Furiously Happy

Furiously Happy

A Funny Book About Horrible Things

Book - 2015
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In Furiously Happy , #1 New York Times bestselling author Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea.

But terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

As Jenny says :

"Some people might think that being 'furiously happy' is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he's never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos.


"Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you'd never guess because we've learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, 'We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.' Except go back and cross out the word 'hiding.'"

Furiously Happy is about "taking those moments when things are fine and making them amazing, because those moments are what make us who we are, and they're the same moments we take into battle with us when our brains declare war on our very existence. It's the difference between "surviving life" and "living life". It's the difference between "taking a shower" and "teaching your monkey butler how to shampoo your hair." It's the difference between being "sane" and being "furiously happy."

Lawson is beloved around the world for her inimitable humor and honesty, and in Furiously Happy , she is at her snort-inducing funniest. This is a book about embracing everything that makes us who we are - the beautiful and the flawed - and then using it to find joy in fantastic and outrageous ways. Because as Jenny's mom says, "Maybe 'crazy' isn't so bad after all." Sometimes crazy is just right.

Publisher: New York :, Flatiron Books,, 2015.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250077004
1250077001
Branch Call Number: BIO LAWSON J. Lawson 09/2015
Characteristics: xxii, 329 pages :,illustrations ;,25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

List - 2016 Audie Award Winners
JCLBetM May 31, 2019

2016 Best Humor Audiobook

Mental illness is a hard subject to write about. Even harder to make a compelling and humorous. Jenny Lawson does things the "harder" way.

Comment
JCLHopeH Nov 16, 2016

I have a ton of respect for Jenny Lawson and her open, entertaining approach to her life and in many ways, more broadly, the human struggle ... especially when you have to conquer your own mind dark/sad/crazy games. Sometimes her humor is a shade off for me, but even then I appreciate it. I expec... Read More »

Audie Award Winner for Humor. Read by the author.

Comment
JCLJoshN Nov 19, 2015

Jenny Lawson is a precious gift to this world. Her writing, her worldview, her candor about her struggles with mental illness make me furiously happy. (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?)


From the critics


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amnevitt
Feb 29, 2020

There are things I love about Furiously Happy. By exposing her life and "furiously happy" way of coping with mental illness, she invites readers to join her in the everyday realities of her lived experiences. She takes scary topics, like "anti-psychotics," and she uses humor to diffuse fear while also providing insight about what it means to be a person whose life is vastly improved by medication and therapies. We need more bold voices like Jenny's to build a more just and compassionate world for self-care and communal understanding of mental health and mental illness.

That said, I'm not in a space where I find laughter amidst the humor. I picked it up with the promise of "laughing out loud" - something I could really use. That said, I find myself more attuned to the pain lurking beneath the surface of the silliest encounters in Jenny's narration, and it isn't a source of comic relief for me at present. That isn't to say I couldn't read it at a different time in life and find it fantastically funny. Maybe that's because Jenny's writing is just so real that it encompasses furious happiness and devastating pain.

d
digitbaxter
Jan 14, 2020

This book made me laugh hysterically and cry at how precisely she wrote about living with mental and physical illness. I also suffer both. I had my husband read several chapters which explained perfectly what life is like for people with these problems. He said "I had no idea". Fortunately, like Jenny, I have a very patient and loving husband who holds me during the rough times and celebrate the good days. There isn't a cure or a magically potion. Years of therapy and constant review of meds helps, but I still spend a lot of time on the toilet crying - it's very therapeutic. People also need to understand psychiatrists are medical doctors and they are trained to prescribe psychiatric meds for a specific problem or even different seasons. Jenny described all of these behaviors perfectly.

j
joliebergman
Sep 24, 2019

A very sweet, funny, and surprisingly self-helpy memoir.

e
egress
Aug 16, 2019

When my kids hear me laughing uncontrollably, they ask “Are you reading THAT BOOK again? ! The one with the mouse or raccoon?”
They know me well.

j
jeff1885
May 06, 2019

It didn't take me long to read this book. I just visually ripped through the short chapters, and found that I was done. Several of the chapters hold deep significants with me. The book has an honest truth that shows just how hard it is to deal with brain issues and "just getting over it" just doesn't work. At the very least it gives you a peek into the life of someone that has mental issues and should change how you think. It is worth the read, and your time.

