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Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Humor (2015)
#1 New York Times Bestseller

In Furiously Happy, a humor memoir tinged with just enough tragedy and pathos to make it worthwhile, Jenny Lawson examines her own experience with severe depression and a host of other conditions, and explains how it has led her to live life to the fullest:

"I've often thought that people with severe depression have developed such a well for experiencing extreme emotion that they might be able to experience extreme joy in a way that ‘normal people' also might never understand. And that's what Furiously Happy is all about."

Jenny’s readings are standing room only, with fans lining up to have Jenny sign their bottles of Xanax or Prozac as often as they are to have her sign their books. Furiously Happy appeals to Jenny's core fan base but also transcends it. There are so many people out there struggling with depression and mental illness, either themselves or someone in their family—and in Furiously Happy they will find a member of their tribe offering up an uplifting message (via a taxidermied roadkill raccoon). Let's Pretend This Never Happened ostensibly was about embracing your own weirdness, but deep down it was about family. Furiously Happy is about depression and mental illness, but deep down it's about joy—and who doesn't want a bit more of that?

329 pages, Hardcover

First published September 22, 2015

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About the author

Jenny Lawson

12 books16.9k followers
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 (www.thebloggess.com) is award-winning and extremely popular.

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5 stars
57,643 (36%)
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3 stars
30,463 (19%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 15,521 reviews
Profile Image for Patrick.
Author 65 books231k followers
September 28, 2015
Earlier this year, I was one of the lucky people Jenny sent an Advance Reading Copy of her newest book to.

The simple upshot? I loved it. I loved it even more than her first book, which I enjoyed so much that I bought multiple copies to give away as Christmas presents.

The bad news is that my life is such a bloody shambles that I didn't get back to her in time for a gushy blurb to make it onto the back of her book. (Not that she particularly needed one from me. She's got Gaiman, Allie Brosh, and all manner of other fancy folk singing her praises.)

Still, I loved the book. And when I love a book this much, I want to talk about it. I want to encourage people to read the book so that your lives will be dramatically embettered.

I finished reading the book on an airplane, and I was so happy and weepy and amazed that I sent Jenny the following series of text messages:

"Jenny, after a long delay, I've finally finished your book while flying. While it's still fresh in my mind, here are some Potential Blurbs for your book."

"This Book made me laugh in a restaurant, it made me cry on an Airplane. It made me feel like maybe I'm not a total human trainwreck. It made me resolve to spend more time being furiously happy."

"I wish Jenny Lawson was my neighbor."

"This book is a good book and you should buy this book and read this book."

"When I grow up, I want to be Joss Whedon. But if I don't have to grow up, I'd like to be Jenny Lawson instead."

"Jenny Lawson is a force for good in the world."

"When I finally give up on the world and retreat to the safety of my blanket fort, Jenny Lawson is on the short list of people who will always be welcome there."

"If everyone was like Jenny Lawson, the world would be a better place. Also, a stranger, more surreal place, with more abundant opportunities to attend raccoon rodeos."

"This is the best book I've read all year."

So. Is this book worth your time? Yes. Absolutely yes. It's finally out, and if you don't buy it and read it, you are not living the best possible life.
Profile Image for karen.
3,976 reviews170k followers
June 16, 2018
my love for jenny lawson is NOT AT ALL creepy

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jenny lawson, i wanna make you blts and braid your hair. i am really shitty at braiding, and my fingers will be covered in mayonnaise after making you all those blts, so it will probably get a little messy and crazy, but it's the thought that counts!! and since your book is basically a manifesto of owning one's messy and crazy bits and alchemizing* them into comedy gold, we should be all set.

this book is a little more personal that Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir; a little more serious. that's not to say i didn't bust out into indelicate snort-guffaws many times while reading this, because i totally did, but in between all the laughter there's a lot of brave and honest stuff about managing mental and physical illness through anecdotes that are not at all humorous.

and none of that is a criticism - i think it's astonishing how well she is able to write about her own obstacles; how clear-eyed she is in describing the debilitating emotional symptoms of disorders impossible for people who aren't fellow-sufferers to understand, while offering a platitude-free example to those who are that yeah, you can live through this shit.

she'd probably hate it that i'm calling her brave, but she is. it's not easy to share this much of yourself and unleash it into the world to complete strangers. and while i'm not on any medication, nor am i seeing a therapist, i still recognize a lot of myself in her stories. and maybe i'm not brave enough to elaborate on that, or maybe i'm just not comfortable suggesting that my problems are in any way comparable to hers, but i know a lot of people who will see themselves in this book, and that it will help them and make them laugh in equal parts. and i'm sure doctors would disagree with the adage that laughter is the best medicine, but it's not the worst. the worst is that antidepressant they advertise on teevee with the disclaimer about its side effects including depression and thoughts of suicide, because how is that helpful?

so while it feels strange to say about a book so full of voodoo vaginas, dead raccoon rodeos, and japanese toilets - this is an important book. it just also happens to be really fucking funny.

her late-night musings

If you put a bunch of chameleons on top of a bunch of chameleons on top of a bowl of Skittles what would happen? Is that science? Because if so, I finally get why people want to do science.

the wisdom she learned from her father

You don't have to go to some special private school to be an artist. Just look at the intricate beauty of cobwebs. Spiders make them with their butts.

her assessment of australia

People warned us that everything in Australia wants to kill you, but I think they're overreacting. Australia doesn't want to kill you. It's more like an exclusive club for people who care very little about being alive. Australia is really a lot like Texas if Texas were mad at you and drunk and maybe had a knife.

and her scoffing at bruce springsteen, dismissing him as "obviously not the boss of scientific accuracy."

i mean, he's probably never even conducted any chameleon/skittles experiments.

but it's her tales about how unfit she is for the adult world that were the most dangerous to my tendency to laugh-pee, particularly the chapter that involves her meeting with maury the financial planner and victor - aka mister jenny lawson.

Maury asked me if I had life insurance and I assured him that I didn't because I didn't want Victor to be arrested. There was a pause in the conversation.

"She thinks life insurance is only taken out on people about to be murdered," Victor explained stoically.

poor victor.

Victor sighed, but frankly I'm not really sure what he'd expected. It was my job to accidentally make money and his job to make sure that I didn't lose it when I was doing wobbly cartwheels in the parking lot after the bars closed. Our roles had been clearly defined.

poor victor.

"We can come back to wills later. How about retirement plans?"

Victor spent the next several minutes speaking in a combination of words and letters that I'm pretty sure means "I have a retirement plan and it's quite good."

Maury looked at me expectantly.

"I have a drawer I put change into."

Victor put his head in his hands.

"Not quarters though. I use those for gum."

poor victor.

all of this seems entirely sensible to me. and familiar. i don't like dealing with forms and grown-up things, either. and i like gum and cartwheels.

poor victor also has to deal with her clutter of dead animals, her plans for a living cat/tax write-off called "the president," and her delightfully irrepressible spirit as the book's cover-model, rory the raccoon, sneaks up over victor's shoulder during business-related skype calls.

lucky victor.
i want a rory photobombing me, too.
oh! dreams do come true!

