Sunday, July 30, 2017

(65)Stories I'd Tell In Bars by Jen Lancaster


I squealed with delight when my favorite author,  Jen Lancaster announced on social media that she was going to self-publish another memoir. I am not entirely sure why she went the self-publish route, but I am sure it gave her more options and more control over the content.   Not having a major publisher looking over her shoulder allowed Jen to get back to the basics.  In a raw, unfiltered manner Jen hilariously shares snippets of her daily life.    We finally get to hear from Fletch, too.  In the chapters where he is featured, he gets to have the "Final Word" and he comments or in some cases, defends himself.

My favorite story in the collection has to be when Jen and Fletch befriended another childless couple in their neighborhood.   From their fear of having this chic couple see their house that had the mark of three dogs and numerous cats to their night at the restaurant where their waiter had to drive them home in his mom's minivan.   I laughed and I laughed.  (I read that part to my husband and couldn't make it through without laughing so hard)   Then there was the "ride-along" that was the result of Jen and Fletch's involvement with the Citizen's Patrol.   It was classic Jen Lancaster and it was hysterical.

After reading Stories I'd Tell In Bars I am 100% convinced that Jen Lancaster is my spirit animal. Since the book did not have to go through the publisher's filters, there is a whole lot of f-bombs dropped.  But that is okay because it isn't really cursing if you are wearing pearls when you swear.  No?   Jen even documents her weight loss and more than ever before discusses behaviors and triggers that caused her to gain the weight in the first place.  I am doing the weight loss thing now and I could really relate to her thoughts on the matter.   She has really kicked ass to lose a lot of weight and she looks amazing if you haven't seen a recent picture.  And like Jen, I am discovering that I need new undies thanks to the weight loss.

Bottom line - Jen Lancaster is hands down one of my favorite authors.   I have read every book that she has ever written, but Stories I'd Tell In Bars feels like the first book in a long time that we get to connect with the real Jen.  She isn't on a mission to be Martha Stewart or force her life experiences to fit a certain theme de jour.  Instead, she is real and unfiltered.  And absolutely at her best.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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