Posts Tagged ‘bawdy’

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)

November 7, 2012

Author:  Jenny Lawson

Title:  Let’s Pretend This Never Happened:  (A Mostly True Memoir)

Genre:  Non-Fiction, Autobiography/Memoir

Publication Date:  2012

Number of Pages:  318

Geographical Setting:  Various locations in Texas, including Houston and several small towns in West Texas.

Time Period:  2000’s, with flashbacks to 1970’s-80’s

Series:  N/A

Plot Summary:

In Jenny Lawson’s self-proclaimed “mostly true memoir” she shares humorous anecdotes and reflections about her childhood and adolescence, marriage and motherhood, foibles and friendships, and attempts to rid her new home from the threat of potential zombie attacks.  With chapter headings like “Stanley, the Magical Talking Squirrel,” “My Vagina is Fine, Thanks for Asking,” “And Then I Got Stabbed in the Face by a Serial Killer,” you realize from the start that this book is probably not going to follow the conventions of many memoirs- and you wouldn’t want it to.

The author, creator of the popular online blog, “The Bloggess,” engages and entertains readers with stories that are mostly funny and offbeat (i.e. an overzealous taxidermist father), though she does share some painful episodes (a miscarriage, an anxiety disorder, rheumatoid arthritis) as well.  In both everyday experiences and big-life moments, Jenny Lawson seems to relish finding and sharing the humor of an awkward and/or absurd situation- overall, it makes for a fun, fast read that you were glad to share in, though slightly thankful you didn’t have to go through first-hand.

Subject Headings:  Personal narratives, Childhood memories, Growing up, Awkward high school experiences, Drug use, Family relationships, Marriage, Motherhood, Friendships, Pets, New homes, Human resource departments, Anxiety disorder, Misadventures, Taxidermy, Texas, Rural towns, Blogs.

Appeal:  Humorous, Offbeat, Sarcastic, Conversational, Candid, Engaging, Witty, Bawdy, Contemporary, Colorful characters, Family relationships, Growing up in rural towns, Photographs.

Three appeal terms that best describe this book:  Humorous, Offbeat, Engaging.

Similar Authors and Works:

Three Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1.  Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy by Melissa Migrom

In Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson shares anecdotes of living with a father who is a taxidermist.  Readers interested in finding out more about taxidermy may enjoy this title, in which the author explores the history, community, and craft/art of taxidermy.

2.  I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies): True Tales of a Loudmouth Girl by Laurie Notaro.

Readers who enjoyed the offbeat humor of Jenny Lawson’s book may enjoy reading this collection of funny, quirky stories chronicling the idiosyncrasies of the author’s life in her thirties.

3.  Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community by Joy Deangdeelert Cho.

Readers inspired to begin a blog of their own after reading Jenny Lawson’s book may find this title to be a helpful resource.  It covers a range of topics about starting and developing a blog, in addition to interviews with current successful bloggers.

Three Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

1.  The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks

Max Brooks’ humorous book of survival strategies for dealing with the undead could have come in handy for Jenny Lawson- in Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, she searches the property of her new home for supposed graves in order to avoid being unexpectedly accosted by zombies.

2.  If You Were Here: A Novel by Jen Lancaster

In both Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and this story, we follow the funny and frustrating ups and downs of couples as they adapt to life in a new home and married life.

3.  Pipsqueak by Brian M. Wiprud

Readers who enjoyed the wacky humor of Jenny Lawson’s book and her penchant for collecting taxidermies may enjoy reading this title, the first of a series of mysteries starring unlikely sleuth Garth Carson- a New York City taxidermy collector.

Name:  Nicole

The Lady and the Unicorn

March 18, 2009

Author: Tracy Chevalier

Title: The Lady and the Unicorn

Genre: Historical fiction

Publication date: 2005

Page count: 250

Geographical setting: Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium

Time period: 1490s

Plot summary: The year is 1490 and the acclaimed, but arrogant, Parisian artist, Nicolas des Innocents, is commissioned to design a set of tapestries for nobleman Jean le Viste. Representing, on one level, a classic tale of the seduction and taming of a unicorn, the piece is actually inspired by Nicolas’s love of women — specifically those he encounters during the tapestries’ production. Complications arise when Nicolas finds himself romantically entangled with le Viste’s precocious daughter, Claude, and Alienor, a blind but amazingly talented weaver’s daughter in Brussels. Chevalier offers an intriguing glimpse into the art world of medieval Europe, as well as plenty of rich, historical detail and subtle commentary about the status of women during this period.

Subject headings: Paris (France); France – history – 15 century; Brussels (Belgium); Belgium – history – to 1555; Textile industry; Tapestry; Unicorns in art; Lady and the Unicorn (Tapestries); Nobility

Appeal: multiple points of view, even paced, bittersweet, bawdy, character centered, complex characters, historical details of 15th-century France, romantic, tragic, dramatic, intriguing, elegant, history of art

Similar works (fiction): The Seventh Unicorn – Kelly Jones (another fictional account of the famous Lady and the Unicorn tapestries)

The Birth of Venus – Sarah Dunant (15th-century, focus on artwork and women’s lives)

Girl in Hyacinth Blue – Susan Vreeland (chronicles the history of a painting, multiple points of view, character driven)

Similar works: (nonfiction): 1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry – Andrew Bridgeford (speculative history, French history, medieval art)

The Lady and the Unicorn – Sutherland Lyall (history and symbolism of the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries)

Mysteries of the Middle Ages – Thomas Cahill (medieval history)

Name: Suzanne