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Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  126,187 Ratings  ·  15,221 Reviews
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For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris—Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut.
Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious jour
Hardcover, 318 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by Amy Einhorn: Putnam
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Lexxi Kitty 1) Find something that can be used to dry tears. You do not want to mess up the book, now do you?
2) Go to wherever books are sold. I do not know where…more
1) Find something that can be used to dry tears. You do not want to mess up the book, now do you?
2) Go to wherever books are sold. I do not know where that might be. Apparently those who do advertisements also do not know. They always leave it to the potential reader to hunt down the books. "Wherever books are sold" is repeated so often in advertisements.
3) Once you have acquired a book, carefully lift the cover, trying as best as you can not to cut yourself. Flip through the fifty or so "extra" pages at the front until you find the start of the book. Begin reading. (This step assumes you have a physical book. If you have a nonphysical book, like a digital one, or one made up out of magic, you will need to find a new set of instructions. They likely consist of "turning on the device that can read digital books, selecting that book by clicking the icon/cover for that book, 'flipping' to the start, read; chanting the magical phrase that causes the book to appear and hover in front of you - it may or may not include a demonic like voice reading the book for you, out loud, or might be silent. Be sure to have something that can put out magical fires, as the words are likely to be burning as if on fire).(less)
PigeonSquid You probably figured this out already but Sep 22, 2015.
Bossypants by Tina FeyIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy KalingLet's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny  LawsonYes Please by Amy PoehlerAre You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
Funny Women Memoirs
293 books — 1,240 voters
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenInsurgent by Veronica RothGone Girl by Gillian FlynnCity of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClarePandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Best Books of 2012
3,271 books — 9,439 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jenny Lawson
Jan 10, 2012 Jenny Lawson rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I wrote this book so I think I'm required to like it. But I'd like it even if someone else wrote it. Although if they did I'd sue them for stealing my life story.

How confusing.

Much like the book.
Jun 22, 2012 Grace rated it it was ok
If you're looking for a Sedaris alternative, this unfortunately isn't it. Which kills me, because I get the feeling Lawson had the potential (and raw material) to knock it out of the park, but it just doesn't come together.

Jenny Lawson is definitely funny. When she really gets going on a story, it's pretty fantastic - but that's only 10% of the book, and the remaining 90% is just awful. I can't help feeling like this book was all written in a single sitting, with little editing or review. It's u
Feb 24, 2014 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, I should mention that I listened to this one on audiobook. Didn't read the text version.

Second, the audio version is read by the author. I think Jenny did a nice job with it, too. If you're used to nothing but professional audiobook narrators, there might be a few verbal ticks in here that might bug you. But me? For an autobiographical work like this? I'd much rather hear it in the author's own voice.

Third, she got some actual laughs out of me. Not just amusement or smiles. Not just chu
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Skull and crossbones on this one if you're easily offended. So no whiners, okay? I mean it. whining.

This is the most hilarious vagina memoir ever written. Okay, so technically it's not just about vaginas, but she mentions hers more often than anyone I've ever known who actually owns one. And besides, I had to throw that out there right at the start, so if you're going to get all upset you can just get it overwith and stay. away. from. the. book. Should you choose to read it anyway, d
May 06, 2012 karen rated it really liked it
**edited...with content!**

watch your fucking back, sloane crosley...this lady is funny-funny, not "boys tell me i am funny at parties because i am pretty" funny.

i am so glad that kelly read this before me and it encouraged me to pick up my ARC and get into it far earlier than i ordinarily would have. BUT NOT EARLIER THAN I WOULD HAVE HAD I ACTUALLY WON THIS THROUGH THE FIRSTREADS PROGRAM, WHICH IS HOW THIS SHOULD HAVE GONE DOWN, GOODREADS!STOP WITH THE SNUBBING ALREADY!

i had never heard of jenny
Katie Mercer
Feb 28, 2012 Katie Mercer rated it it was amazing
Basically the best review I can give this book, is that as a librarian I'm pretty much giddy with excitement waiting for the things people will come tell me after they've read this book. From the (boring) I loved that it was an honest look at mental illness and survival (very true) to the (no seriously I can not wait) YOU LET MY CHILD READ THIS AND NOW THEY WANT A DEAD SQUIRREL PUPPET and THIS BOOK IS BLASPHEMY AND READING IT KILLS PUPPIES AND KITTENS.

