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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

You may remember my love of Jenny Lawson's first book. Well, thank goodness for follow ups, know what I'm saying? I basically stalked the publishers for Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things at Book Expo. No, seriously. I wasn't allowed to linger, so I just paced in front of their booth until the book dropped at 2pm sharp. I was the first in line. [Bows head and walks away shamefully...KIDDING. TRIUMPHANT, DUH.]

Mental illness affects approximately 20% of the population give or take. For those who suffer from it at any point in their lives, it can range from frustrating to flat out debilitating. It's invisible other than the pain you can see on your loved one's face. Jenny Lawson, who has suffered from her own maladies throughout her life, has tacitly agreed with her readership to find humor in her darkest hour. This collection of essays is based off of her agreement to be furiously happy, in other words, to refuse and refuse and refuse to give in to the biggest liar of all -- depression. To promise to push forward and find that which keeps you going, be it taxidermied animals or fly fishing in a hurricane.

You may recall from my BEA post that I not only waited days to get this book, but I quietly stalked the publishers booth for an hour before the drop. I was the first one to get the book, but hey, who's bragging. (Me. I am.) I was over the moon, and I read this sucker in no time. I loved Jenny's first book, and this book meant quite a bit to me. Jenny's story about walking through New York City in the snow in her slippers was honest and real, and she knew how crazy she looked but didn't care. Because being furiously happy isn't about looking your best for others -- it's about doing what feels best for you. Finding those small joys in life, the ones that make going on another day feasible.

I'm not going to give away too many stories in this book because it's one you really need to and should absolutely read for yourself. You don't have to have dealt with mental illness to get it. Sometimes we just feel down and it's easy to relate to Jenny's world...well, some of it. She wasn't buying large metal chickens in this book, but she does go to Australia and dress up as a kangaroo. So this book is absolutely, definitely worth your money. I only wish that my crazy work schedule would allow me to go to a reading and signing, but I trust that Jenny and I are still on good terms.

This book made me laugh out loud, it made me tear up a little, and brought out the empathy in me. It made me grateful that Jenny has Victor and her daughter, and her menagerie of animals both alive and dead. I loved her raccoon story (just read it already), and I now appreciate why she has two now. You will also appreciate it when you click the link AND JUST BUY THE DAMNED BOOK. 

For purchase below. 

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