Monday, April 9, 2012

Julie's Review: My Fair Lazy

Summary: Readers have followed Jen Lancaster through job loss, sucky city living, weight loss attempts, and 1980s nostalgia. Now Jen chronicles her efforts to achieve cultural enlightenment, with some hilarious missteps and genuine moments of inspiration along the way. And she does so by any means necessary: reading canonical literature, viewing classic films, attending the opera, researching artisan cheeses, and even enrolling in etiquette classes to improve her social graces. In Jen's corner is a crack team of experts, including Page Six socialites, gourmet chefs, an opera aficionado, and a master sommelier. She may discover that well-regarded, high-priced stinky cheese tastes exactly as bad as it smells, and that her love for Kraft American Singles is forever. But one thing's for certain: Eliza Doolittle's got nothing on Jen Lancaster-and failure is an option.  

Review: A few years ago Alice introduced me to Jen Lancaster with her first memoir, Bitter is the New Black. Now, I didn't really like the book overall but I did find Jen to be honest, funny, bitter and a little self-involved.  It wasn't until a couple years ago when my sister and I went to see Jennifer Weiner and her at an event where she hooked me. She is so damn funny in person. I found her humor to be sarcastic, biting and refreshing. She pokes fun at herself easily and is a running commentary on the stupidity of people. I admit that was back in 2010, so it's been 2 years and almost 2 books later but I will catch up eventually.

My Fair Lazy is a recounting of Jen trying to become savvy again in a world where conversations don't revolve around reality tv. If it's a reality show, Jen watched it. What she began to realize was that not everyone thought that reality tv was relevant or really cultural. So Jen wanted to do a "Jenassiance". She wanted to quit being a dumb-ass and start learning about different things. As I read the book, I laughed out loud and I shook my head a lot. With the help of her friends she started taking in plays, reading classics novels, learning about wines and learning how to socialize without saying everything that comes into her head. Not only in Jen humorous but I learned something along the way as well. I learned that since reading Bitter is the New Black, Jen has matured. I guess going through ups and downs in life will make you reassess things. She begins to realize there are things in life that don't have you parked in front of the tv and that get you out of the house. Not only that but it brings her and Fletch a bit closer as they start to experience some of Jen's pursuits together.

I don't know if Jen will ever give up her reality tv addiction but the fact that she was able and willing to go out of her comfort zone is something that I think all of us adults could do a little more. I'm not addicted to reality tv like Jen is but I do like my scripted tv. I have scaled back since having kids but my DVR is almost always in use on a weekday night. I would love to take a wine class because I love a great bottle (ok, even a decent bottle) but I'd love to learn more or learn why I love the wines that I do.

What I also love about her books is that I know what she's talking about when she refers to places in Chicago. I love that familiarity when reading a book. 

I need to catch up on Bright Lights, Big Ass?; Such a Pretty Fat; Pretty in Plaid. Plus she's got a new book coming out called Jeneration X. I loved that title. If you are looking for a humorous book for a spring or summer weekend read than I can pretty much tell you to pick up on of Jen Lancaster's memoirs. If you are looking to keep up with her on a regular basis, then you need to check out her blog: Jennsylvania.  

Final Take: 4/5



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