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I discovered Jenny Lawson through her blog ‘The Bloggess’ and was instantly drawn to her wit and humour in the face of A LOT of adversity. Jenny suffers with a myriad of mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, panic attacks and self-harm, as well as physical illnesses and chronic pain, but through all this she still manages to find the humour in situations others would find incapacitating.
‘Furiously Happy’ was born from one such incident, where everything in the universe seemed to be stacked against her. But instead of giving up and giving in, Jenny made the bold (and some might say foolish) decision to face it head-on by being ‘furiously happy, out of sheer spite’. Within hours #FURIOUSLYHAPPY was trending worldwide on Twitter as people chose to join Jenny and fight to take back their lives from the black dog of depression.
This is the point at which the book starts. However, if you’re expecting some kind of a self-help guide or memoir about Jenny’s life after the movement took hold, you’ll be disappointed. It’s less of a memoir and more a collection of essays, composed of disconnected occurrences and encounters which seem to have been lifted directly from Lawson’s blog and then expanded upon for the purposes of the book.
That’s not to say ‘Furiously Happy’ isn’t good, it’s just a bit… random. There’s anecdotes from Jenny’s everyday life, tales of trips she goes on despite feeling crippled by social anxiety, conversations with her husband (who is patient to a fault, incredibly understanding and VERY funny) and many, many stories involving her pets. It’s just not a memoir, at least not in the traditional sense and sometimes that makes it difficult to read, mainly because you’re never quite sure what’s coming next or what tone the next chapter should be read in.
If you’ve ever experienced crippling anxiety and/or depression, or know someone who has/is, then there are certainly chapters of this book which will resonate. The same goes with anyone suffering with a chronic physical illness. That said, there are also some parts which might leave you scratching your head in confusion and wondering whether Lawson has made them up or exaggerated for comedic effect. It’s definitely worth a read, but don’t expect to come away with any insightful revelations or self-help tips, just a smile or two along the way.
In Jenny Lawson’s book, Furiously Happy we learn about daily struggle with her mental health. This kind of subject is hardly new but what is refreshing is Lawson’s unashamedness about her condition. There is so much negativity surrounding the discussion of mental health that here Lawson is saying ‘hello, look at me and my stonking issues’ and I personally feel we need more literature like this.
Furiously Happy helps to take away the stigma and the sting of mental health and provides a fresh perspective on mental health and how personal acceptance can be very helpful. Besides being really enlightening, Furiously Happy is just damn funny. The situations that Lawson finds herself in had me chuckling aloud and getting some funny looks because I couldn’t keep the laughter inside.
The book itself is one of my best reads of 2020 so far and certainly, in a long time. It was laugh-out-loud funny. I found myself reading bits out to my husband who is now going to read it. I've already recommended it to three people in my life. As well as being funny, it also had moments of clarity, understanding and thoughtfulness.
I found myself embracing my own issues and not seeing them as so much of an issue but just part of who I am. I felt less guilty about days where I struggle. I felt more empowered by the quirks that make me who I am.
This is the first Jenny Lawson book I have read but it won't be the last.
This book is less about mental health and more about the author herself, conversations with her husband, jokes with friends, trips she’s been on, moving house.. basically just all about her and how funny she thinks she is. I find it rather silly!
I literally had to put this book away when I was reading it on the plane because I was laughing so loud and hard that everyone thought I was as nuts as Jenny Lawson. Such a fantastic, candid, optimistic view of some really dire things - showing us that sometimes, when it all goes to hell, at least we can laugh about it. I'm so grateful that at last we have a book that celebrates mental illness instead of trying to pretend that it doesn't affect like 1 in 5 people! And reassures us that our quirks, ticks, ups, downs, mad-cap ideas, terrors etc. are part of who we are, not necessarily defining us, but that we need to embrace them, deal with them and bring our own unique voice and view to the world. Smart, funny, with a great eye for the odd details, I really enjoyed this book and all of Jenny Lawson's writing.
The book does exactly what it says on the cover - tells you about horrible things and makes you laugh until your sides hurt.
Jenny (I consider us to be on a first name basis - I don't think she'll mind) is my hero. Not because she's perfect, or going to save the world (or anyone for that matter) but because she's the same kind of imperfect as me. Her stories of pain and peculiarity and her persistent call to being furiously happy despite these things makes me feel a little more comfortable in my own skin. And less like an outcast for feeling the need to be a hermit for days at a time.
If you struggle with mental health, or want to glimpse into the mind of someone else who does, this book is a must-read. I'll be recommending this book for years to come.
Furiously Happy focuses on the author and her struggle with mental illness. It's honest, compelling, and laugh-out-loud funny, and I love Jenny Lawson for writing it. There are so many things in the text that I can identify with, and I will definitely be lending it out to friends to see if they feel about it like I do, since I know their points-of-view are very different from mine. It'll be interesting to see if sharing this book can also open up the conversation on mental illness a little bit.
This book is going straight to the reread ASAP pile! There are so many quotes I wanted to write down, to text to friends, but then I'd turn the page and there would be a new one - so I resolved to just read it more slowly next time so I can savour all those hilarious and heart-breaking words.
This is an amazing book for so many reasons. The first is that it is extremely funny. It is written in a quirky way that had me laughing until I couldn't breathe. The other big reason I think this book is so fantastic is because of its subject matter. This book deals with mental illness and depression. It talks about subjects which are stigmatised and stereotyped or just ignored. I think it's very important that these subjects are brought into the light and this book is a huge help in doing so. Yes, it means that there are some chapters in the book which turn a sudden turn to seriousness, but on the whole it lives up to its description as "A funny book about horrible things."
I admire her for using writing to exorcise her demons, but it's just a diary of rambling anecdotes. Mildly funny in places to begin with, then you realise that's all there is. Not sure how this book could help anyone but the person who wrote it. Disappointing.
Amazing, hysterical, laugh out loud funny! My husband and I are reading this together and we can't wait until we're both home in the evening to curl up on the couch and read it. We both suffer from anxiety and depression so we can relate to so many things but even if you aren't mentally ill the book still has an amazing message that everyone should live by, to live "Furiously Happy"!