If you have children, go buy or borrow this book. Like, now.
This two-hour audiobook reads more like a workshop by author/narrator Brené Brown. Broken...moreIf you have children, go buy or borrow this book. Like, now.
This two-hour audiobook reads more like a workshop by author/narrator Brené Brown. Broken down into simple "guideposts" and with a very friendly, conversational tone, The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting is refreshingly optimistic and realistic. As Dr. Brown says, it's never too late for wholehearted parenting.
My favorite thing about this book is that it's not just the advice of some parenting guru. It's not a lot of theory from a psychologist with no children. It's not new-agey, touchy-feely B.S. It's solid, research-based, practical advice for creating a culture in your home and family that will allow your children the safety and the space, and the safe space, to grow into well-adjusted adults.
As Dr. Brown reiterates at the end of the book, there are many ways to be an engaged parent, and we need to stop judging and shaming one another for our differing choices. But I think whether you consider yourself a Tiger Mom or an Attachment Parent, there is much to be gained from this, and it will be two hours of your life well-spent (especially since you can listen while doing chores, like I did!).
More of my favorite quotes here. But really, go listen for yourself. (less)
When I requested to read this book for review, I didn't realize it was The Bloggess' book. I had heard of The Bloggess and that she had a funny book,...moreWhen I requested to read this book for review, I didn't realize it was The Bloggess' book. I had heard of The Bloggess and that she had a funny book, and I'd even read one of her more popular posts (about Beyonce the metal chicken), but I didn't know what the book was called or that this was it. I just read the description of a funny, witty, gritty memoir and thought getting paid by BlogHer to read and review it would be cool.
Let me tell you, if the only post of Jenny/The Bloggess that you've ever read is the one about Beyonce (or, I'm guessing, any one post independent of any context), you're missing out, because that shit makes SO much more sense now that I've read Let's Pretend This Never Happened. And if you're offended by my use of the word shit, you can leave now, because this book is NOT for you.
I'm going to admit, I don't tend to follow the über popular bloggers (or even most of my friends who blog, because I suck at remembering to read blogs), and when I started reading Let's Pretend This Never Happened, I kind of expected it to be over-hyped. The dedication page seemed to have some depth to it, but then as I began to read, I thought, "great, the most meaningful part of this book is going to be the dedication page, and the rest is going to be contrived vulgar humor that isn't even that funny." And that was true for maybe five pages.
Reading about Jenny's childhood was a little traumatizing. I can't imagine how, having lived through it, she manages to be sane enough to blog, parent, and go on a book tour. SHE WALKED INSIDE A GUTTED DEER, Y'ALL.
Trauma aside, I can't even count how many times I laughed out loud reading this memoir. Jenny's humor is often crass, her language often vulgar, and her text often SHOUTY, but all of that just adds to her charm. Most importantly, you can hear the real person inside it all, the one who has lived through pain and love and grief and loss and friendship, and whom you suspect may have been saved only by that laughter.
At the very end of this memoir is a "reader's guide." When I got to that page, it turned out to be one that made me laugh out loud, because here was this very serious, academic set of "book club" questions about this book that was full of dead animals and hard drugs and the word fuck. Jenny doesn't seem to take herself too seriously, but by god, the book clubs will! Take themselves seriously, I mean. I think it's impossible to read this book and then take Jenny Lawson too seriously.
It's also impossible to read it and not love and adore her and wish that she were your BFF. Now excuse me while I go stalk her blog.(less)
I read this entire book in two sittings separated only by dinner with my family. I have thirteen pages of highlighted passages in my notes section. Su...moreI read this entire book in two sittings separated only by dinner with my family. I have thirteen pages of highlighted passages in my notes section. Suffice to say, it was invigorating and inspiring. I highly recommend you go pick it up right now. (less)
I requested this book for review with a number of YA books, and so when it came to me, I began reading it expecting that genre. It's not.
The Orchard...moreI requested this book for review with a number of YA books, and so when it came to me, I began reading it expecting that genre. It's not.
The Orchard is (as the title suggests) a memoir, telling the story of a country girl with a rough past building an unlikely life. It reads like a novel, which is in its favor, though I wondered sometimes how fictionalized a variety of scenes may have been. I guess that's probably true of any memoir. You have to flesh out the skeleton of memory to make it more interesting.
I found The Orchard to be mildly interesting, but not particularly compelling. It starts slow, but does build steam and eventually come to the point where you want to know what is going to happen, whether the protagonists will break away from the prison of sorts that has been fashioned for them.
The thing about this book is that I feel like I should have enjoyed it more than I did. I really relate to the protagonist in many ways, and yet I felt detached from her (I don't think she ever mentions her own name in this book, not even in dialogue). Her decisions often made little sense to me, and I found myself often rolling my eyes or saying, "I told you so."
I don't feel as though I wasted the hours of my life I spent reading this book, but it wasn't anything particularly special, either. (less)