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i just fucking love her - the parts where i can nod along: her boredom with financial matters, her fear not of flying but of getting to the plane, her anxiety over small talk and hiding when the doorbell rings, her love of cheese despite being lactose intolerant, and also the parts where i may not be able to relate, but i want to bake her a pie and try to make things better for her.

although it seems as though she is finding her strength all on her own

You learn to appreciate the fact that what drives you is very different from what you're told should make you happy. You learn that it's okay to prefer your personal idea of heaven (live-tweeting zombie movies from under a blanket of kittens) rather than someone else's idea that fame/fortune/parties are the pinnacle we should all reach for. And there's something surprisingly freeing about that.

It is an amazing gift to be able to recognize that the things that make you the happiest are so much easier to grasp than you thought. There is such freedom in being able to celebrate and appreciate the unique moments that recharge you and give you peace and joy. Sure, some people want red carpets and paparazzi. Turns out I just want banana Popsicles dipped in Malibu rum. It doesn't mean I'm a failure at appreciating the good things in life. It means I'm successful in recognizing what the good things in life are for me.

but this is a jenny lawson book, and i'm not going to close a review with something sedate and rational like that. should i quote a portion from her one-night-stand with a sleep clinic? or from the story containing the frantic exclamation I'VE SWALLOWED A LEPRECHAUN AND IT'S EATING ITS WAY OUT OF MY CHEST? or her realization that everything in the world either is or isn't pandas?

no, i will quote a passage from the appendix, which in the jennyverse is located in the middle of the book.

I realize that it's weird that this appendix is in the middle of the book instead of at the end where appendixes are supposed to be, but it works better here, and technically your appendix is in the middle of your body so it sort of makes sense. Probably God had the same issue when Adam was like, "I don't want to sound ungrateful, but it sort of hurts when I walk. Is that normal? Is this thing on my foot a tumor?" And God was like, "It's not a tumor. That's your appendix. Appendixes go at the end. Read a book, dude." Then Adam was all, "Really? Because I don't want to second-guess you but it seems like a design flaw. Also that snake in the garden told me it doesn't even do anything." And God shook his head and muttered, "Jesus, that fucking snake is like TMZ." And then Adam was like, "Who's Jesus?" and God said, "No one yet. It's just an idea I'm throwing around." And then God zapped Adam's appendix off his foot and stuck it in Adam's midsection instead in case he decided to use it later. But the next day Adam probably asked for a girlfriend and God was like, "It's gonna cost you a rib," and Adam was all, "Don't I need those? Can't you just make her out of my appendix?" And the snake popped out and hissed, "Seriously, why are you so attached to this appendix idea? Don't those things occasionally explode for no reason whatsoever?" and God was like, "THIS IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, JEFFERSON. I'M STARTING TO QUESTION WHY I EVEN MADE YOU." And Adam was like, "Wait… what? They explode?" And God was all, "I'M NOT NEGOTIATING WITH YOU, ADAM." And that's why appendixes go in the middle and should probably be removed.

when i die, i am leaving my body to jenny lawson, and she can stuff it and do whatever she wants with it. hopefully it will involve wings.

maggie gets into it.

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sort of

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* j-law's not the only one who can make up words!

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews154k followers
May 15, 2021
Looking for a new book but don't want to commit? Check out my latest BooktTube Video: One & Done - all about fabulous standalones!

Now that you know this one made the list - check out the video to see the rest!

The Written Review :

Don’t make the same mistakes that everyone else makes. Make wonderful mistakes. Make the kind of mistakes that make people so shocked that they have no other choice but to be a little impressed.
Be prepared for laugh-out-loud hilarity from cover to cover

Jenny Lawson provides a shockingly funny and heartwarming memoir on what it is like to live with severe depression and other varying conditions.

I really liked how she took something so serious,and made it funny - but not in the cruel sort of funny.

She finds enjoyable and often comedic moments even in her darkest times.
Depression is like … when you don’t want cheese anymore. Even though it’s cheese.
And that's not to say she doesn't get serious, she does:
When you come out of the grips of a depression there is an incredible relief, but not one you feel allowed to celebrate. Instead, the feeling of victory is replaced with anxiety that it will happen again...
but she never lets the depression be the driving force of her book.
Like my grandmother always said, “Your opinions are valid and important. Unless it’s some stupid bullshit you’re being shitty about, in which case you can just go fuck yourself.”
Overall, this is one book where the title absolutely fits it to a T.

Lawson focuses on being furiously happy - where she takes on her depression with a manic energy reserved for only the most sugar-addicted five-year-olds - and she shares the various ups and downs her philosophy has.
Normal is boring. Weird is better. Goats are awesome, but only in small quantities.
And above all, her book preaches self-care and self-worth.
The only person you need to be better than is the person you were yesterday
Truly an inspiring and enjoyable read.

And remember, whenever life gets you down:
The 2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge - a book about mental health

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews164k followers
January 13, 2019
This book made me literally laugh out loud several times while reading it. There are so many hysterical stories in here and there were many times when I couldn't hold it together. I will say that sometimes it felt like the author was really (& I mean REALLY) pushing this whole I'M SUPER QUIRKY angle to her stories & it was hard to not see through that for me at times. Regardless this was a very interesting read & I can guarantee the fact that I'll be reading more books by Jenny Lawson in the future.
Profile Image for Felicia.
Author 28 books128k followers
August 2, 2015
Upfront: I'm not very objective about this book because Jenny is someone I consider a friend (although we've only met once I think!) and I'm a huge fan of her blog, AND she blurbed my book. But I wouldn't have asked her to blurb if I didn't love her stuff, ergo it doesn't feel weird to say I loved this book. So take that how you will.

This review is based on an ARC too, BTW. Basically her original book is one of my faves (I read it before I'd met her or even read much of her blog, for the record) and these new tales are just as witty and weird and fantastic as in her book debut! You'll never feel ashamed of any aspect of yourself after you read this book. Jenny makes it ok to be you, whatever it is you feel that makes you weird or broken. I love her for that.

Also, I'd never be able to sleep in her house because of all the taxidermy.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
3,914 reviews35.3k followers
October 28, 2015

Audiobook: 30-day trial with audible/Amazon.

I had no intentions of 'reading' this book ( I didn't request it from Netgalley as an early read), but then I read several positive reviews. ( one said its a 'must' read for everyone).
Plus, friends told me 'memoirs' by the author themselves, are good audiobook choices.
So... what the heck: free trial read!

The very beginning was great... ( out walking), I was ready to enjoy some laughs,
wisdom, and inspiration...
I became exhausted, or bored with exaggerated stories.
Jenny's high pitch voice and sarcasm - both - were annoying.
The dialogue often felt forced ... or just plain silly.

I've had this audiobook - less than a week-I'll exchange it!!!

Profile Image for Neil Gilbert.
Author 1 book9 followers
March 31, 2016
Like, I know depression is like totally a literal thing that feels like someone throat punched you right in the knee with a kitten fisted mitten. Also then stabbed you with a pen right after and I mean serves that asshole right for being a tiny ninja zombie baby from the Internet. Like omg, literally, right? I mean here's an awesome quote I made up about parsley and soup and lady parts. Hedgehog, goat, ferret, armadillo, baby. Right? I mean I love psychiatric hospitals for pain killers I was yelling so loud at the doctor. Glitter and unicorns made me faint.

There you go, you read the book. I just saved you like literally 1000 hours. You're welcome!

