy reading gets published. Her blog is hysterical. And I secretly admire how she says the f-word without blinking. I wish I could do that. I do it (accidentally) in front of my kids all the time. But I’m not brave enough to do it on my blog. She releases my inner f-bomb.


pamela May 5, 2012 at 9:04 pm

YES! YES! YES! abby and jenny are my favorites!


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