Book reviews: Jen Lancaster’s entire catalog (thus far)

To be completely honest, I was going to review Jen Lancaster’s latest, Jeneration X several weeks ago, but never quite got around to it. Earlier today she posted an incentive on her blog that motivated me to finally write this – a free short story – so this post is finally getting written, only in a modified format. Rather than just review one book, I’m going to post a little something about all of them.

I’ll admit to coming late to the party and purchasing both Bitter is the new Black and Bright Lights, Big Ass at the same time. After reading them both over the course of a weekend (I can read fast and her books are hard to put down) I made sure to preorder her next book – Such a Pretty Fat –  as soon as I could. This eventually became a pattern, especially after Pretty in Plaid, which I had to go to two different bookstores in order to find a copy of the same week that it came out. I never made that mistake again, and wound up receiving My Fair Lazy, If You Were Here and Jeneration X all within days of their official release dates. Thank you, Amazon.com!

But enough about how I obtained her books. The real question is why? For one thing, she’s funny. Each book has moments that make me laugh out loud, and that’s very rare. Even the most supposedly humorous books keep me from smiling at times. Hers never fail to make me snicker, even when I was dealing with an infected wisdom tooth that hurt so bad I wasn’t able to sleep at night – true story. I could go on and on about her unique tone and point-of-view, or the fact that with some memoirs, it’s hard to get a true sense of who the memoirist is, and that’s not the case at all with any of Jen Lancaster’s books.

Before this turns into a total mushfest, I can see how some more exhalted reviewers could complain about how she ignores some basic grammatical rules, uses a whole lot of the F-word and is obsessed with footnotes, but those things don’t bother me. I don’t read books that are known solely for their highbrow literary value — in fact, many of those books put me to sleep. Instead, I read books that keep me entertained. And all of these aforementioned titles by Jen Lancaster certainly do that.

 

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