I pretty much giggled in excitement when I w
Apr 11, 2012 Chris rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people with no sense of humour, whiny people, folks with too much spare time Americans
Overall Rating: 1.5

I don’t know if it’s specifically American problem, but let me tell you, this is one of the worst memoirs I’ve read. (Seriously America, do you honestly find this funny? O.o) And I’ll tell you why, I’m not just saying this because of some misplaced sense of spite, ok?

When I first heard about this book, I was very excited – it sounded like a real good reading material and it had an awesome cover to boost with too.

From the very beginning though, I realized it would be far from t
Jun 02, 2013 Diane rated it it was ok

OK, so I have never met Jenny Lawson, and she didn't attack me with an actual machete, but I'm being metaphorical here, y'all.

Because reading Jenny Lawson's book made me feel as if I were being beaten with some kind of weapon, and it may as well have been a machete. Which is a word she uses in her book. She also likes the words chupacabra and vagina. And numerous swear words. She also likes postscripts. Lots of them.

But back to the machete. I opened my re

Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) is seriously effed up, and that doesn't always equate with being seriously bleeping funny but in her case, this book will S-L-A-Y you. I laughed so hard in parts I shed tears (and a little pee I think). Just sayin'. For anyone out there with some incontinence issues already.

Her frantic, stream-of-consciousness delivery (though punctuated with gems of insane hilarity) can get exhausting. Sometimes you just want to scream, "Jenny, will you just shut the *&%@# u
J.L.   Sutton
Dec 07, 2016 J.L. Sutton rated it really liked it
I read lots of memoirs, but something about Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend this Never Happened was different. REALLY DIFFERENT! It’s not just the messed up lives thing which seems to be a prerequisite for memoir writers. In case you were wondering, though, dysfunctionality thrives in this book. And there is definitely no calm voice of reason beating it back. This dysfunctionality and the bizarre way it manifests energizes Lawson. How Lawson faces this reality, a really skewed and messed up version ...more
Jaime Abbess
Feb 13, 2012 Jaime Abbess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m not sure what I enjoyed more about this book. The actual laughing to tears moments while reading or the actual laughing to tears moments while retelling the stories to my boyfriend (who kept mentioning that he and Victor have a lot in common).

It says a great deal about Jenny Lawson (of blogging fame) that at 38, she was able to write a 300+ page memoir that is interesting to read. Interesting, not because she is a celebrity or has boinked a celebrity, but because she has lived a strange lif
Jul 08, 2012 Ariana rated it it was ok
i heard an interview with jenny lawson on npr and she was really interesting. i had read some of her blog and it was funny, so i got the book

it's fun, and quite funny, but when someone moves from blog form to a published book, i expect the text to be more polished and streamlined.

instead, this book reads like it comes directly from her blog with no editing, clearly there was an editor since she quotes the editor in the text, but it still doesn't read like there was one.

anyway, it's worth a glanc
Maria Guzman
Apr 26, 2012 Maria Guzman rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I think there might be something wrong with my sense of humor. I tried to read this book but it's not making me laugh. In fact, it's making me annoyed. It reminds me of a whiny nagger who is all about "me". Oh right, it's a memoir. Anyway, I jumped to some of the chapters to see if I missed anything funny but it was all the same. I'm giving away my copy in the hope that someone may find it funny and not completely waste the tree that this book was printed on.
Dec 09, 2012 Oriana rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012
I don't like David Sedaris. And I distrust "funny" books the same way I distrust sitcoms with laugh-tracks, because it's condescending and discourages thinking for yourself. I will not be coaxed into mindlessly laughing because there is a recorded track of a bunch of people (computers? robots?) mindlessly laughing. Good grief.

