Thursday, August 19, 2010

Jen Lancaster, My Favorite Discovery of the Summer

I first heard of Jen Lancaster through other people's blogs and was looking for some good summer reads.  It's pretty hard to make me sit down with a book, looking forward to reading said book, unusual.  Scheduling time in my day to read said book, unheard of!  I used to be such an avid reader in school, but something in college just killed it for me, no idea what happened (maybe it's because someone forced me to read about rocks for 4 years?).  I first started to rediscover my joy of reading when my mother gave me a copy of Marley and Me.  My childhood dog had recently passed away, I'd purchased my first home by myself as an unwed and uncohabitating woman of 25, my finances were stretched to the limits and I had a nasty case of insomnia (as I have found is par for the course throughout the home buying experience unless you just have boatloads of spare money to toss around and have you ever tried to read and understand a closing statement?).  Marley and Me gave me a pleasant end to my day,  it was something to look forward to, something I didn't do out of obligation, but because I wanted to read the next chapter more than I wanted to see the latest TV show.  I was really sad when it was over and found that towards the end I was slowly rationing it out chapter by chapter.  It's been a couple years since I've found something that struck my fancy, so I started with Jen's books and have been reading them in order. 
When people compared her to David Sedaris, I was skeptical, but I have found that I enjoy her MORE than Sedaris.  Possibly this is because I'm a female and can relate to her but also, I find her family life and daily situations more believable and much closer to things I've experienced myself.  Bitter was a bit tough to get through.  Having been laid off once myself, seeing the painful decline of her life as a result was just not happy fun reading I wanted to do at night.  Yes she made it hilarious and you knew she was learning a great life lesson and still, I reminded myself that this was autobiographical and she became a popular writer so her life thus far has made a turn for the better.  But still, despite how witty Lancaster is, I got a little depressed.  Financial ruin is stressful, no matter who it's happening to.
Big Ass is thus far my favorite book.  I read this when Darryl and I were headed up to Boston and was laughing so hard on the plane that he actually peeked over to see what could be so funny.  This book was more hilarious tales from Lancaster's life and I was happy for her because although she was struggling, she was on her way back up again. 
And now, I find myself half way through Such a Pretty Fat.  I would say this was the hardest title to locate (maybe it's because it's the least popular?) but I was thrilled to find it after much combing through the bookstore.  I would say the verdict's still out on this one.  I think there's a lot more serious commentary on female body image than I was prepared for and I'm starting to get genuinely concerned for her health.  I mean, if she has a heart attack and dies, it would be a momentous blow to the Chick Lit genre, ;).  Basically, I haven't made my mind up on it, but can't put it down, so for me, that's saying something, eh?  So grab yourself a copy today (so far, I think reading them in order is a genius plan), this blog is in no way related to or rewarded monetarily or otherwise by Lancaster (though if she reads this I TOTALLY need My Fair Lazy to complete my set).  I also suggest checking out her website and following her on Twitter.  Happy reading!

1 comment:

Christine said...

Can I borrow them for my honeymoon? I was just in borders the other day trying to find books to read and could not find anything that tickled my fancy. These seem like perfect options.