P.S. Siri and autocorrect helped me write this whole book on my iPhone.
Profile Image for Lisa (LiteraryLatinax).
235 reviews38 followers
November 22, 2015
DNF......I was so FURIOUSLY annoyed with this book. If someone is interested in a free copy, you can have mine. I got to Chapter 19 and said hell with it. Ramble, ramble, ramble. Maybe I was expecting too much, like her talking about her illness instead of shower curtains and her taxidermy animals or how she has every mental illness out there. Everytime I thought there would be a serious discussion she went off and ranted about fainting at the site of white coats or germs or the airport. She talked about nothing...remember when Seinfeld and George decided to make a show about nothing........exactly, except this was worse! Things come out of her without any thought which I found insulting at times, maybe I'm taking it too personal. Either way....I'm glad I never read the first, I don't regret not finishing the 2nd and no way in hell will I read any others. This author is one of those people who talks without thinking, at all.
Profile Image for Camie.
891 reviews187 followers
April 9, 2016
The manically happy raccoon amongst scattered glitter on the cover is the best part of this book. I find very little humor in mental illness, even when it's offered up by someone who doesn't seem to mind using her chronic depression and crippling anxiety as a vehicle to what she says are ridiculous stories. I agree with her word ridiculous. I guess it's good she can enjoy her mental illness, I'm quite sure most others would not find this possibility very doable.
Is it wrong to feel this book might be insulting to people who are devastated by mental illness ? Jenny Lawson has been blessed with a family who seem to have learned to deal with her flaunted craziness. KUYH November Select - 1 star
Profile Image for Trudi.
615 reviews1,404 followers
June 16, 2016
I’m having one of those rare days where I love people and all of the amazing wonder they’re capable of and if someone fucks that up for me I will stab them right in the face. ~Jenny Lawson

I've shamelessly let Rocket Raccoon carry this review space since last year, and he garnered me 54 likes, so thanks Rocket! (I'm sure he would approve of my blatant exploitation even though he's the one being exploited).

But enough is enough. And really, I'm sure Rory isn't too furiously happy either about having some other fabulous raccoon steal his thunder. (And now Rocket is going to be pissed I've called him a raccoon. He doesn't like that).

Jenny Lawson -- aka The Bloggess -- is a wickedly delightful, exhausting, a bit scary, kaleidoscopic array of frantic energy meets overwhelming anxieties and various anxiety disorders and sometimes .... debilitating depression. This book is her true confession, no holds barred everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask look inside her precious crazy head -- Jenny wouldn't mind me using the word crazy either; because she's taking crazy back. She's taking it out of the dark broom closet where we store things we don't want to see or talk about and wearing the "crazy badge" with pride. And why shouldn't she? Jenny, along with countless others, are survivors -- of their pain, of their chemical imbalances, of their terror, and of their uncontrollable impulses.

Because not everyone survives. My sister didn't. Depression and mental illness is terrifying. It's the disease we never talk about and as family and friends of sufferers we feel helpless in the face of it, not knowing what to do or say, or how to help. Sometimes in our effort to help, we're actually making things even harder, setting up unreasonable expectations, getting angry as if the person is acting this way on purpose just to piss us off. I really, really wish my sister and I had had this book before it became too late for her. I'm not saying it would have changed the outcome, but I know it would have changed how I talked to her and how I tried to help her. I know it would have made her feel some solace, some comfort, that other people feel this crazy too, and that it's not something you just "get over." And it would have made her laugh, her big boisterous fuck you laugh.

In all her silliness and shenanigans and stunts aimed to make us laugh (and keep herself furiously happy), Jenny Lawson is doing something really important here. She's humanizing depression and mental illness, she's reaching out and making it relatable (rather than something shameful and embarrassing). It's brave, and hopefully with shows like You're The Worst and Jared Padalecki's Always Keep Fighting campaign tackling the same difficult subject matter - we've reached a beginning of an empathy and acceptance for mental illness that will become our new normal.
I can tell you that “Just cheer up” is almost universally looked at as the most unhelpful depression cure ever. It’s pretty much the equivalent of telling someone who just had their legs amputated to “just walk it off.” Some people don’t understand that for a lot of us, mental illness is a severe chemical imbalance rather just having “a case of the Mondays.” Those same well-meaning people will tell me that I’m keeping myself from recovering because I really “just need to cheer up and smile.” That’s when I consider chopping off their arms and then blaming them for not picking up their severed arms so they can take them to the hospital to get reattached.


I love that the cover looks like a blissed out, meth-crazed Rocket Raccoon!

Oh, yeah!

(Pardon my squeeing giffiness but it had to be done).

Profile Image for Mariah Roze.
1,015 reviews920 followers
May 22, 2017
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Jenny Lawson is a women I have never heard of, but by the end of the book I realized that she is famous because people loved her writing. Her writing is extremely honest, funny and can be very inappropriate. Jenny kept talking about dead animals, and from reading about her first book I realized that she was a daughter of a taxidermist and that was why. There were moments in this book that I wish I had read her first book first because I didn't understand why or what she was talking about.

Furiously Happy is a book written by Jenny to explore her lifelong battle with mental illness. It talks about how she has crippling depression and anxiety that prevents her from being able to live a "normal" life. Jenny tried explaining this by turning her mental illness stories into a hysterical, ridiculous book.

My biggest struggle with this book was the randomness of it. The stories weren't organized and most of the chapters were just random thoughts thrown onto a page. She did have some funny moments, but the lack of organization really bugged me. I never felt the need to keep reading. This book didn't capture my attention.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews55.9k followers
July 22, 2021
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, Jenny Lawson

The title refers to Lawson's philosophy of being "furiously happy" after becoming so depressed that she eventually decided to force herself to be happy out of frustration and spite, driving herself to adventures and experiences in order to build happy memories to sustain her through bouts of depression.

This propels her to do such things as travel to Australia in order to hug a koala while wearing a koala suit, to wear a fancy ballgown on ordinary occasions in order to feel beautiful, and to connect with people in the real world in spite of painful physical ability and severe social anxiety.

She also related experiences of other mentally ill people who have gone on their own adventures after being inspired by her.

Lawson's memoir also discusses the real challenges of mental illness, such as anxiety and depression. She fully puts these terms into perspective and the daily struggles one might face.

One example of her realness is by explaining the physical and mental pain of public appearances such as book signings.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش نسخه اصلی: یادم نیست نسخه ی کتاب در کامپیوتری دیگر است

عنوان: شادی از سر خشم: کتاب بامزه‌ ای درباره‌ ی چیزهای وحشتناک؛ نویسنده: جنی لاوسن (لاسون=لوسون)؛ مترجم: فاطمه جابیک؛ تهران: انتشارات میلکان‏‫، 1397؛ در 320ص؛ شابک: 9786007443385؛ در 320ص؛ شابک: 9786007443385؛ موضوع: شوخیها و بذله گوییها از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 21م

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 30/04/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ‬ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,065 reviews2,663 followers
March 24, 2019
I don't want to put others off this book because even though it wasn't for me, it may be just the thing for another person. Despite living with depression, something I work on every day to keep in it's place (don't know how else to describe my personal struggle with it) and doing a pretty good job most of the time, I wasn't able to connect with the author's experiences that she relates in the book. We all have our own journey and she makes that very clear in her intro.

