Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Book Review: My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster

My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict's Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is the New Black; Or, A Culture-Up Manifesto by Jen Lancaster

I think this is the first of my WOW posts that I've actually read! My TBR list is long... But how did this one crack through to the top of the pile? Easy! Jen Lancaster came to town! And a co-worker (and fellow WNBA member) is a huge fan and knew about the event and asked me if I wanted to go. And as I should have kept reading the two books I was in the middle of, I tried to ignore this book that promised to be funny and a fast read, which I was totally in the mood for. I could hear it calling to me. I got one of my other books and put it on top of the Lancaster, hoping that would silence it, and encourage me to pick up and finish the half-read one. But funny won the day. I read half Saturday, finished Sunday!

I understand this one isn't as funny as her others and I can see that - it's not the funniest of topics, at least if she's successful. She's found that in the last several years of being first unemployed and then a writer, that she's let the cultural side of things slip, and she's started to feel a bit stupid in certain crowds. But it never bothered her too much until she finally got to meet Candace Bushnell... and felt like an idiot. Time for A Plan. (And time for a book proposal!)

So she decided to stretch her boundaries and go outside her comfort zone. And you know what? She liked pretty much everything! Plays, museums, international cuisine, wine tastings. Meanwhile, she joins a pool (in Chicago!), adopts some feral kittens, and buys a ridiculously large new car (it has a refrigerated compartment!) There were certainly moments when I laughed out loud (particularly when she tried letting her hair - with '80's extensions - go curly, and she thought she looked all Tawny Kitaen, and her husband took one look at her and said, "hon, you look just like David Coverdale!")

Ms. Lancaster is refreshingly honest (even honest about her lack of a filter for all her honesty and how it gets her in trouble) and she never takes herself too seriously. As someone who also loves both High Culture and Dancing With the Stars, I was incensed on her behalf by the guy at the party who had no idea who Jake Ryan was (and in Jen's defense, I didn't see either that her bet was going to end up with the cute guy her friend was talking to having to go and talk to all the other women at the party. Hm. Guess I am not the best wingman either.) And even though I'm happy for her that at the end of the book she can tell Ms. Bushnell that she too has read Baudelaire, I have to say, I think Ms. B was being pretentious mentioning that, even if it's true (which I doubt.) This was a very fun read, I am giving it to my best friend, and borrowing all the rest of her books from my co-worker.


Carin Siegfried said...

whoops, I was wrong about it being my first WOW that I've read, it's the second. Innocent by Scott Turow was the first.

mpartyka said...

Wow... perfect timing! I'm listening to her memoir, Pretty in Plaid and have My Fair Lazy on my list too.

I have a copy of Pretty in Plaid but the audio was at the library so I decided to listen (I love memoirs). Glad to know I will enjoy other books too.

Booksnyc said...

I love her books and am looking forward to this one! If you are planning to move through her books, Bitter is the New Black and Such A Pretty Fat are both great.