November 13, 2020 4 of 8
I’m trying to remember when I first discovered Jenny Lawson, who blogs at The Bloggess. I believe that one of my friends (Leta, maybe?) linked to And That’s Why You Should Learn to Pick Your Battles.
I dug around on her site a while and found her to be hysterically funny and, like the very best funny things, every once in a while, Jenny will post something that hits you right in the gut. Often these gut punches have to do with Jenny’s mental health. Jenny has a mental illness and she is very frank about her struggles.
She did a TEDx Talk about her mental illness and she had a panic attack in the middle of it. Jenny lives in San Antonio and the talk was at the Empire Theater. I hadn’t gotten tickets because, well, time got away from me. It turned out that I walked right past the theater that day and I came *this* close to seeing if she’d gone on already and, if not, if I could’ve bought a ticket. And I’m very disappointed that I didn’t because I’d’ve loved to have been one of the people there who gave her a standing ovation.
She wasn’t there to see it, because her anxiety made her run off to the back as soon as she was done. But I’d’ve happily ovated her standingly.
And I’m not the only person who loves her. She opened a bookstore here this year, Nowhere Bookshop on Broadway in Alamo Heights. Well, I say “opened,” but they’re only open for curbside service right now. But she also started a virtual book club this year and she expected maybe 50 people. Last I heard it was over 1,000. There is a $10 setup fee and then you get charged $25 per month plus shipping (and sales tax if you’re in Texas) for the books. If the book is more, the book club eats the difference and if it’s less, they send you some kind of extra thingy, like a bookmark or a pin or something. Some of the books are autographed and two have come with little bookplates with the author’s autograph on them.
If you want to join the club, the signup page is here: The Fantastic Strangelings Book Club. A number of my Gratuitous Amazon Links are book club selections.
Speaking of Gratuitous Amazon Links, what’s up next? The Madman’s Daughter, by Megan Shepherd, apparently. I have some recollection of this series, but since I read them four years ago, it’s not so crisp and clear. This is the first book in a trilogy, also called The Madman’s Daughter, which is about the adventures of Juliet Moreau, the daughter of Dr. Moreau from The Island of Dr. Moreau. I will soon be posting the other two books.