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Broken (in the best possible way) (2021)

by Jenny Lawson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5904434,700 (4.06)22
"As Jenny Lawson's hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken (in the best possible way), she explores her experimental treatment of transcranial magnetic stimulation with brutal honesty. But also with brutal humor: "People do different things to distract themselves during each treatment. I embroider. It feels fitting. I'm being magnetically stabbed in the head thousands of times as I'm stabbing the embroidery myself. I don't embroider the same patterns my grandmother did. I embroider girls with octopus faces, David Bowie, a flowery bouquet with FUCK YES written in the middle. They let you do anything as long as it's 'positive.'" Jenny discusses the frustration of dealing with her insurance company in "An Open Letter to My Insurance Company," which should be an anthem for anyone who has ever had to call their insurance company to try and get a claim covered. On the lighter side, she tackles such timelessly debated questions as "How do dogs know they have penises?" We see how her vacuum cleaner almost set her house on fire, how she was attacked by three bears, business ideas she wants to pitch to Shark Tank, and why she can never go back to the post office. Of course, Jenny's long-suffering husband Victor-the Ricky to Jenny's Lucille Ball-is present throughout. A treat for Jenny Lawson's already existing fans, and destined to convert new ones, Broken is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter"--… (more)
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» See also 22 mentions

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Love love love love love Jenny Lawson! She makes me laugh out loud in public and not even want to apologize. She makes me cry, and think, and feel, and empathize with her and with others. She makes me appreciate my uniqueness. I actually did the virtual book reading with Victor and her and was laughing so hard my sides hurt a couple times. Thank you Jenny. Thank you for being you, but also for being brave enough to share yourself with us. You are a treasure. ❤️ ( )
  HeatherPerdigon | Nov 5, 2022 |
I adore this woman! All of her books are hilarious and this was the best one so far. I deeply admire someone who is willing to be this open and honest about very difficult, very personal subjects and make it not only funny and thoughtful but empowering as well validating. B&N hosted a virtual event with Felicia Day (BONUS!!) "interviewing" her which was probably the best, most enjoyable virtual program I have ever attended - highly inappropriate and completely hysterical. I recently gave a book a bad review because of its sophomoric humor but this book did not lack in puerile humor yet I found it extremely amusing. I think she is just my type of "crazy" even though we do not share the same issues or illnesses, I just "get" where she's coming from. Although I emphasize the humor of this book (because there are a LOT of laugh out loud moments), there are also very heartbreakingly, bittersweet and tender moments as well. Do not miss this book! And if you haven't read her other books, go read those too! ( )
  JediBookLover | Oct 29, 2022 |
I read this book when I was having a hard time coping with everything back in January. The winter was dredging on, I was canceling virtual plans with my best friend, everything felt so monumentally overwhelming, employees at the store were resigning and we were all really struggling as a team to make things work. The majority of us at the bookstore deal with depression and/or anxiety. For me, my anxiety is worse in the winter, particularly when we have lots of snow which triggers my PTSD (I was in a very bad car accident in a snowstorm 6 years ago and nearly had a repeated on the 6th anniversary, literally to the day).

But back to the store – as a group of readers, we were given the greatest treat – multiple advance copies of Broken. We passed them around and after I promised the staff members who didn’t already know Jenny that the book would ultimately be hopeful, we had a mini store book club of sorts which was the winter balm it turned out we all needed.

Jenny doesn’t mention the pandemic. At all. And it is amazing how refreshing that fact in and of itself is. I’ve followed her blog for quite a few years since I first read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened three years ago and so a few of the stories in Broken were familiar, though the essays pieces are original to the book. While I have favorite moments from the book as a whole, it is similar to Jenny’s other works in that the overarching theme is:

It’s okay you’re not okay, but it will get better – I promise.