My brain just rebelled against the written words...maybe it was the stuffed raccoons...I don't know. She has cats and I love them. I'm usually so much more flexible about books I read but this just hit me as a big NO! I really had this book sitting on my desk, waiting to be picked up and read, for almost a month so I know I was having a problem with it before I even got very far into it. Your mileage may vary. I hate writing non positive reviews but I must admit, I already feel better for having written this one. :-)
Profile Image for Debbie.
432 reviews2,740 followers
January 15, 2020
Bring on the madness—it has me hoppin’!

“Other people might battle a subconscious fear of adversity, failure, or being stoned to death, but my hidden phobia makes me faint at the sight of outerwear.”

Hard to resist, huh? This off-kilter memoir had me riding on my pogo stick while howling deliriously. A comic genius, this Lawson person.

My daughter gave me this book on Christmas Day. I hardly read hard copies anymore because the print is too small, so for about 5 seconds I wasn’t thrilled. Then I opened it. Oh, the fun began! I immediately started reading about Lawson driving through a pick-up-meds line and seeing a box of dog biscuits in the window, and then seeing a guy putting his hand into the box and eating one!! Right then, my body froze but my whole soul was in hysterics. This was like getting swept up into a laugh-snort vortex. I read on:

“And then I thought, ‘Wait. Am I high right now? Is he high? Am I being tested? Should I say something?’ But I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to accuse the man giving you drugs of eating dog food.”

But this isn’t the end of it. I can’t transcribe the whole chapter though I am tempted. Suffice it to say, she doesn’t leave it alone. She ponders all the possible reasons he is eating dog biscuits and all the possible things she could do about it. She goes nuts with it, and I’m in hysterics, oblivious to the ohs and ahs of the fam opening other presents. I was the obnoxious one in the corner, demanding that my daughter listen as I read the chapter aloud. I couldn’t help myself. The hell with the other presents! I was intensely focused on the dog-biscuit-eating pharmacist! Who could NOT be?

Lawson has a magic mix: she has a keen sense of the absurd, a severe case of anxiety, extreme curiosity, an over-active imagination, a big dose of self-deprecation, and uncontested writing chops. Put it all in the pot, stir for a minute, and voila—what comes out is pure gold.

She goes all over the place and I follow her like a puppy. I’m in love with anyone who picks up on absurdities and knows how to turn them into copy. My favorite stories involve intruders at her Japanese hotel room, gall bladder pain, a facial, a sleep study, and a visit to Down Under, complete with koala, kangaroo, and rock tales. What I love is that she takes something odd that’s happening and runs with it, analyzing it to death, her phenomenal imagination churning out more and more possible scenarios and motivations. It’s reality at its most off-kilter. Her saint of a husband plays the straight man in her stories, and their conversations are a riot.

Chapter titles are a gas, too. Here are a few: It’s Like Your Pants Are Bragging at Me; It’s Hard to Tell Which of Us Is Mentally Ill; George Washington’s Dildo; Things I May Have Accidentally Said During Uncomfortable Silences; Voodoo Vagina. Oh, I could go on, but this review is already too long.

It’s not all fun and games. Lawson battles depression, I mean big-time depression. She also has severe anxiety. Writing helps her fight both. Some of her followers have similar issues, and that helps her feel good about herself, that she’s not alone and that her stories help others. In this memoir, she goes into the nitty-gritty of how it feels being her, living with mental illness. It’s very sad and very honest (she makes herself so vulnerable), and her perseverance and struggles are inspiring.

Much of what she worries about is unique to her, and I can’t relate. But then there are these half-relates. Okay, so we both have a fear of flying. I have run-of-the-mill fear of flying, where I white-knuckle it through a flight. But her fear of flying is beautifully twisted: For her, the fear all takes place BEFORE she gets on the plane—the eternal trip to the airport and through the airport. Once she’s on the plane, she’s just fine. I love its backward-ness.

And although I can’t relate to many of her stories (liking to wear a koala costume when visiting koalas, for example), I had a real woo-woo moment when reading the book. And it was about the strangest thing. Here goes (and you’ll see how weird I am, lol): Every time I see a plastic garbage bag on the road, I worry that there’s a dead baby or a body part inside. On the road the other day, I indeed saw the dreaded bag in the road, and I wondered (not for the first time) if I could write a story, a thriller, about it. My mind was churning. I came home and picked up the book. The chapter was about how she thinks garbage bags on the road have body parts in them!! How can this be?

I love this book to death, but really, I don’t think it’s for everyone—the weird and wild are a bit much sometimes, and now and then it seems like she’s trying too hard. There were several chapters that I didn’t think were funny. Her dad was a taxidermist, and she is pretty obsessed with real “stuffed” animals—those stories didn’t entertain me. She got dressed up in a koala and then a kangaroo costume when she went to Australia. Again, that didn’t tickle my funny bone. I just figure you don’t like every single joke that a stand-up comic tells; there has to be an occasional miss. Mild and spotty irritation: she uses “totally” and “like” sometimes, which is weird because she ain’t no valley girl. I just chalked it up to the fact that she’s younger, and youngin’s sometimes talk funny. Another minor complaint: When she quotes her husband or her friend, their voices and ideas sound just like her own. They can’t possibly be as funny and odd as she is, so it stood out a little to hear extra Jennies.

Sample funnies:

“I hate picnics. If god wanted us the eat on the ground he wouldn’t have invented couches.”

“Too much grass and not enough birth control: that’s how goats are made.”

I read Lawson’s first book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir, and I liked it. It had too much about her dad the taxidermist, though. I found this one funnier.

I’m into another book but I’m missing being inside Jenny Lawson’s strange and wonderful head. This book, oh this book. A hard act to follow. Onto my All-Time Favorites list it goes!
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,399 reviews9,528 followers
January 2, 2016
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List


I thought this book was ↓


I have to say I laughed a lot at her humor, I found that I say some of the things that she says. I feel for her that she has all of these disorders because I have most of the same disorders that she has but I have a few more, and not everyone feels the same when they have these disorders, they have different phobias. But it's all scary and a suckfest! And unfortunately, most people just think your having them on or you should just get over it... yeah, if it was only that simple.


Now, that being said, I have had a good time with this book. I laughed so much and that is a good thing. There is one part in the book where she is talking about the Asian toilets, I have taken a picture to show the little picture in the book, hopefully you can see it and I'm going to add the excerpt from the book!



Here are a few of the buttons on the Japanese toilet:

I'm not entirely sure what these are all for but I think the top one that looks like a stick figure is to notify people that you've found the Blair Witch, and I think the next one means "Poop won't go down, Use your foot." I assume the orange button on the far left is for starting a war, and then there are two for washing your boobs for some reason, and then one about levitating on a fountain, and I think the last one is for ordering bacon? Frankly, I was too afraid to try out all of the buttons because just sitting on it triggered something that made it breakout into song. It was unsettling. Like, a pooping lullaby. Frankly, I think we've gone too far if you need someone to sing you to the toilet. In fact, I think the toilets were scarier than the whole rest of the trip, including our room being broken into by non-ninjas.