So why did I buy this book? Well, because the Strand sells proofs for $2. I found this one, which I'd never heard of, thought it had a cool title, and then saw that the fro
Kelly Spoer
Mar 19, 2012 Kelly Spoer rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
One of the perks at working at a large chain bookstore are the free Advanced Reader's Copies of future books. But I guess one really can't get an Advance Reader's Copy of a book that came out in the past. Although, strangely enough I've seen it happen. But I think it's because the store mail got lost.

So I got this book for free. Which was awesome. Because when it finally comes out for reals, I'll think, HOLY CRAP I KNOW WHAT I'M GETTING! and totally buy it for like $45 minus my other perk of a
Jun 05, 2012 Josie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When Jenny Lawson relates a childhood story she's funny and engaging...but so far, that's only occurred for about 10% of her writing in this book. The other 90% I've read is just terrible. The parenthetical ramblings and anxious Turrets-style outbursts quickly get old, and they distract from some of the really funny and entertaining bits. Everything is "totally" or "basically" life-threatening or she's stabbing or kicking someone in the balls "in her head." Her nervous, panicky breakdowns feel l ...more
Apr 26, 2013 Melki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah...I thought I had it weird growing up. Besides being the daughter of an atheist father and a religious nut-job mother, Mom was also what the humane society likes to call a "collector." (This is a polite way of saying "animal hoarder.") At any given time, we had a dozen dogs and cats (and I mean a dozen of EACH, not total!) living in the house. For years, I used the toilet with my mother's pet possum sleeping right beside me.

Jenny Lawson had it worse than me, however. At least the animals i
Aug 21, 2012 Bry rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, humor, 2012

Like seriously...fucking.brilliant.

And hilarious. Like I nearly choked on a sandwich while eating my lunch at work hilarious.

This book is the "mostly true" memoir of Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess who was a poor kid raised in West Texas with poisoned drinking water, a father who practices taxidermy in the backyard and collects bobcat urine, a younger sister who swam with her in a cistern that they shared with pigs, a mom that wrangled them all into a family, and a menagerie of
Christy Compeau
May 05, 2012 Christy Compeau rated it really liked it
Recommended to Christy by: Kelli Jordan
This book is a laugh out loud, get yelled at by your husband because your silent laughter is shaking the bed too much, entertaining book. I've never read the author's blog but really enjoyed the book. The only detractor for me was the over use of the F-bomb. Granted, I was assured that this is just the way that the author talks so I wont complain too much but I could have done without the overuse.

Read it!
Robin (Bridge Four)
4.5 I Laughed So Hard I Peed a Little Stars

Buddy read with some of my friends at Buddies Books and Baubles because after I read Beyonce the Chicken there was no way I was not going to read her book.

Humor is a really subjective thing. Either something falls into stuff you think is funny or it doesn’t. Regretfully my hubs LOVEs Jackass type humor and all Will Ferrell movies. But for me that stuff is hit and miss. Either I love it or I roll my eyes at the ridiculousness of the entire thing. Jenny
May 11, 2012 Flannery rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like David Sedaris but wish he was raunchier, and Texan, and female.
Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) is a collection of stories from the life of Jenny Lawson, who is also known as The Bloggess on her blog of the same name. I was somewhat familiar with Lawson from reading bits of her often irreverent blog posts and laughing my ass off. She talks about a whole range of topics from childbirth all the way to squirrel puppets. Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good story. I love telling them and I especially love hearing them. The more a ...more
Feb 06, 2013 Carol. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who love odd humor and can tolerate swearing
Recommended to Carol. by: while it was on my to-read, I confess Trudi's description made me bump it up

Oh, Jenny.

There is something so completely...

extravagant  [ik-strav-uh-guhnt]
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: exceeding the bounds of reason, as actions, demands, opinions, or passions.
Synonyms: absurd, bizarre, crazy, exaggerated, excessive, exorbitant, extreme, fanciful, fantastic, flamboyant, flashy, foolish, grandiose, immoderate, implausible, improvident, imprudent, inordinate, lavish, ludicrous, nonsensical, ornate, outrageous, preposterous, pretentious, prodigal, profligate, reckless
Apr 21, 2012 Becky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hilarity, my-top-25
This is the perfect book to read if you’re constipated, because the abdominal spasms caused by your hysterical laughter will have to create a bowel movement.