(THIS ISN’T A DIRECT QUOTE BUT I WANTED TO EMPHASIZE IT.)
There are plenty of hysterical conversations between Jenny and her husband, Victor, many of which make me laugh so hard I cry because I can overwhelming relate (my husband concurs that he can also overwhelmingly relate to Victor’s side of things). There are stories of Jenny’s dog, Dorothy Barker, and Haley, her daughter and now full grown teenager, features prominently as well. There are more taxidermized animals in strange clothes and more stories of Jenny’s unconventional childhood.

It is a treat for old fans and new alike, and is, dare I say, the perfect balm for those who are really struggling with the ongoing pandemic’s affect on their mental health. ( )
  smorton11 | Oct 29, 2022 |
I loved the last book, but this time, my life has topped Jenny Lawson's. I have a big anxiety problem but I cannot do anything about because we were evacuated on 9/9/22 from our apartment due repairs needed from a damage from heavy rains. It has been a painful comedy of errors since then and we are still staying in a motel. My RA has been re-diagnosed to Psoriatis Arthritis and had a change in my cognitive status.

I found the chapter on TMS interesting and I am interested in getting my anxiety under control, but not able to tackle that until I am back in my apartment and move. Being in limboland is increasing my anxiety dramatically.

To me the best chapter in this book for me is Awkwarding Brings Us together. I laughed and cried so hard, reading the embarrasing things that have happenned to other people. Very similiar things have happenned in my life. Like when I called China and sang the Happy Birthday song to him, forgetting that it was Monday and a whole table of people laughed. My face turned red when I realized that he was at a meeting at work.

I hope that you read this book if you need reassurance that you are not the only one in the world suffering from the ugly beasts of anxiety and depression and more. ( )
  Carolee888 | Oct 14, 2022 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
As with every Jenny Lawson book, this lived up to my high expectations. There were chapters that were highly personal, then others that were extremely funny and also very relatable. That is her trademark: she’s funny and relatable. The biggest differences from her previous books (if you have read any of them) are that Lawson has now become a lot more well-known, she’s a parent of a teenager, and her journey to ‘fix’ her depression and anxiety has gone through many twists and turns. Overall, a great Jenny Lawson read! ( )
  kamoorephoto | Sep 21, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.

--Leonard Cohen
Dedication
Dedicated to my husband, without whom this book would not exist. Mainly because he would not quit yelling at me to stop binge-watching Netflix and get some fucking work done.

But also because he's funnier than I am in person, gives me incredible material, and loves me even when I don't always love myself. Thanks, mister.
First words
You probably just picked up this book thinking, What the shit is this all about?
Quotations
I'm not the only one you've done this to. You've left thousands of people alone and desperate and untreated. You have killed people we love, with neglect or indifference. You deny mercy and pain and humanity. I'm not even one of the worst cases. My problems with you are typical. And that makes it even worse.
You are standing in the way of the health and happiness of so many of us and you are making money while standing on our backs and telling us how much we don't need the things that keep us alive. But I am still alive. In spite of you.
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"As Jenny Lawson's hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken (in the best possible way), she explores her experimental treatment of transcranial magnetic stimulation with brutal honesty. But also with brutal humor: "People do different things to distract themselves during each treatment. I embroider. It feels fitting. I'm being magnetically stabbed in the head thousands of times as I'm stabbing the embroidery myself. I don't embroider the same patterns my grandmother did. I embroider girls with octopus faces, David Bowie, a flowery bouquet with FUCK YES written in the middle. They let you do anything as long as it's 'positive.'" Jenny discusses the frustration of dealing with her insurance company in "An Open Letter to My Insurance Company," which should be an anthem for anyone who has ever had to call their insurance company to try and get a claim covered. On the lighter side, she tackles such timelessly debated questions as "How do dogs know they have penises?" We see how her vacuum cleaner almost set her house on fire, how she was attacked by three bears, business ideas she wants to pitch to Shark Tank, and why she can never go back to the post office. Of course, Jenny's long-suffering husband Victor-the Ricky to Jenny's Lucille Ball-is present throughout. A treat for Jenny Lawson's already existing fans, and destined to convert new ones, Broken is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter"--

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