Monday, August 24, 2009

Why I *Heart* Jen Lancaster's Books

There are a number of funny people on this earth. Folks that make your face contort, cause tears of laughter from your eyes, and who seriously make you consider wearing Depends when you are in their presence. Some of these people are in the movies, doing stand-up somewhere, or are in the next cubicle at work.

And then every so often, you find an author who just totally cracks you up even on the second (or third, or fourth) reading. My favorite hands-down in this regard is Jen Lancaster.

If you have not been exposed to Jen, you are missing a treat. Not only are her books hysterical, but she has a blog ( and is on Twitter (@altgeldshrugged). She has a way of looking at life that says EXACTLY what you are thinking...except that she actually DOES say it. And that includes some words that are definitely NOT G-rated. But, I find that the use of them is appropriate to getting the essence of Jen, and aren't just stuck in there without thought.

To cut to the chase, Jen is a pit bull owning, Whole Foods loving, wine drinking, Lacoste wearing, suntanning, Prada toting, calling the police on the neigbors...ball of fire.

Her first book - "Bitter is the New Black" and subtitled "Confessions of a Condescending, Egomanical, Self-Centered, Smart Ass, or Why You Should Never Carry a Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office" pretty much sets the stage. It was followed by "Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who Are All These Idiots and Why Do They Live Next Door to Me?" - a look at city life, "Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist's Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big; Or, Why Pie Is Not the Answer" - her weight loss guide and "Pretty in Plaid: A Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, or the Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase." This one is about fashion...and its effect on her life. She is currently writing a book about various types of food...and I absolutely cannot wait.

Oh, and the blog? I look at it when I absolutely need to crack up including a recent blogpost entitled "My Husband - Ansel Adams" from August 10, 2009. I have seen this three times, and I still laugh when I see it. In December 2008, when describing how horrific a meal that she and her husband, Fletch, survived, and when doing so stated: "And it was the very definition of a train-off-the-tracks, biker-hitting-a-billboard, baseball-bat-to-the-'nads, cat-with-a-jar-stuck-on-his-head monumental kind of fail?"

Gotta love this woman.

Would I get rid of some of the language? Yep. I would. But, you know what? I'm also not a best selling author, either. And this woman rescues animals, lives her life above board, loves her friends, says "yes" when asked to show up or do a book reading for a cause she supports, and seems just like someone I would really like to know...because in sharing her life through her writing...I feel like I DO.

So, if you are bored, and you want something that is truly Depends-worthy...try one of Jen's books. Look up her blog. Funny stuff there. Later!

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