Category Archives: Tastiness: Deserves a Michelin star

Best Tasting

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

I may have squealed a little when I opened the mailbox on Thursday to find Let’s Pretend This Never Happened in my mailbox. This is the much-anticipated first book by Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess. (Check out her website, her book info page, and my interview with her.)

Luckily, the book lived up to expectations. In it, Jenny shares her crazy childhood growing up in a small town in west Texas, her struggles with mental illness, her relationship ups and downs, and more. You may open this book expecting humor, and it’s there in spades, but it’s also so much more. I have to warn you, if you are a crier, you are going to cry at points when you read this book. Some stories are humorous, some are bizarre and humorous, some are poignant and humorous, and some are poignant and heartbreaking. So be prepared — your belly will ache from laughing and your head may hurt from trying not to cry. Of course, some of the crying may come from laughing so much.

My absolute favorite chapter of this book, where I literally had to put it down for a minute and wait till I finished laughing because I was laughing so hard that my eyes wouldn’t stay open enough to read the page, was the chapter “Stanley, the Magical Talking Squirrel.” Seriously, go pee before you read this chapter so nothing embarrassing happens, because you will laugh that much.

Jenny Lawson does often go places that most people would never dream of going (which you probably know if you read her blog), so she puts this warning in the introduction,

[…] I apologize in advance […] for offending you, because you’re going to get halfway through this book, […] and you’ll feel superior to all the uptight, easily offended people who need to learn how to take a fucking joke, but then somewhere in here you’ll read one random thing that you’re sensitive about, and everyone else will think it’s hysterical, but you’ll think, “Oh, that is way over the line.”

For longtime readers of The Bloggess, a few of the stories will be familiar, but they’re still funny. Most of the book, however, is new or told in a different way than it is told on her blog, so it’s well worth the read.

If you’re in Texas or Coral Gables, FL, she may be on tour in your area between April 23-28!

Jenny, The Bloggess

Related: The Bloggess Interview

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It Looked Different on the Model

It Looked Different on the Model is the latest humorous memoir from author Laurie Notaro, published in 2011.  Laurie* may be the funniest writer I have ever read in my entire life. I have discussed before that to read a Laurie Notaro book, you must possess certain traits:

  • a sense of humor
  • a love of (or at minimum tolerance of) improper humor (i.e., potty humor)
  • the ability to laugh at self and others when embarrassing things happen
  • a love for personal essays

Laurie’s books always make me laugh out loud, and this one is no exception. She is masterful at telling the details of her personal life in a way that makes you laugh outrageously — things that happen to most of us, but we bury deep so that no one knows about all of our personal foibles. But not Laurie. She throws them out there so we can laugh and relate. For example, from only the 3rd page into the book:

I found myself picking at a hangnail because of my quick discomfort, which is a nervous habit that I understand isn’t publicly acceptable, but if faced with a choice of thumb-sucking or fiddling with my crotch, I’ll eat my cuticles any day.

She also tells very relatable stories that are poignant and touching. But forget about that, let’s talk about the humor. There is a chapter on her mother’s need to forward every warning email that you will instantly relate to if your parents use email. My absolute favorite line of this entire book was in this chapter, and I hope I don’t kill the joke for you when I repeat it here:

And there it was when I checked my email: “FWD: FWD: FWD: FWD: FWD: PLEASE READ,” which in email code means “Forecasting World Destruction,” and the more times it’s repeated in the subject, the more times the world has the potential to be destroyed.

FWD will have new meaning to me from now on.

If you do pick up It Looked Different on the Model, make sure to check out Laurie’s website afterwards, because she has a photo gallery related to the book.

* I normally don’t refer to authors by their first names, but I spent an hour with Laurie on the phone last week and she is so friendly and personable that I can’t NOT call her by her first name. That interview will be posted later this week, with a giveaway to boot!

P.S. This article links to Laurie’s books on Amazon, but Laurie would tell you to buy local.

Related Review: The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death

Baby Bargains

If you are expecting a baby and want to know what to buy and what to skip, Baby Bargains is a great resource. It doesn’t hit everything, but it does cover major purchases like cribs, clothes, high chairs, strollers, etc. It has reviews of manufacturers and often includes additional information for individual products per manufacturer. I definitely found this book to be a lifesaver when registering. I brought it into every store with us, and had little post-its sticking out of all the sections that detailed manufacturer ratings, etc. I am sure it saved us money, but more importantly, it kept us from buying duds or dangerous products. We’re also big into the whole reduce/reuse/recycle thing, and the book helped us figure out what was safe to buy used and what we’d be a lot smarter to get new.

The book also has updates online, an associated blog (that mostly tracks recalls), and a related message board from the website I highly recommend this book to anyone who is expecting a baby.