The author talks about many different things, her phobias, how her doctors react to her, (I have had that many a time!), funny things that she has done or not done or can't remember. It's just on and on and I love that she can joke and be funny while going through all of these things and be able to talk about them. And her husband... FANTASTIC MAN! Most men don't want to deal with women with mental disorders, actually I have friends and men that don't want to deal with it, and I'm guessing it's good I dropped dating before I want crazy :-)

Here is another excerpt from the book that she described about depression that I just loved because I have gotten the same thing.


I can tell you that "Just cheer up" is almost universally looked at as the most unhelpful depression cure ever. It's pretty much the equivalent of telling someone who just had their legs amputated to "just walk it off." Some people don't understand that for a lot of us, mental illness is a severe imbalance rather just having " a case of the Mondays." Those same well-meaning people will tell me that I'm keeping myself from recovering because I really "just need to cheer up and smile." That's when I consider chopping off their arms and then blaming them for not picking up their severed arms so they can take them to the hospital to get reattached.

Seriously, people say the dumbest things, but most mean well.....

Like I said, I thought this book was great and I would recommend to everyone, although not everyone will like it as much as I did. :-) You know opinions are like though!

And remember...



Profile Image for Adina.
793 reviews3,057 followers
Shelved as 'abandoned'
May 25, 2021
DNF at 10%

Another failed speed date with the ebooks I bought a long time ago. The author has a very particular sense of humor which did not make me smile once. I also tried the audiobook and the author's voice made my ears bleed (figuratively). My advice is try a sample before buying this book. You either like it or it makes want to run way.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,414 reviews7,407 followers
September 25, 2015
While I've been witness to MANY review bumps in my time here on Goodreads in order to "collect the likes," I may be the first user to ever DELETE MY OWN REVIEW and all of its likes. Sorry if this looks familiar, but yesterday I proved that a glitch in the system can, in fact, cause me to Darwin myself on the interwebs. Now on to the "new" review : (

Welcome to what was maybe the most epic of all epic buddy reads . . .

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PICTURED: Kelly (duh), Mitchell the Book Boar, David Hasselmouse, Vixen, Frank Engator, and Pauly Shore. (Not Pictured: Hannibal Lecter and Harvey Dent because they are more fallaparty (new word) and my husband says I was lucky enough to score dead Oryx and Impala skulls the first time and he won’t be re-purchasing similar items just so I can take selfies. He obviously doesn’t understand me very well. The entire point of buying these types of pets is to take selfies with them. Jeesh!)

Anyway, as per the string of crazy which are my “pre-reviews” below, I was super excited about the release of Furiously Happy. And I tried everything within my power to obtain an advanced copy. Why??? Because as Jenny’s father points out in the re-telling of a story about a decomposing giraffe head that Jenny’s husband put his foot down when it came to purchasing, but was later purchased at an auction and brought to Jenny’s taxidermist father for repair . . .

“My God. There’s more of you.”

He’s right. There’s a lot of us. I don’t even remember how I stumbled upon The Bloggess years ago, but it brought serious amounts of happy to my life. The same went for Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Unfortunately Furiously Happy fell victim (to me, at least – please note this is only MY opinion and I still liked the dang book fine – I just didn’t looooooove it) to “second book syndrome.” It’s hard enough for a best-selling author to write another book, but it has to be infinitely harder for someone to write another non-fiction book about their own life experiences – especially when having to keep providing content on a successful blog. And therein lies the rub. My enjoyment of Furiously Happy was lessened due to the fact that I had already read most of the material. If you’re not a loyal follower of Lawson’s blog, you’ll get some serious belly laughs while reading stories of complex Japanese toilets and inopportune farts. Buuuuut, you’ll also get a lot of “Debbie Downer” moments talking about depression and medications and therapy, etc. in a very not-so-LOLable way.

I’m not interested in sharing my personal story here because TROLLS , so let’s just say I wanted to read Furiously Happy because I thought it would be like my previous experiences with Jenny Lawson which make the dark parts of life seem a little lighter. It didn’t. In fact, parts of it kinda really brought me down.

I’m not going to focus on the negative, though, because there were lots of positives. Especially in the form of The President. You see, Jenny’s idea mimics a conversation I’ve been having recently with my husband, but since she’s made of awesome she trumps me. Jenny’s idea is to adopt a kitten and name him The President so she would be able to tweet things like “I like sleeping with The President, but why do I always wake up with his butt on my face?” MY M.O. when it comes to obtaining new animals (both live and dead) is that once they are named they are officially mine. (So far it’s worked four times over with our living things and to the point where I look like I’m a big-game hunter for dead things.) Which leads us to Grover Cleveland . . .

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I think he might technically be the neighbor’s kitten, but I don’t think they should let him roam around outside and if he ends up in my yard I’m fairly certain that counts as possession which is 9/10 of the law. But man, why didn’t I think of naming him THE PRESIDENT rather than just after A president????? That’s pure winning right there. Well played, Lawson.

Furiously Happy also provided some great advice that should I ever make any sort of dream board I would probably cut out and pushpin to. Things like potential responses to trolls . . .

“Your opinions are valid and important. Unless it’s some stupid bullshit you’re being shitty about, in which case you can just go fuck yourself.”

and “slut shaming”:

“I don’t get the anti-slut-shaming movement. They’re like, ‘Don’t shame the sluts,’ and I’m like, “YOU’RE the one calling them sluts.’ It’s like having a ‘Lay off the fatties’ campaign.”

and how you should reward yourself for not using words like “supposably” or “flustrated” or “liberry.” (Because really, everyone knows it’s really called the LIBURRY.)

and how to succeed at anything:

“Pretend you’re good at it.” (That advice actually came from Neil Gaiman to Jenny Lawson when she was losing her shit. NEIL MOTHERF*&ING GAIMAN Y’ALL!)

The biggest surprise that came to me while reading this book was that the person I could relate to most was Jenny’s father. He came up with some real gems . . .

“You don’t have to go to some special private school to be an artist. Just look at the intricate beauty of cobwebs. Spiders make them with their butts.”

He also proved he may be my own long-lost father (sorry Dad, still love ya, but you’ve GOTTA admit this guy is way more like me than you are) . . .

“You can make a very convincing taxidermied Sasquatch out of a deer’s ass. They don’t sell well in the taxidermy shop but it’s very entertaining when gullible people get an inch away from a deer’s butthole to stare at it with wonder and skepticism.”

I ask myself: “WHY IN THE F*&^ DON’T THEY SELL?!?!?!?!?” I mean seriously, the assquatch is the greatest taxidermy in all of mankind . . .

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Wait, maybe this is . . .

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While we’re on the subject of taxidermy, it’s a long time until Valentine’s Day so someone buy me one of these . . .

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and also one of these . . .

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EDIT #427:

Dear Jenny Lawson,

Did you know that today is my birthday? Well, it is. I'm sure you just overlooked it. Much like you overlooked notifying your publisher that I should have been approved to receive an advanced copy of this book. There's still time to rectify the situation. I'd hate to resort to "Ferris Buellering" you until release date . . .

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"She'll keep calling me. She'll keep calling me. She'll make me feel guilty. This is uh... This is ridiculous, ok I'll go, I'll go, I'll go, I'll go, I'll go."


I realized today that this is the first time I was ever denied an ARC and actually was bummed out about it. Now, I realize that not everyone is worthy of a freebie, so I've included photographic proof that will forever be known as Exhibit A detailing why I am more worthy than everyone else . . .

