Jenny Lawson for my best read this week

April 6-12

If You’re Not Yet Like Me

This is a short work by Edan Lepucki; I had read a previous work, California, recently, and loved it. This was interesting (and brief) but I liked the other book more.

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

In a week when not-fun things were happening in real life I found myself laughing so hard out loud at this one on the train that I had to stop reading. It was just what I needed. Lawson reminds us that we all have our own battles, and we are all in in together (for the most part) even though we sometimes need reminding about that. I find it challenging, sometimes, to get into her books at first, but then I’m inevitably swept up in the fun. There is plenty of pain and reality in her work too, but always the offer of hope.

Stephen Girard: The Life and Times of America’s First Tycoon

A book club selection for us, this is a moderately interesting exploration of the life of a Philadelphian. I didn’t know anything about him before opening the book, and I learned a lot. It does read a bit like a text book though, with masses of repetition and too much foreshadowing. I would have appreciated a more nuanced understanding of the roles of various women in his life too–I felt they were neatly slotted into stereotypical slots.  Clearly, however, the book is meant to be about him, and not them.

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