This is also only the second book that has ever made me vomit. The first book was a History of Cannibalism. To be fair I was running on the elliptical, already a task for me, and I was doing fine until I flipped the page and there was a picture of HUMAN ARMS HANGING OVER A FIRE. I this point I gagged, and my gag reflux is such that I keep ga
YOU: "Wait. Erica? You just read this book."
ME: "Yes. I did." (Here's the review)
YOU: "No, but I mean you JUST read this book. Like, two weeks ago."
ME: "Wow! You're pretty observant. Why are you watching my Goodreads feed? You know, just out of stalker to another. That kinda thing."
YOU: "What? You are SO weird. I wanted to know why you're listening to the audiobook if you just read the hardcover."
ME: "You probably should have asked me that in the first place instead of stating an
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
12/14/15: BR over at BB&B . And it couldn't be better times b/c I NEEDS a good laugh after the week I just had.

SAVE ME, Blogess-lady!
Nov 04, 2011 Ashley rated it really liked it
I pre-ordered this book at Amazon as soon as I heard about it. I've been reading The Bloggess for years, watched her struggle with her rheumatoid arthritis, her social anxiety, and her depression, all the while being one of the most joyful and optimistic presences on the internet. I was happy for her on a personal level that I rarely am when bloggers get book deals, and besides my real affection for her, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that Let's Pretend This Never Happened isn't rea ...more
Layla ✷ Praise the sun ✷
Pretending to be normal is draining and requires amazing amounts of energy and Xanax.

I am not surprised at all that this book has received such controversial reviews, it is full of possibilities to get butthurt.
It is stuffed with abusive language and touches upon heavy topics like being an outsider, drug abuse, anorexia, anxiety, miscarriage and depression.

And you know what? It is one of the funniest books I have read anyways.

Jenny Lawson's writing makes her memoir so insanely hilarious, abs
Apr 18, 2016 Orient rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody, who like to pretend that smth never happened
Recommended to Orient by: Caro M.

Thanks for one more awesome book Caro! ;)
So, let's pretend this never happened ....;D I had never heard about Jenny Lawson as a writer or a blogger before, but I trusted Caro, because she just won't recommend me a bad book. This book is hilarious as "a mostly true memoir".
All the childhood stories, Jenny wrote about, are absolutely interesting, outstanding and wonderful. Seriously. Her family (her dad especially) is a little bit mad, but it makes the stories hilarious, unique and bizarre. Oh,
Mar 13, 2017 Abby rated it really liked it
I was thinking of writing my memoirs, but then read this book and realized Jenny Lawson pretty much has it covered.* So, really, reading this book was a gigantic time saver!

Anyone with social anxiety, a quirky family, and/or a... spirited... marriage will be able to relate to this book. I would have given it a higher rating had it been pared down a bit. There can be too much of a good thing.

*with some variance in minor personal details; I don't have a sister.
Apr 15, 2013 Kanupriya rated it did not like it
I love humorous memoirs. Fictitious ones like Bridget Jones's Diary or factual like BossyPants, involve me in the protagonists' journey through laughter and tears with subtle humor, honesty and a lot left to the imagination.

And that is where the problem with this book lies: the author bores us with limitless stories of wild animals, which, once you've read through 3 you've read through them all. And as if that isn't bad enough - she constantly tries to reinforce how outrageous or funny every ane
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Known for her sardonic wit and her hysterically skewed outlook on life, Jenny Lawson has made millions of people question their own sanity, as they found themselves admitting that they, too, often wondered why Jesus wasn't classified as a zombie, or laughed to the point of bladder failure when she accidentally forgot that she mailed herself a cobra. Her blog ( is award-winning ...more
More about Jenny Lawson...

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“Because you are defined not by life's imperfect moments, but by your reaction to them. And because there is joy in embracing - rather than running from - the utter absurdity of life.” 254 likes
“A friend is someone who knows where all your bodies are buried. Because they're the ones who helped you put them there."
And sometimes, if you're really lucky, they help you dig them back up.”
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