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Items 1-8: Dead things. Not only do I have a stuffed boar, but I also have a cross-dressing buck, an ORYX skull (also an impala skull - both former museum pieces which = I win), various rodents and a Day of the Dead deer skull.

Item 9: TARDIS mug.

Item 10: The Dude. Every home should have a Dude.

General area of Items 9 & 10: Magical blogosphering environment.

Item 11: Drunkenly Pinterested "Hodor" artwork.

Item 12: Pop Vinyl. (Sidenote: Jenny, do you have any Pop Vinyls? You should get one. They aren't addicting at all and you definitely can quit buying them at any time. I mean, I am living proof that a person would never buy so many of these damn things that she would completely forget about one for a month.)

Item 13: Copy of book which I already own that needs to join the stack of an additional 10 or 12 and will hopefully one day actually get dropped off at the charity thrift store. Not only am I an idiot, but I also do not find it particularly comfortable to leave my house and interact with other humans. Sound familiar?

Item 14: Cat. You can't see him because he's really squished himself up in there, but he exists. He also is not dead.

Item 15: Another cat. I don't know how he manages to squeeze directly behind that big old flower thing, but he does it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

(Sidenote #2: MY cats are not evil and will totally wear the yuckoon face mask unlike some other person's cat I know.)

This list should not only prove that I am deserving of a copy of your book, but it should also make you a little bit worried that we might be the same person. Lucky for you I'm only interested in becoming a professional stalker of Jeff Goldblum, so you're safe.


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Profile Image for Derek.
212 reviews2 followers
December 15, 2015
I'm sorry that Jenny Lawson got dealt a bad hand in life, but honestly, she is a terrible writer. This book is filled with completely uninteresting anecdotes about falling asleep on her arms and them going numb that I thought would somehow tie into her daily struggle. but no that was it. Hilarious. There are several one-liners that would be cute little twitter posts, but listed out in a book is simply tedious. Moreover, the insights into mental illness are so superficial that only people who are dealing with something similar would appreciate, but it doesn't provide much for people on the outside to grasp to make sense of the world these people inhabit. The section on self-harming was pretty serious, but I didn't get anything from it other than it sucks.

But the most severe crime which made the book un-finish-able for me is that it isn't funny whatsoever. The jokes are clumsy and obvious, the pop culture references forced, and the "wackiness" is just annoying. Ultimately, a lot of the book feels like a cross between a pitch session for a terrible sitcom and someone's therapy journal that hasn't seen any kind of revising or editing. Moreover, she seems almost proud of the fact that she's perfectly content to not do any work and just pump out writing whenever she feels like it. It proves to be a thesis statement for the book itself.
Profile Image for Inge.
346 reviews881 followers
January 15, 2018
"There will be moments when you have to act like a grown-up. Those moments are tricks. Do not fall for them."

I won’t say too much about Furiously Happy, because I really think the element of surprise is one of the best things about the book. Most of the stories in this book are downright bizarre, and on more than one occasion I thought to myself, “There is no way that actually happened”, and then BOOM, the author provides photographic evidence, and blew my mind once again.
"[...] my friend Laura asked if I'd come with her on a trip sponsored by the People Who Want You to Go to Australia. I said no because I'm the only person in the world who hates to travel, and because I knew that everything in Australia wants to kill you as violently and painfully as possible."

Not only does the author wonderfully explain what it’s like to live with mental illness, but she also makes you laugh about it, which is something we all need to do – take life a little less seriously. On top of that, you get amazing stories about cuddling koalas in a koala suit, taxidermied raccoons, a shitload of possums, and lots of other things you never thought you’d read.
"As the doctor walked me out he told me to 'stop worrying so much' [...] and I made a note to tell my shrink the breaking news that the medical world finally found the cure for my severe anxiety disorder and that the prescription is 'Just stop worrying so much'.
My God, we've come so far with science."

Without a doubt, one of the best books I’ve read this year. Jenny Lawson is a person to watch out for – not only because she’s slightly crazy and lots of weird things happen around her, but also because she is incredibly funny and amazing in every single way. She’s relatable in her social awkwardness and not so relatable in her being stalked by swans, but it’s all part of the magic.
"I am privileged to be able to recognise that the sound of laughter is a blessing and a song, to realise that the bright hours spent with my family and friends are extraordinary treasures to be saved, [...]. Those moments are a promise that life is worth fighting for, and that promise is what pulls me through when depression distorts reality and tries to convince me otherwise."

For the love of Rory the raccoon, pick up this book. You will not regret it.
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
909 reviews13.8k followers
November 27, 2017
This book was really enjoyable! I started it as a physical book and thought it was great, and I finished it with the audiobook and liked that as well! Some of these stories were SO powerful and well-written, and I was underlining them like crazy. It's such a candid and unfiltered book about the experience of mental illness, and I could relate so much to parts of this. However, in the middle of the book, Jenny starts getting really off-topic and just begins telling random funny stories. Don't get me wrong, they were enjoyable, but I was left wondering how it related to mental health or her policy of being furiously happy. Other than that, sometimes her jokes were a little bit too lame and she came off as an annoying person in her attempt to be super hilarious all the time, but her writing really reminded me of Mindy Kaling's, and I enjoyed her books as well.

This is definitely something that will stick with me even though it wasn't perfect. It spoke true to the experience of debilitating mental illness and how recovery is possible and always something to look forward to.
Profile Image for Maxwell.
1,110 reviews8,031 followers
September 29, 2015
Hilarious and heartfelt. More serious than her first book, but still incredibly genuine and never lacking her sardonic wit. If you are looking for a touching and uproariously funny memoir about what it means to be a human, you've found it in this book.
Profile Image for Heidi The Reader.
1,372 reviews1,419 followers
March 27, 2017
Jenny Lawson may not appeal to all readers, but I love her stuff. Her books are like open diaries and sometimes you just have to look away, but I always find myself looking back. I loved her first book and this one was even better.

In addition to being, in my opinion, uproariously funny, Jenny is a poster child for the millions who suffer silently from mental illness and the social stigma that goes along with that. She has more than embraced her condition, she's transcended it into a weird alternate reality with grinning, taxidermied raccoons and brown (not white) Pegasuses with back herpes.

Though she obviously has her dark moments, Jenny's world seems a lot more fun than the ordinary world. That in itself is miraculous when you consider the sheer amount of mental anguish that she's lived through. I think Jenny gives people with debilitating mental illnesses hope- that they too can live a life filled with laughter, quirkiness and fun despite any obstacles.

It's weird but my favorite part was the bit about Japanese toilets. I googled it and found out that Japanese toilets are a for-real "thing"- those buttons, squirting water and all. So, in addition to being entertaining and inspiring, this book could also be considered educational. :)

If you enjoyed Furiously Happy, you may want to try I'm Just a Person by Tig Notaro, Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage. by Rob Delaney or Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories by Mike Birbiglia.
Profile Image for Justin Tate.
Author 7 books889 followers
April 13, 2022
Jenny Lawson is a treasured comedian who can take life's many awkward moments and turn them into hilarious memoir. Not as polished as David Sedaris, perhaps, but certainly just as funny. A number of her bizarre encounters she attributes to her own struggles with depression, ADD, sleep disorders, general quirkiness and a cornucopia of other factors. She's self-aware to an aspirational level and isn't afraid to go deep into personal matters—too personal, some might say—for the sake of humor and self-healing.

