52 X 2014: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened


This week’s book is Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson (otherwise known as The Bloggess), and the book’s title pretty much sums up how I feel about having read it.

Look, Jenny Lawson can be pretty darn funny on her blog. But this book is Exhibit C in the argument for why successful bloggers don’t necessarily need book deals. (Exhibits A and B are Pioneer Woman and Dooce.) Blogs are meant to be consumed in bites (bytes?), which is partly what makes them fun to read. You take a little nibble, come back a few days later for a little more, and so on. It’s like parceling out the last sleeve of Thin Mints long past Girl Scout cookie season. But when you get all the HOOOOOLARIOUS ANECDOTES WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS in one long binge, you start to feel fatigued. Burnt out on the thing that used to bring so much pleasure.

So much of the writing in this book feels forced and desperate and ATTENTION ME that I felt embarrassed for Lawson at times. Unfortunately, when she does give her audience an authentic glimpse into her life (“There’s No Place Like Home” is genuinely lovely), she mucks it all up by turning around and grasping at comedy that just doesn’t work within the memoir context. It’s a genre problem, and I’m sorry that it just didn’t work here.

Next up: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

Leave a comment


  1. It’s not for everyone. No worries. Sorry you didn’t like it.

    • boxingoctopus

       /  January 16, 2014

      Jenny, thanks for your comment. You’re a classy broad. And if my husband’s copy of Good Omens ever turns up, I’m sure I will love it!

  2. PS. You’ll love Good Omens. It’s lovely and smart and wickedly funny.


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