Bright Lights, Big Ass

Travel with books
by Jen Lancaster | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 9780451221254 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 8/1/2020
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, August 01, 2020
I got this softcover from Better World Books. I enjoyed Lancaster's My Fair Lazy and Pretty in Plaid, and wanted to read more - though it seems I'm reading the books out of order, as this one's her second, after Bitter is the New Black.

I find Lancaster's writing very, very funny, even when it's exasperating. She has some traits that I admire - including some I share, such as loving to read and not caring for the over-energetic Rachel Ray (though in Lancaster's case it may be because Ray's more like her) - and others that I find alien and more than a bit ridiculous, such as her love of fashionable shoes even though they give her chronic foot pain. [I'm sure that somewhere there are reasonably attractive shoes that don't cripple the wearer, but for some reason the shoe-holics out there seem to stick with the ones that could qualify as torture instruments.]

Lancaster describes herself as having narcissistic personality disorder a couple of times in this book, and while I don't know if she means it literally (it's hard to tell, with her mega-sarcastic humor style) it would explain some of her traits - if she's anything like the way she describes herself in the books, she pretty much says whatever she's thinking at any time, in any place, and at considerable volume, regardless of the consequences. (This is often hilarious to read about but would be exhausting in person; some of her escapades would put me into a murderous rage, but then she herself seems to get into murderous rages with others for such simple things as not immediately becoming her best friend, so there's that...)

This book was written after she got a book deal for "Bitter", but before it came out (it hits the shelves near the end of this book), which makes for some entertaining bits about the publishing industry. But the majority of this book is slice-of-life stuff, anecdotes about her pets, about her running contests with her beloved husband Fletch (they seem to be on the same page most of the time, but I could NOT live like that), and about the challenges of rental spaces in Chicago. (The running battles with those much-despised neighbors take up a lot of space.)

I like the writing style and the often hilarious jabs at everything from pop-culture to politics, with plenty of self-deprecating humor as well (though what with the whole narcissism thing I can't be sure that that's really self-deprecating or just more attention-mongering - but I laughed anyway). Lancaster has lots of fun with footnotes, too, and with embedded emails-to-friends to provide a different style of commentary on whatever's taking place. And if I find some of her antics mean-spirited (and I do), she does demonstrate some amount of self-reflection, if not always enough to make her stop being petty to strangers...

Such episodes as her attempt to get on the "Biggest Loser" TV show when she wanted motivation to lose weight, the challenges of apartment-hunting in Chicago when the requirements include room for multiple cats and dogs, or her method of dealing with a persistent phone-salesman (one of my favorite bits in this book) made me laugh out loud, and overall there was more laughing than wincing.

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Little Free Library, Pleasant St. in Westford, Massachusetts USA on Sunday, September 27, 2020

Released 3 wks ago (9/27/2020 UTC) at Little Free Library, Pleasant St. in Westford, Massachusetts USA


Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book in the Little Free Library, while noticing how the foliage is beginning to take on autumn colors. Hope someone enjoys the book!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2020 You're Such an Animal challenge. ***

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