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It's Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too)

by Nora McInerny Purmort

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812244,004 (3.87)1
NATIONAL BESTSELLER "Thank you for the perfect blend of nostalgia-drenched humor, wit, and heartbreak, Nora." -- Mandy Moore comedy = tragedy + time/rosé Twenty-seven-year-old Nora McInerny Purmort bounced from boyfriend to dopey "boyfriend" until she met Aaron--a charismatic art director and comic-book nerd who once made Nora laugh so hard she pulled a muscle. When Aaron was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, they refused to let it limit their love. They got engaged on Aaron's hospital bed and had a baby boy while he was on chemo. In the period that followed, Nora and Aaron packed fifty years of marriage into the three they got, spending their time on what really matters: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, each other, and Beyoncé. A few months later, Aaron died in Nora's arms. The obituary they wrote during Aaron's hospice care revealing his true identity as Spider-Man touched the nation. With It's Okay to Laugh, Nora puts a young, fresh twist on the subjects of mortality and resilience. What does it actually mean to live your "one wild and precious life" to the fullest? How can a joyful marriage contain more sickness than health? How do you keep going when life kicks you in the junk? In this deeply felt and deeply funny memoir, Nora gives her readers a true gift--permission to struggle, permission to laugh, permission to tell the truth and know that everything will be okay. It's Okay to Laugh is a love letter to life, in all its messy glory; it reads like a conversation with a close friend, and leaves a trail of glitter in its wake. This book is for people who have been through some shit. This is for people who aren't sure if they're saying or doing the right thing (you're not, but nobody is). This is for people who had their life turned upside down and just learned to live that way. For people who have laughed at a funeral or cried in a grocery store. This is for everyone who wondered what exactly they're supposed to be doing with their one wild and precious life. I don't actually have the answer, but if you find out, will you text me?… (more)

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I found this book through the author's podcast, "Terrible, Thanks for Asking," which I would recommend to anyone who wants to sob uncontrollably while driving home from work. Or, you know, to anyone who wants to hear how other humans deal with unfathomable tragedy.

This memoir is charming, and sad, and silly, and about all of the things that you'd expect from the host after listening to five minutes of her podcast. It's good, and I liked it, and I don't know if I would want you to read it unless you, like me, are already pretty comfortable thinking about death. ( )
  cygnoir | Feb 18, 2018 |
"So, you do what needs to be done. You get through it. The way Britney got through 2007 and made it a distant memory and an Internet meme; the way Reese Witherspoon got through her divorce with Ryan Phillippe when he was super hot and now you're, like, Ryan who? The way Jackie Kennedy got through picking up pieces of her husband's brain and then married a Greek bajillionaire. The way Beyonce got through the dismantling of Destiny's Child and emerged as Beyonce. The way Khaleesi emerged from the fire and became the Mother of Dragons."

Nora McInerny Purmort speaks to my soul. She also makes me cry a lot. It's Okay to Laugh is a memoir about loss and grief and what happens when someone loses their baby, father, and husband all in quick succession, but it's mostly a story of being okay with not being sure what it means to be an adult. Her story is devastating, but it's also messy and hilarious, much like life. Purmort bitches a lot about pyramid schemes, shares the horrors of navigating Tinder as a recent widow, and reminds us that no one's life is as perfect as their Instagram feed makes it look. It's Okay to Laugh is a love letter to strong marriages and passionate lives that reads more like a series of candid essays than a traditional memoir. Rich and heartbreaking and wonderful. ( )
  GennaC | May 9, 2017 |
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