5 books to ask for this Christmas for a Tallulahish 2017
December 16, 2016
1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
I just downloaded this on Audible and am devouring it at a voracious speed. It's like a lost episode of Gilmore Girls where Rory does a ton of uppers and then realizes she can listen to books while simultaneously reading others books – except I just want to read this book while also listening to it because Mark Manson and I are soul people.
Manson jumps right into his radical Buddhist-like exploration of what truly guides us to a contended life by dropping truth bombs like “the avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle. The denial of failure is a failure. Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame.” and “most of us struggle throughout our lives by giving too many fu*ks in situations where fu*ks do not deserve to be given."
He also makes poop and panda jokes and says the word f*ck approximately 200 times just in the introduction. I’m hooked.
2. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
If you've ever shared a few beers with me, odds are you fell victim to my all-out fan girling over Jenny Lawson and all the good her writing has brought me and my fellow The Bloggess readers. I mean, talk about "Owning Your Story." If that's what I call what we're doing on this site, then I think Lawson has managed to stage a coup on her own story just to take over with it again for the sole purpose of sticking another cat-covered flag in the sand.
I would be lying if I said Furiously Happy wasn’t a catalyst for Tallulahish. This book does everything the mental health community has been asking for – it talks about mental health! Lawson recounts her history of depression and anxiety in one of the most funny, honest and absolutely ridiculous ways I’ve read.
I haven’t read this one but it’s now at the top of my list. According to reviews, Niequist spends the book exploring her recent discovery: that we have ultimate control over our situation, even when it doesn’t feel like we do. We put up the chairs, she explains, and we can take them down.
“All my yeses brought me to a shallow way of living – an exhausting, frantic lifestyle that actually ended up having little resemblance to that deep, brave yes I was searching for.”
The difference between a shallow yes and a deep, brave yes? Oh YES. What a totally Tallulahish distinction.
4. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
Can you guys believe I don’t own this book?! I follow Hyperbole and a Half on Blogpost and have wasted many of good working hours laughing at and being comforted by Brosh’s all-too-real comics and drawings. Similar to Jenny Lawson, I’m inspired by and admire Brosh’s ability to start a conversation about some serious topics, like expressing suicidal thoughts, through something as simple and approachable as a comic strip.
Buying – and undoubtedly loving – this book is clearly in my near future.
5. MiddleSex by Jeffrey Eugenides
This is perhaps my favorite book of all time, I like to revisit itas often as possible. If this title is new to you, you may better know Eugenides from The Virgin Suicides or The Marriage Plot. They’re both fantastic. (I’m a Eugenides fan, to be clear.) I wrote my high school senior research paper on this book, so I’ll try to spare you from my ability to talk about it for 19+ pages. This book has some complicated, layered themes that touch on everything from the American dream to gender identity to nature vs nuture, etc. What I love most about this book, though, is its exploration of all these complex themes together in a way that says “okay, somehow all of these things have simultaneously created the circumstances that have brought me to this moment. Now what?“
The book, on its most basic level, is about the intersexed protagonist, Cal. It traces the transmigrations of a genetic mutation through Cal's family but, as Eugenides once said of about planning the book, “it would encompass many things aside from this sexual metamorphosis. It would concern all kinds of transformations, national, racial, emotional, intellectual—you name it.” It’s full of nuance and history and intersectionality... and it’s beautiful.