Thursday, July 8, 2021

Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawon

Broken (in the best possible way) 
by Jenny Lawson
Read by Jenny Lawson
Published  April 2021 by Holt, Henry and Company, Inc
Source: audiobook checked out from my local library

Publisher's Summary:
As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken, she explores her experimental treatment of transcranial magnetic stimulation with brutal honesty. But also with brutal humor. Jenny discusses the frustration of dealing with her insurance company in “An Open Letter to My Insurance Company,” which should be an anthem for anyone who has ever had to call their insurance company to try and get a claim covered. She tackles such timelessly debated questions as “How do dogs know they have penises?” We see how her vacuum cleaner almost set her house on fire, how she was attacked by three bears, business ideas she wants to pitch to Shark Tank, and why she can never go back to the post office. Of course, Jenny’s long-suffering husband Victor—the Ricky to Jenny’s Lucille Ball—is present throughout. 

A treat for Jenny Lawson’s already existing fans, and destined to convert new ones, Broken is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter.

My Thoughts:
I love Jenny Lawson. I love her incredible sense of humor but even more her incredible honesty and openness. I love to listen to her books because she always reads them and I'm certain that they are just that much funnier, that much more thought provoking, and that much more empathetic. Although, I did just find out that the printed book has photos and drawings and I'm a little bummed to miss that. 
“The Bloggess writes stuff that actually is laugh out loud, but you know that really you shouldn’t be laughing and probably you’ll go to hell for laughing, so maybe you shouldn’t read it. That would be safer and wiser.” —Neil Gaiman

Lawson got her start writing a blog, called The Bloggess (hence the reason Gaiman referred to her as such), which is where I first discovered her. In her debut collection of stories, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson talked about her life, from her very unconventional childhood through becoming a parent. I have never laughed so hard when I read (listened) to a book.  Until now. One day, as I drove home from work listening to this book, I swear to you I actually guffawed. I was laughing so hard that I seriously considered pulling my car off the road. 

But things are not all funny. There's a full chapter that's a letter to an insurance company; to say that Lawson's troubles highlight the problem with our entire health care system is an understatement. Lawson has a lot of medical problems, from rheumatoid arthritis to anemias to inactive tuberculosis. And that doesn't take into account her mental health issues which include avoidant personality disorder, anxiety, ADD, and treatment resistant depression. Despite having insurance, she spends hundreds of dollars every month on medicines and treatments that her insurance will not cover but which work for her. Her quiet rage is entirely understandable. I'm certain her fearlessness in sharing her battles with all of this helps other people who face similar battles although she is quick to credit those how have shared, through comments on her blog, their own struggles, which led to her writing more openly about her issues. 

Lawson is probably not for everyone - she does curse quite a lot and reproductive body parts come into play frequently. But if you can handle that, and you don't mind chapters that often veer wildly off the original topic, I promise that you will laugh out loud (not just say "lol"), who will actually get some pretty good insights into what makes a marriage work, and, most importantly, you will get to hear from a woman who wants you to know that you are not alone. That's important to her because she needs readers to remind her that she is not alone either. We're all in this together. 

1 comment:

  1. I did laugh out loud with this one but man, her husband must be a saint. She would be hard to be around 24/7.