This book was my first exposure to her writing and I'm instantly a fan. There's too many of us out there who look at our "abnormal" thoughts and experiences with shame rather than pride. Lawson proves that there's joy to be had from having unusual psychology. Rather than feel guilty about regular visits to the therapist, or having to do a sleep study, or having dark thoughts, she shines a big spotlight on these hush-hush topics. Serious issues in mental health are brought to attention, but in a way that combats all the stupid stigma associated with them. I've never felt so proud of all my "abnormal" traits, and I've learned how "disability" can be a positive attribute in the right context.

There's not a lot of comedy writers out there who can genuinely make me laugh. Certainly not many who can make me feel good about myself at the same time. Lawson is one of them.
Profile Image for Ashley DiNorcia.
333 reviews539 followers
January 27, 2016
When my husband found out this book was coming out he says
"Is that by the same person who wrote that book you sat on the couch laughing while reading?"
"Yes, yes it is."

Much to his pleasure, this book had the same effect. He's the Victor of my world but I suspect if a third book rolls around he'll make me vacate the room and read it elsewhere. I truly have never laughed so much while reading as I have while reading both of her books.

Jenny is a magical unicorn of a human and I strongly encourage you read her books. If you or someone you know struggles with mental illness, if you just want to giggle, or if you're a grumpy tightwad who maybe just needs to lighten up a little this book is for you.

But also read her first book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir because it's also great and there's some hilarious shit in there and some references you'd probably not want to miss. And her blog. Cause that's where it all started, and where it continues to be awesome in between books.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,317 reviews4,839 followers
March 6, 2023

3.5 stars

Jenny Lawson - born and raised in Texas - is a journalist, blogger, author, and humorist who suffers from mental illness. Lawson describes herself as having clinical depression, severe anxiety disorder, impulse control disorder, avoidance personality disorder, and depersonalization disorder (which makes her feel detached from reality). She also has rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune problems, self-harm issues, trichotillomania (she pulls out her hair), mild obsessive compulsive disorder, and panic attacks. This makes Lawson's life challenging but - in spite of it all - she's a very funny lady!

Jenny Lawson

This is Lawson's second book and, like the first, it provides encouragement to people with mental health issues.....and to everyone else whose life isn't perfect. Lawson's motivational observations are scattered among many amusing anecdotes that make gentle fun of everything and everyone, including herself.

Lawson describes one of her troubling behaviors as follows: She was in the bathroom, blood flowing from the scratches on her head that she'd made with her nails. Lawson describes how this made her feel: "The pressure in my head was gone. The pain in me was floating away. Panic was fading slowly." In short, the physical pain distracted from the mental pain.

For Lawson, these kinds of self-destructive actions led to behavioral therapy, various medications, learning to redirect her thoughts, snapping rubber bands on her wrist, and squeezing ice until her hands burned. Lawson's basic philosophy - reiterated in different ways throughout the book - is: "Without the dark there isn't light, without pain there isn't relief."

In spite of these low periods Lawson has the gift of seeing (and creating) the funny all around her. For instance:

Lawson is picking up her meds at a Texas pharmacy and sees a box of Milk Bone dog biscuits beside the cash register. She thinks maybe someone returned them until - while ringing her up - the pharmacist casually reaches into the box and scarfs down some broken biscuits. Lawson is aghast, wondering if she's high....or if Milk Bones are actually delicious and the pharmacist is a genius who discovered really cheap cookies.

Lawson loves her stuffed raccoon, Rory. Rory is posed standing up on his hind legs with his arms stretched wide and a huge smile on his face (see book cover). Late one night Lawson decides Rory should ride, rodeo style, on her cats - Ferris Mewler, Hunter S. Tomcat, and Rolly - for a photo montage. So Lawson tries to mount Rory on the kitties, who flop over before she can get the shot, "like a bunch of ingrates that don't understand art." At one point, Lawson's husband Victor, woken by the racket at 2 A.M., peeks out of the bedroom just as Ferris Mewler is streaking across the room with Rory on board. "What the hell is that?" cries Victor. (Can you imagine? LOL)

Speaking of cats, Lawson thinks an awesome name for a cat would be "The President" because you'd find yourself saying things like: The President will not stop sitting on my keyboard; The President just threw up on the new rug; I love sleeping with The President. When Lawson mentioned this to Victor, he yelled "You can't have any more cats. I have to clean up after them. And I'll be damned if I have to scoop The President's shit too." (ha ha ha).

For Lawson, one of the difficulties of being a successful author is the inevitable promotional tour and attendant parties. Lawson gets so anxious at events like these that she sometimes hides behind the podium, cowers under a table, or takes shelter in the bathroom.....and occasionally she can't leave her hotel room at all. At one stop, in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, the crowded streets forced Lawson to stay in her room and - lacking room service - eat peanut butter crackers (that she'd brought along) for days.

For her last book tour Lawson had to fly constantly. According to the author, "it really fucked with my anxiety disorder to the point where I had a mild nervous breakdown." Lawson's shrink advised her to get a service animal, which provides support to people with these difficulties. Lawson thought of training Ferris Mewler, but his explosive diarrhea during trips put him out of the running. So Lawson looked into other animals, including a pony. She notes, "Pony Danza would make a great support animal on a plane.....but Victor got all shitty about having an indoor pony pet." (Lawson's a genius at naming animals! )

Lawson counsels the reader that, "Even when everything's going your way you can still be sad, or anxious, or numb.....because you can't always control your brain or your emotions. It's terrifying but you learn that it's okay to prefer your idea of heaven - like live tweeting zombie movies from under a blanket of kittens - rather than someone else's idea, like fame, fortune, or parties." She advises, "Appreciate the unique moments that recharge you. I want banana popsicles dipped in Malibu rum." (Sounds good to me!)

In one entry, Lawson lists things she may have accidently blurted out during uncomfortable silences at her psychiatrist's office:
"I need to find a skilled arsonist, not necessarily to burn anything down. I just want to have the option. I need an arsonist on retainer. I'm pretty sure that's legal as long as I don't use it."
"My primary thoughts during holidays are stab stab stab, run away."
"I hate it when it's too hot for a blanket because I have this phobia that I'll float up to the ceiling without it and then I'll get chopped up by the ceiling fan."
"On the way here I saw a cloud that looked like a skull and my first thought, Death Eaters."
Of course the psychiatrist just responds, " How does that make you feel? Tell me more."

In one funny anecdote Lawson talks about a visit to her beauty salon. The beautician suggests, "We should get you a Brazilian blowout. It's not bad. You just have to be extra careful for the first day or two. You can't put your hair in a ponytail or anything, or it could compromise the treatment." To which Lawson responds, "What the shit. Who puts their pubic hair in a ponytail?" And the beautician explains that this is a blow drying treatment for the hair on your head - that straightens it out and makes it less frizzy. "Ohhhh...Yeahhhhh" responds a sheepish Lawson. :)

In another wry entry Lawson talks about moving into a new house, chosen in part, because of the safe area. "The house seemed perfect..... the gated community seemed perfect." However, in short order: Lawson got attacked by swans at the local pond; a man in the neighborhood had a full on shoot out with the police in his driveway (and got arrested); and a flyer was circulated saying that a cougar had come down from the mountain nearby and eaten a lady's dog WHILE SHE WAS WALKING IT! Lawson notes, "I just assume the sewers are filled with panthers because this seems to be the direction things are taking."

