The ‘mostly true’ biography of a small town Texas gal who grew up to be an internet personality. The Bloggess currently has hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter and each of her blog entries generates hundreds of responses. While most of her readers come for the laugh-aloud humor, they stay for the personal tales of her struggle with depression and anxiety. Her book is a collection of anecdotes told in roughly chronological order. The stories range from weird (the time her father made a hand puppet out of a dead squirrel), to hilarious (the time she purchased a five foot-tall metal chicken and placed outside her husband’s office window). Lawson includes some family photos to prove that even her most outlandish tales are still mostly true.
What the Armchair Critics Thought:
Although Lawson’s book is very funny, and became a New York Times No. 1 bestseller, we wondered if it would have been such a huge phenomenon without her blog followers. The biography contained some great stories which made us laugh out loud, and her husband Victor was a terrific foil for her antics. However, some of us found her childhood quite disturbing and saw Jenny as more of a tragic than a comic figure. The frequent cursing was also a turn-off for some. Regardless, the popularity of this book is an interesting example of a new economic model where popular on-line bloggers come with a ready made audience for their books. Today, anyone can write their thoughts down for the world to see, however; they only gain an audience if those thoughts are worth reading.