c
cannotbeheard
Mar 18, 2019

This is probably more of a 4.25 rating. I really enjoyed this book. There were quite a few things that I read and thought, I think that way too! I liked how random and wild Jenny is. One of my favorite things about this book was how she talked about her insecurities and how crippling they can be. Or how crippling depression and anxiety can be. I've never hidden under a table but I've sure felt the desire to disappear when the pressure is too much. Or I've just walked out because I felt like everyone was against me. One of the best parts of this books is her talking about her relationship with her husband.

I listened to this book as an audiobook. The subtitle describes the book perfectly – it is both very funny and very sad. Lawson suffers from depression and various other mental and physical issues. The title comes from her deciding to be “furiously happy” and live life to the fullest during the times when she’s able. I found the funny and horrible to be mixed very well–a serious chapter about depression followed by something bizarre about taxidermy raccoons.

Lawson isn’t for everyone; she has a very odd sense of humour and a rather foul mouth and is very frank about depression. But if you enjoy quirky humour and live with depression yourself or in a loved one, this is a great listen. Lawson is a true advocate for mental illness and she provides a very real look at depression – I was particularly interested in her description of how people with mental illness just don’t have the same amount of energy as “normal” people (she calls it the “spoon theory”) and how it is not treated like a disease–sufferers are told to get over it or just be happy while we would never say such things to people with physical ailments. I laughed a lot and I really admire her philosophy of being furiously happy, I plan to try it myself! (Submitted by Gayle).

PimaLib_MattL Jul 02, 2018

Parts were really funny, other parts were mildly amusing. The many short chapters, each a little anecdote, make this a great 'toilet book'. It works if you leave it by the toilet and read a random chapter each day, rather than reading it cover to cover.

Gina_Vee Apr 05, 2018

I honestly don't think the audiobook for this book gets enough praise. This book is funny and heart-wrenching at the same time, which is what makes it good. The author reading her own book makes it even better.

l
LaVelleG
Jan 14, 2018

I listened to about 3 minutes of this. I just don't enjoy profanity and there is too much of it for my taste.

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Quotes

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kuligs
Oct 10, 2016

"All dressing rooms are just small cubes of vulnerability with mirrors to help multiply the shame"

n
nmcaskey
Jun 09, 2016

"I want to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, but without selling any Coca-Cola products."

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JohnPatterson
Apr 19, 2016

JohnPatterson thinks this title is suitable for 25 years and over

Summary

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SPL_Stephanie Apr 06, 2016

Although mental health is no laughing matter, Jenny Lawson humorously tells stories of her lifelong battle with mental health issues in her latest book, Furiously Happy. In this witty memoir, Lawson takes readers on a wildly entertaining journey of her personal struggles with anxiety and depression. With the rise of mental illness and corresponding stigma, this book sheds light on issues that many face in silence on a daily basis. From dealing with the devastating loss of loved ones, to tackling her crippling fears, Lawson’s struggles and triumphs remind readers that they are not alone.

Not only does Lawson allow readers to be part of her personal battles, she also provides insight into how her health affects her family members. Through uproarious anecdotes, Lawson light-heartedly discusses how her illnesses impact her husband and daughter. With one in five Canadians currently dealing with mental health issues, this book offers gentle guidance to those suffering and/or helping a loved one who is struggling with their mental health.
Lawson allows readers to freely enter her world filled with dark patches of turmoil and challenges. In doing so, she inadvertently challenges readers to be introspective. Despite her struggles, this renowned blogger and author promotes the need to live life to its fullest and to embrace the inevitable highs and lows. As the 21st Century is defined for being fast-paced and constantly connected, resulting in stress and health challenges, this book reminds readers not to take life so seriously.

From wearing koala bear costumes in Australia to participating in insomnia-induced escapades with her taxidermied raccoon, every page is filled with quirky stories that will leave you grinning from ear to ear. Lawson’s ability to overcome adversary and to tackle serious mental health issues in a hilarious and witty manner is truly inspirational.

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