Broken (in the Best Possible Way)

Holt. Apr. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9781250077035. $27.99. MEMOIR
Lawson returns with her signature mix of humorous antics and heartfelt self-reflection in this follow-up to 2015’s Furiously Happy. She shares with raw honesty her experiences living with mental illness, including depression and anxiety, as well as rheumatoid arthritis and other physical conditions. She openly discusses her suicidal thoughts, detailing her transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment and its results, and shares her frustration with her health insurance company. Being Lawson, it’s not all gloomy subjects; she also includes an uncomfortable exchange at the post office, a list of awkward moments shared by her fans, unusual encounters with animals, pitches for Shark Tank, and marriage advice. Lawson describes her book as “probably horribly offensive,” and those who don’t mind profanity will enjoy her frank sense of humor. She excels at advocating for self-acceptance, embracing and sharing failures, and laughing at the difficulties and absurdities of life. Her ability to blend poignant self-reflection and candid humor allows for the darkness of life to become less alienating, which makes her stories about failing and flourishing to be both engaging and relatable.
VERDICT Lawson already has thousands of fans, and she’s bound to pick up more with this latest memoir. Recommended for all public libraries.
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