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18 Books to Watch for in May 2012

This month, we delve into the past with a reissued classic from W. Somerset Maugham, a found cookbook from Elizabeth Gilbert's grandmother, and new historical fiction set in WWI.
Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)
Photo: Philip Friedman/Studio D

Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)

336 pages; Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
If you're a fan of Jenny Lawson's blog, The Bloggess, you already know about her wondrous knack for bawdy storytelling. But if you're a newcomer, no worries, Lawson assures us—"I've reserved the very best stories of my life" for Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) (Amy Einhorn). And what stories they are: tales of a taxidermist father using an animal carcass as a puppet, a chapter titled "A Series of Helpful Post-It Notes I Left Around the House for My Husband This Week." The book provides an intimate view of Lawson's family, as she deftly toggles between past and present—reminiscing about her upbringing in rural Texas with a family that kept bobcats as pets, and lobbing valentines at her ever-patient husband, Victor, who received a five-foot-tall metal chicken named Beyoncé from his wife as an anniversary present. Lawson's self-deprecating humor is not only gaspingly funny and wonderfully inappropriate; it also allows her to speak about subjects like depression, anxiety, and infertility in a real and raw way. As Lawson says, this book is about "the surprising discovery that the most terribly human moments—the ones we want to pretend never happened—are the very same moments that make us who we are." 
— Abbe Wright

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