Review: BrokenTitle: Broken (in the best possible way)
Author: Jenny Lawson
Genre(s): Humor, Non-Fiction
Pages: 285 (Hardcover)
Source: Library
For: Play Book Tag, Unofficial Trim Challenge
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Goodreads Synopsis

As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In BROKEN, Jenny brings readers along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreaking and hilarious anecdotes along the way. With people experiencing anxiety and depression now more than ever, Jenny humanizes what we all face in an all-too-real way, reassuring us that we’re not alone and making us laugh while doing it. BROKEN is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter when we all need it most.

My Thoughts

Back in 2017, I read Jenny Lawson’s FURIOUSLY HAPPY and loved it. It actually kind of changed my life. I realized in a very profound way that I’m not alone. And, even when I’m in the depths of depression, it’s okay to laugh and enjoy life. Because I loved FURIOUSLY HAPPY so much, I’ve wanted to read more of her books. I finally got the chance by reading BROKEN (IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY) for a couple of reading challenges.

BROKEN didn’t have as profound of an effect on me as FURIOUSLY HAPPY did. And, I still appreciated Lawson’s candor and openness with her struggles with mental and chronic illness. I find the way she describes things to be a very raw, honest, unique look at how someone deals with their pain. At times, I felt like she was stealing parts from my own life as she described hers. I feel like she and I are kindred spirits.

I didn’t fail in responding to past treatments … those treatments failed to work for me.

Lawson’s humor and writing are definitely not for everyone. In fact, if you’re easily offended, then I wouldn’t even attempt to read her books. I’m glad I found her, though, and I’ll keep reading more from her. I also think that if we knew each other IRL, we could be friends.

Have you read BROKEN (IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY)? If so, what did you think?

P.S. I used the paperback cover in my post because it has a llama on it. I couldn’t pass that up, even though I read the hardcover edition.

Review: How ToTitle: How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems
Author: Randall Munroe
Genre(s): Humor, Illustrated, Non-Fiction
Pages: 308 (Hardcover)
Source: Giveaway
For: Play Book Tag
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Goodreads Synopsis

For any task you might want to do, there's a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally complex, excessive, and inadvisable that no one would ever try it. HOW TO is a guide to the third kind of approach. It's full of highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole.

My Thoughts

My husband turned me onto the xkcd webcomic about a decade ago. I’m not the most religious follower, but I do like his humor. I found out about HOW TO through my library’s “Best in Books 2019” event and actually won a copy of the book while I was there. I was really excited that out of all the books I could’ve won, I won Randall Munroe’s.

I loved HOW TO. I loved all the crazy things Munroe thought of doing using absurd, over-the-top scientific methods accompanied by his typical stylistic stick figure drawings made HOW TO a delight to read. I also loved that since I was in a physics class last semester, a lot of the physics he used and talked about were things I had just learned, albeit on a much simpler level.

Physics doesn’t care if your question is weird. It just gives you the answer, without judging.

One of my favorite chapters was “How to Throw Things” because he has an interactive element on his website with the physics built in. I think it’s hilarious that Thor AND Chris Hemsworth are available throwers. I recommend playing around with it because it’s fun, even if you haven’t read the chapter.

Anyway, I’m glad my Goodreads group’s tag this month was science and prompted me to finally read HOW TO. It was 9 hours well spent (thanks, Bookly, for the stats).

Have you read HOW TO? If so, what did you think about it?

Review: Keep MovingTitle: Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change
Author: Maggie Smith
Genre(s): Non-Fiction
Pages: 224 (Hardcover)
Source: Library
For: Book Club
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Goodreads Synopsis

When Maggie Smith, the award-winning author of the viral poem Good Bones, started writing daily Twitter posts in the wake of her divorce, they unexpectedly caught fire. In this deeply moving book of quotes and essays, Maggie writes about new beginnings as opportunities for transformation. Like kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken ceramics with gold, KEEP MOVING celebrates the beauty and strength on the other side of loss. This is a book for anyone who has gone through a difficult time and is wondering: What comes next?

My Thoughts

KEEP MOVING is my IRL book club’s pick for January. I picked it up from the library yesterday and I read it really quickly, in a few hours, as it’s mostly pages of affirmations.

Don’t wait for your life to magically come together–it’s your work to do. Every day, every moment, you are making your life from scratch. Today, take one step, however small, toward creating a life you can be proud of.

I liked a lot of the affirmations, like the one above, but my favorite parts of the book were the parts where Smith went into more detail, where she talked about her losses from losing her grandmother, two miscarriages, and divorce. Those were the times I felt a kinship toward her. Even if I hadn’t experienced loss quite the same way she had, I could still empathize with her and think of ways to apply her advice to my own life.

I really liked her perspective on things, especially when she talked about serotinous pine cones and how they only open and spread their seeds in the midst of fire. Or, how she likened trauma and loss to kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing ceramics with gold. The ceramic piece is beautiful because of its brokenness instead of in spite of it.

I wasn’t sure I’d like KEEP MOVING, but I’m glad I read it. I gave KEEP MOVING 3 stars because the ratio between affirmations to the parts I actually wanted to read was too high. Otherwise, I would’ve given it 4 stars.

Have you read KEEP MOVING? If so, what did you think about it?