I am not one that normally gives nonfiction books a second look, but I found myself reading quite a bit more of them this year.
These are my top two nonfiction books from the last year.
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson.
Jenny Lawson, (better known to many as The Bloggess), details her life living in rural Texas with a father that had an odd fascination with dead animals.
Her father was a taxidermist, and an avid hunter which for Jenny meant that there were many more dead animals around than there would be in a normal house, some even being used as hand puppets.
She documents in the book how she met her husband, and the troubles the two of them had conceiving. She also candidly discusses her personal issues with anxiety and depression.
Those that have read her blog are used to the wit and self deprecating humor in which she presents sensitive topics. I found it very candid and enjoying to read.
I spent so much time laughing the first time around that I had to re-read it several times just to see what I have missed. She is funny without taking away from the seriousness of the subject matter she occasionally discusses, such as miscarriages and the loss of pets.
Often chapters of the book are simply conversations that she has had with her husband about things that normal (sort of), people talk about. Whether you think she may be making up the contents of the book or not (a point she address right in the prologue), this book is wonderful for those of us that love to laugh about anything and everything. Even if that thing happens to be a stuffed alligator that has a hook as a hand.
Tough Sh*t Life Advice From a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good by Kevin Smith.
This is a perfect book for those on your list that are looking for inspiration to follow their dreams. It’s also the perfect gift for someone that is a fan of the independent director.
Smith, (who directed films such as Dogma, Chasing Amy, Clerks), talks about how he saw a movie as a young man, and then decided “I can do that.”
Tough Sh-T is not a traditional memoir (Smith has already done a few of those), since Smith only briefly focuses on his childhood, but only as to how it applies to movies.
Most of the narrative discusses how he made Clerks, and then how each of his other movies came to be. It also discusses in a very candid way, the difficulties that you experience when you want to get a movie made and you’re not a big name celebrity. Smith is also the first person that I have heard talk about the monetary aspect of making a movie, and what exactly goes into the distribution of a film.
It’s an eye opener for those who might consider making films themselves. He talks about the South West Airline scandal that exploded over twitter, and caused him to put a boycott on the airline. He talks about the events that led up to his decision to step back from the film industry and how he has stepped up to become a strong supporter of internet radio and podcasts.
Smith has a small, self declared, podcasting “empire” at smodcast.com. This book contains very strong language and content. It is definitely for adults, but I enjoy this kind of candor, and often find myself laughing far harder than I probably should.
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is available at amazon.com for $17.13 ($16.52 for the kindle).
Tough Sh*t: Life Advice From a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good is available at amazon.com for $16.15 ($15.34 for the kindle).