Lawson also describes a trip to Japan with Victor, where a small gang broke into their hotel room (a misunderstanding); and a journey to Australia with a friend - where she wanted to hug a koala while she was dressed as a koala, and tried to see a kangaroo's three vaginas (these is a real thing, but not visible on the outside).

The writer also describes more of her mental health battles, in an effort to give hope to people who struggle along with her. Lawson's message comes across loud and clear: 'you can go on; you can make it; medication helps; twitter (where lots of 'nuts' hang out) helps; the bad times will pass'..... and so on. 'Just hang in there and appreciate the good times.' The author expresses deep appreciation to her fans, and is profoundly touched by messages from troubled souls who have been brought back from the brink by her writing.

On the downside, the book's humor is a little uneven, and some stories fall flat or feel forced, as if Lawson engaged in an activity just to have something to write about (and it didn't turn out to be that hilarious).

I'd recommend the book to anyone who wants a laugh or needs a boost on occasion (which, I suspect, is everyone). I listened to the audio version, narrated by the author, and was treated to a 'bonus chapter.' So consider getting that version if you can.

You can follow my reviews at http://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.com/
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,622 reviews5,062 followers
July 7, 2022
Like my grandmother always said, “Your opinions are valid and important. Unless it’s some stupid bullshit you’re being shitty about, in which case you can just go fuck yourself.”

I genuinely don't have words for how much I adored this book, or how grateful I am to have finally read it. I've been meaning to pick it up for years, and finally did after making a deal with my mother (she would read Finlay Donovan Is Killing It if I would read this — we've both been very happy with this deal's outcomes), and honestly, Mom, thank you for harassing me endlessly to read this. You were right. I loved every single page.

Without the dark there isn’t light. Without the pain there is no relief. And I remind myself that I’m lucky to be able to feel such great sorrow, and also such great happiness. I can grab on to each moment of joy and live in those moments because I have seen the bright contrast from dark to light and back again. I am privileged to be able to recognize that the sound of laughter is a blessing and a song, and to realize that the bright hours spent with my family and friends are extraordinary treasures to be saved, because those same moments are a medicine, a balm. Those moments are a promise that life is worth fighting for, and that promise is what pulls me through when depression distorts reality and tries to convince me otherwise.

I don't think any book has ever made me laugh so hard, but I also don't think any book I've ever read has captured mental illness and chronic illness/pain so well. There were chapters in this book that hit me so hard, I had to pause my audiobook and go do something else for a while to give myself a chance to recover, because there's something painful in the best way about listening to someone say all the things you never quite have the words for, like how unfair it is that depression is a chronic illness nobody ever congratulates you for surviving, or how bullshit it is that our society treats mental health medications with so much hostility and skepticism despite the fact that we would never look down on someone for taking medications for, say, migraines, or arthritis, or cancer. I could rant for a long time, but honestly, just read this book, because Jenny says it all so much more eloquently than I could.

“Surprise, motherfucker, there's a dead raccoon in your bed and he wants a snugglin'!”

But alongside all of the heavy topics, this book is just a damn delight from start to finish. Maybe part of it is because Jenny reminds me so much of myself in the ways she looks at the world and how her thought processes work (ADHD brains unite!), but I laughed until I cried at least three times, and two of those times were probably related to her incredible taxidermy animal stories.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go grab audio copies of her other books... and maybe look into pricing a taxidermy raccoon.

Representation: Jenny has ADHD, multiple physical conditions (including rheumatoid arthritis), and multiple mental illnesses (including but not limited to depression, anxiety, avoidant personality disorder, OCD, trichotillomania, suicidal ideation, and self-harm)

Content warnings for: discussions of mental and physical illnesses, internalized ableism (and the process of working through it), discussions of therapy and mental health medications, descriptions of taxidermy animals, mentions of self-harm

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Profile Image for Maria Espadinha.
1,007 reviews354 followers
January 20, 2020
O Clube Dos Furiosamente Felizes

"We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars" , Oscar Wilde

"Todos nós temos a nossa dose de loucura, tragédia ou drama, mas a forma como lidamos com esses horrores faz toda a diferença" , será uma possível interpretação destas palavras de Oscar Wilde , além da premissa deste "Furiosamente Feliz".

Há Loucura Radical e Loucura Normal.

Na primeira, não há volta a dar!
Invadiu a mente, Controlou e Reinou!
Derrotou e Expulsou a Consciência!
Nada a fazer!...

Na segunda , ela é concomitante com a Consciência.
Sempre que coexiste em doses mínimas, nada a assinalar!
Mas...por vezes, assume dimensões tais, que abarcam uma larga fatia do espaço mental e é aí que a porca torce o rabo!
Mas essa calamidade só tem lugar quando a Consciência se ausenta , abdicando do seu papel de Guardiã Mental!

Assim, é conveniente mantermo-nos atentos aos sinais de perigo, para impedir que os vírus de loucura/depressão/ansiedade alastrem ao ponto de se tornarem eles os controladores ao invés dos controlados.
Estou em crer que essa será uma boa terapia de prevenção!...

Quando sucedem os casos extremos, i.e. aqueles em que a Consciência falhou na sua missão de Guardiã Mental e a loucura/depressão/ansiedade entra em modo Veni Vidi Vici , tendo em conta que uma imagem contém poder suficiente para aniquilar rapidamente qualquer ruído mental, convém raptar um daqueles fetiches dum guaxinim furiosamente feliz , e contemplá-lo longa e demoradamente!...
Quiçá seja esse o interruptor que acende a Luz ao Fundo do Túnel?! 😉

Porém, se o guaxinim da capa falhar, não há razão para desânimo, pois nada está perdido!
Num daqueles instantes de lucidez desesperada - as oportunidades flash que a loucura concede à sanidade mental para recuperar terreno - há que atacar furiosamente o livro!
As curas mentais só produzem efeito, quando administradas no momento certo!

Furiosamente Feliz é uma leitura indispensável a todos os que Desejam , Sonham , Procuram... Viver Furiosamente Felizes!

Nota: Comecei por classificar este livro com 4 estrelas, mas reconsiderei para 5, pois estou em crer que Jenny Lawson, com este seu testemunho inspirador, cumpriu o objectivo desejado - Fundar o Clube dos Furiosamente Felizes!
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
853 reviews3,765 followers
May 2, 2017
So good. Listened to the audiobook, which was narrated by Jenny herself.

Jenny talks candidly (and hilariously!) about her life and mental illnesses. I have anxiety, and although my experiences and disorders aren't the same as Jenny's I found myself relating to the fears and emotion behind nearly all of the situations she described. Her stories are outrageous and sometimes awful, but she always makes sure you know YOU AREN'T ALONE. I feel like I could listen to this audiobook forever and still get something out of it each time. I need the constant reminder that it's ok to be afraid, to be different, to be sensitive to things other people can't understand.

I'd absolutely recommend this to anyone. You will either find solace or insight about mental illness, and undoubtedly a good laugh too.
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